Georgia Social Studies Standards — Grade 4

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The student will describe the meaning of a. Natural rights as found in the Declaration of Independence (the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). b. We the people from the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution as a reflection of consent of the governed or popular sovereignty. c. The federal system of government in the U.S.


The student will explain the importance of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.


The student will describe the functions of government. a. Explain the process for making and enforcing laws. b. Explain managing conflicts and protecting rights. c. Describe providing for the defense of the nation. d. Explain limiting the power of people in authority. e. Explain the fiscal responsibility of government.


The student will explain the importance of Americans sharing certain central democratic beliefs and principles, both personal and civic. a. Explain the necessity of respecting the rights of others and promoting the common good. b. Explain the necessity of obeying reasonable laws/rules voluntarily, and explain why it is important for citizens in a democratic society to participate in public (civic) life (staying informed, voting, volunteering, communicating with public officials).


The student will name positive character traits of key historical figures and government leaders (honesty, patriotism, courage, trustworthiness).


The student will use the basic economic concepts of trade, opportunity cost, specialization, voluntary exchange, productivity, and price incentives to illustrate historical events. a. Describe opportunity costs and their relationship to decision-making across time (such as decisions to send expeditions to North and South America). b. Explain how price incentives affect peoples behavior and choices (such as colonial decisions about what crops to grow and products to produce). c. Describe how specialization improves standards of living (such as the differences in the economies in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies). d. Explain how voluntary exchange helps both buyers and sellers (such as prehistoric and colonial trade in North America). e. Describe how trade promotes economic activity (such as how trade between the colonies and England affected their economies). f. Give examples of technological advancements and their impact on business productivity during the development of the United States (such as the steamboat, the steam locomotive, and the telegraph).


The student will identify the elements of a personal budget and explain why personal spending and saving decisions are important.


The student will be able to locate important physical and man-made features in the United States. a. Locate major physical features of the United States; include the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Great Plains, the Continental Divide, the Great Basin, Death Valley, the Gulf of Mexico, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes. b. Locate major man-made features; include New York City, NY; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; and the Erie Canal.


The student will describe how physical systems affect human systems. a. Explain why each of the Native American groups (SS4H1a) occupied the areas they did, with emphasis on why some developed permanent villages and others did not. b. Describe how the early explorers (SS4H2a) adapted, or failed to adapt, to the various physical environments in which they traveled. c. Explain how the physical geography of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies helped determine economic activities practiced therein. d. Explain how each force (American and British) attempted to use the physical geography of each battle site to its benefit (SS4H4c). e. Describe physical barriers that hindered and physical gateways that benefited territorial expansion from 1801 to 1861 (SS4H6a).


The student will describe how early Native American cultures developed in North America. a. Locate where Native Americans settled with emphasis on the Arctic (Inuit), Northwest (Kwakiutl), Plateau (Nez Perce), Southwest (Hopi), Plains (Pawnee), and Southeast (Seminole). b. Describe how Native Americans used their environment to obtain food, clothing, and shelter.


The student will describe European exploration in North America. a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Nez de Balboa, Juan Ponce de Len, Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Jacques Cartier. b. Describe examples of cooperation and conflict between Europeans and Native Americans.


The student will explain the factors that shaped British colonial America. a. Compare and contrast life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies. b. Describe colonial life in America as experienced by various people, including large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, indentured servants, slaves, and Native Americans.


The student will explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution. a. Trace the events that shaped the revolutionary movement in America, including the French and Indian War, British Imperial Policy that led to the 1765 Stamp Act, the slogan no taxation without representation, the activities of the Sons of Liberty, and the Boston Tea Party. b. Explain the writing of the Declaration of Independence; include who wrote it, how it was written, why it was necessary, and how it was a response to tyranny and the abuse of power. c. Describe the major events of the American Revolution and explain the factors leading to American victory and British defeat; include the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Saratoga, and Yorktown. d. Describe key individuals in the American Revolution with emphasis on King George III, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, Patrick Henry, and John Adams.


The student will analyze the challenges faced by the new nation. a. Identify the weaknesses of the government established by the Articles of Confederation. b. Identify the major leaders of the Constitutional Convention (James Madison and Benjamin Franklin) and describe the major issues they debated, including the rights of states, the Great Compromise, and slavery. c. Identify the three branches of the U. S. government as outlined by the Constitution, describe what they do, how they relate to each other (checks and balances and separation of power), and how they relate to the states. d. Identify and explain the rights in the Bill of Rights, describe how the Bill of Rights places limits on the power of government, and explain the reasons for its inclusion in the Constitution in 1791. e. Describe the causes and events of the War of 1812; include the burning of the Capitol and the White House.


The student will explain westward expansion of America between 1801 and 1861. a. Describe territorial expansion with emphasis on the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Texas (the Alamo and independence), Oregon (Oregon Trail), and California (Gold Rush and the development of mining towns). b. Describe the impact of the steamboat, the steam locomotive, and the telegraph on life in America. c. Describe the impact of westward expansion on Native Americans.


The student will examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements. a. Discuss the biographies of Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. b. Explain the significance of Sojourner Truth to the abolition and suffrage movements.