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Social Studies Third Grade

Social Studies
THEME: Expanding My Horizons: Exploring Communities
ALASKA THEME: Knowing My Alaskan Community
Grade 3

 This list may be customized for individual lesson plans and records. Alaska Content Standards (in geography, government, and history) should be recorded as they are addressed throughout the year. For your convenience, each item in the Mastery and Developmental lists on the following pages is matched to the Content Standard (in geography, government, history) that it supports. Items that meet the Alaska Cultural Standards are marked with an asterisk (* ).

CONTENT LISTGeographyGovernmentHistoryCultural
Community government    
Community rules, laws, and responsibilities    
Geographic influences on local culture    
Interactions of humans with their environment    
Local community    
My Alaskan community, history, and functions    
Place, location, and map    
Study and comparison of local communities    

The community in a global setting is the focus of study in the third grade.  The local community provides an excellent laboratory for the study of social life because all aspects of social life exist there.  Students should learn about production, transportation, communication, distribution, and government, including their community’s international connections.  The concepts of dependence and interdependence can be emphasized at the local, national, and international levels.  Geographic concepts and skills should be extended to include the interactions of humans with their environment.  Place, location, and map use should be stressed.  Some emphasis should be given to the study of the local Alaskan community, especially relevant social history and multicultural biographies of prominent local citizens.

** The bold print indicates items that are new to the Mastery or Developmental strand at each grade level, but they may appear in earlier grades in the Enrichment strand.

Grade 3/Social Studies


• Identify state, national, and cultural symbols. (B5)
• Use a spatial perspective to study the community by examining, making, and comparing maps. (A1, A2)
• Understand that a community has distinct geographic characteristics defined by physical features. (B1)
• Compare, contrast, and predict how human and physical systems interact within a community and change over time. (E)
• Explain how the local area features impact human settlements, population characteristics, structures, and activities. (E)

• No mastery items at this grade level

• * Understand that communities experience continuity and change through time. (A9)

• * Identify and explore land and water forms and the forces that shape them. (C2)
• * Map the movement of people and products within the community. (D1)
• Understand that maps are changing documents. (A3)
• Gather, analyze, and report the geographic information found in maps, charts, and globes. (A4)
• Examine, compare, and investigate cultural symbols and community identity. (B4, B5)

• Describe the extrinsic and intrinsic value of community participation. (E6)
• Explore the sharing of power among people, branches, and levels of local government. (B4)
• Examine and apply the fundamental ideas of equality, authority, power, freedom, justice, privacy, and responsibility. (B3)
• Analyze the rights, responsibilities, and roles of citizenship. (E1, E2)
• Examine persisting issues involving the rights, roles, and status of individuals and groups in relation to the general welfare. (A2)
• Understand and participate in the election process. (E2)
• Explore the forces and influences of economics such as environmental issues, resources, transportation, communication, money, personal wants and needs, and natural disasters. (F, G)

• * Compare/contrast family traditions and customs. (A6, B1)
• Identify cultural diversity. (C2, A1, C)
• * Compare/contrast how community groups, societies, and cultures address similar needs and concerns. (B1)
• Understand that cultural elements include language, literature, the arts, and customs, and reflect the attitudes/beliefs of a specific time. (A6)
• * Understand that history is a bridge to understanding self, groups of people, and their relationship to society. (A8)
• * Recognize that human experience is written in different voices representing different perspectives. (A5)
• * Understand that community history relies on interpretation of evidence, which is subject to change. (A2)
• * Organize community history into time periods. (B4, D1)
• * Apply critical thinking to examine community history. (C3)
• Recognize that history is composed of key turning points. (A7)
• * Use historical perspectives to analyze local community events; explore personal positions; and determine the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to community global issues. (C4)

* Meets Cultural Standards

• Investigate diversity and the productivity of environments.
• Discuss how conflict and cooperation shape social, economic, and political use of space.
• Use a geographic perspective to analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to global issues.
• Use graphic tools and technologies to depict and interpret the world’s human and physical systems.
• * Analyze ecosystems, climate systems, erosion systems, water cycles, and tectonics.

• Explore the fundamental ideas of responsibilities and limits of rule by law.
• Examine the role of the individual in creating and evaluating rules and laws, selecting political leaders, and resolving conflicts.
• Study, observe, and participate in government action.
• Identify causes, consequences, and possible solutions to pertinent issues.

• Differentiate between historical interpretation and historical fiction.
• Discuss the changing patterns of society.

* Meets Cultural Standards

• Use grid coordinates to locate features of local areas on maps.
• Create a map of school, neighborhood, and community.
• Identify locations suited to specific activities or functions.
• Construct a community model and incorporate local geographic and human features.
• Use samples from local ecosystems to convey information about ecosystems and their changes.
• Investigate origins of local street names.
• Plan changes in street names, community features, and structures to be more consistent with the cultural, historical, and geographic features of the local area.
• Visit a local community. Compare and contrast it with own community.
• Develop reciprocal relationship with students from another community. Create projects to teach students from other areas about the cultural and physical systems of communities.
• Investigate physical systems (e.g., water cycle, erosion, and glaciation).
• Identify and describe physical landforms in your area, including how they were formed or changed by physical systems or events (e.g., rivers, glaciers, earthquakes, volcanoes).
• Examine different habitats of your local area.
• Examine local resources and the ways they are used in local communities.
• List different modes of transporting goods, information, and services in your community and what types of jobs are needed for them.
• Use technology to gather, sort, and organize information for a variety of purposes.
• Judge the accuracy, value, and relevance of information gathered from a variety of sources (e.g., media, newspapers, Internet).

• Compare the figures of authority in a variety of communities.
• Develop, review, and revise classroom rules.
• Use regular classroom meetings to solve problems.
• Review and practice skills for conflict resolution within the family, the school, and the community.
• Define personal and collective power by role-playing appropriate and inappropriate ways of using it.
• Determine who has the authority to implement and uphold the rules within various situations (e.g., classroom, school, community, government).
• Consider the consequences of laws and rules and the limitations imposed on the individual.
• Interview community members involved in local issues and identify their positions.
• Identify a community problem and write letters to a newspaper editor and/or local and state officials.
• Visit a local newspaper, radio station, or Web site to determine how communication makes the world a global community.
• Discuss local elections (e.g., school board, city council, mayor).
• Learn how decisions are made concerning local resources (e.g., subsistence, river management).
• Use literature, art, and music to investigate cultural diversity and current issues.
• Read biographies of people involved in political and social changes, including biographical sketches of people in local communities.
• Use technology to gather, sort, and organize information for a variety of purposes.
• Use media sources to follow pertinent current events and begin to critically analyze the information gathered.
• Learn about community service and volunteering.  Consider community benefits as well as personal rewards derived from community projects.
• Participate in a school or community service project.
• Discuss the effects of local industry on your community and determine factors that influence the economy. 
• Invite community members in to discuss various occupations and the skills they require (e.g., reading, writing, math).
• Assess factors of supply and demand on a school project.
• Develop and practice disaster drills at school and at home, including evaluating current safety of classroom.

• Make a historical time line of the Kenai Peninsula.
• Study history of your community and the Kenai Peninsula using pictures, interviews of elders and others, artifacts, visits to historical sites, and books.
• Prepare a presentation on local history incorporating drawings, photos, interviews, and music.
• Examine past and present seasonal subsistence activities of local people, exploring cultural traditions and conflicting beliefs.
• Compare and contrast past and current needs of the community, including food, shelter, recreation, and kinds of work.
• Examine changing demographics in our communities.
• Write and illustrate events from personal, family, or community history.
• Examine Denaina, Russian, and European influences on the communities of the Kenai Peninsula.
• Explore how the development of roads and transportation has influenced our communities.
• Plan and carry out a community project.
• Relate the life of an early family to a present day family.  Include perspective on careers/work affecting men, women, and children.
• Study history through interpretations in the arts and literature.
• Read a variety of books to compare and contrast historical fiction and interpretations.
• Read diaries and journals representative of historical figures and events, including significant local individuals.
• Discuss what types of jobs may be needed to handle emerging global issues.
• Use technology to gather, sort, and organize information for a variety of purposes.
• Judge the accuracy, value, and relevance of information gathered from a variety of sources.

• Demonstration of appropriate behaviors
• Group and individual projects and presentations scored by a rubric.
• Maps and journals
• Opinion paper
• Participation in discussions and activities
• Personal or family history writing
• Projects, work samples, and presentations
• Record of community service
• Rubrics
• Student participation
• Student self assessment
• Written reports

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