Social Studies Fourth Grade

Social Studies
THEME: Human Life In Varied Environments: Regions of the United States
ALASKA THEME: Knowing My Alaskan Region, Southcentral Alaska, and Anchorage
 Grade 4

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
Basic map and globe reading skills     
Human adaptation of physical environments     
Regional government     
Regions of the United States      
Southcentral region of Alaska     

The major emphasis in the fourth grade is regions of the United States , including Southcentral Alaska.  These regions are:  Northeast Region, Southwest Region, Southeast Region, Midwest Region, Rocky Mountain Region, and the Pacific Region.  Cultural regions of the past and present may also be included.  The primary focus of regional social studies should include how people interact with government, economics, and geography.  Instruction should provide students with hands-on, in-depth experiences and exposure to high quality, relevant, multi-cultural literature.  All the basic map-globe-reading skills should be included in the program.  History may be included in the units of study to demonstrate how places have changed over time.

** 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. 


• Use a spatial perspective to study U.S. and Alaska Southcentral Regions by making, comparing, and interpreting maps and globes. (A1, A2)
• Analyze and understand earth’s geographical systems, such as land and water forms and geological systems. (A4)
• Examine, compare, and investigate cultural symbols and identity of U.S. regions. (B4, B5)

• Understand persisting issues involving rights, roles, and status of individuals and groups in relation to the general welfare. (A2)
• Understand and participate in the election process. (E2)
Identify groups who make, apply, interpret, and enforce rules and laws. (B8, E4)

• No Mastery items at this grade level

• Map and analyze the movement of people, products, and resources in and between regions. (E)
• Understand how and why maps are changing documents. (A3)
Analyze and utilize information about the distinctive geographical features, the culture, and the changes of regions. (B1)
Evaluate and discuss the impact of human modifications to the environment and the environment’s impact on humans. (E5)
Investigate diversity and the productivity of environments. (C3)
Use a geographic perspective to analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to global issues. (E, F)

• Explore the extrinsic and intrinsic value of civic participation. (E6)
• Explore the sharing of power among people, branches, and levels of government (i.e., federal, state, local). (B4)
• Examine and apply the fundamental ideas of equality, authority, power, freedom, justice, privacy, property, and responsibility. (B3)
• Analyze the rights, responsibilities, and roles of citizenship. (E1, 2)
• Explore the economic factors that influence regional growth and development. (F, G)
Know how to distinguish among national, state, and local governments. (G)

• * Compare/contrast family traditions and customs. (A6, B1)
• Identify cultural diversity. (A1, C, C2)
• * Compare and contrast how groups, societies, and cultures address similar needs and concerns. (A5)
• 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 recorded in different voices representing different perspectives. (A5)
• Demonstrate that history relies on interpretation of evidence, which is subject to change. (A2)
• * Place significant ideas, institutions, people, and events within time sequences. (A1)
• * Demonstrate understanding that history is composed of key turning points. (A7)

* Meets Cultural Standards

• Use geographical perspective to analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to global issues.
• Discuss how conflict and cooperation shape social, economic, and political use of space.

• Investigate causes, consequences, and possible solutions to pertinent issues.
• Relate the importance of individuals, media, public opinion, diversity, law, and dissent to school and local issues.
• Explore ideals as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

• Demonstrate that history relies on interpretation and historical fiction.
• Apply critical thinking to examine history.
• Discuss the consequences of peace and violent conflict.
• Define personal positions on issues.
• Use historic perspectives to analyze world events and explore personal positions including the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to global issues.

* 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).

• Participate in community.
• Investigate current events.
• Develop rules for the classroom.
• Elect class officers to establish rules, consequences, and conflict resolution.
• Identify and explain an issue of public concern that is a personal interest (e.g., a bike trail or nature trail).
• Determine how the demand for products from other places in the world changes or influences a region (e.g., sport fishing on the Kenai River vs. commercial fishing in Cook Inlet, logging vs. no logging on the Kenai Peninsula).
• Examine the structure of the Kenai Peninsula Borough government.
• Identify a school problem.  Research its history and present a plan of action to the principal or parent group.
• Learn about service learning.
• Understand local election/voting process.
• Discuss how the development of natural resources has changed on the Kenai Peninsula (e.g., fishing, coal, gold, oil, tourism).
• Determine why major regional industrial centers are located on river systems or along coastlines.
• Practice conflict resolution.

• Describe and present family history in a picture timeline, drawing, or an oral presentation.
• Discuss key historical events in the geographic regions of the United States (Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific).
• Identify the Native groups that live within the regions of the U.S., including the study of regional art and music.
• Discuss Native American perspectives through literature.
• Interview a senior citizen to obtain understandings of life in the past.
• Identify the Native groups in Southcentral Alaska.
• Analyze the cause and effect of key turning points in history.
• Visit a museum and identify subsistence items that have been used for trade.
• Examine the consequences of Russian settlement in Southcentral Alaska.
• Learn about significant local people, past and present, and describe how they have shaped transportation, communication, or public utilities in the community.
• Identify a famous historical person and, through research, create and perform a character speech in costume.
• Become a historical figure and give an oral presentation.
• Consider a critical issue of a region and discuss various aspects, pro and con, of the issue (e.g., spruce beetle).
• Anecdotal records
• Content testing
• Construction of a “personal” budget
• Diagram of “your” economic system
• Group and individual multimedia projects and presentations scored by a rubric
• Opinion paper
• Participation in an economic simulation
• Participation in discussions and activities – mock situations and role playing
• Personal history writing, such as pictures and journals
• Projects, work samples, presentations (group or individual) scored on a rubric
• Record of civic/community service
• Research projects
• Rubrics
• Self and peer assessment with a rubric
• Timeline
• Written report