Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Social Studies — Grade 4

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Use reference points, latitude and longitude, direction, size, shape, and scale to locate positions on various representations of the earth's surface


Locate on a map or globe physical features such as continents, oceans, mountain ranges, and land forms, natural features such as resources, flora, and fauna; and human features such as cities, states, and national borders


Construct a map of the world from memory, showing the location of major land masses, bodies of water, and mountain ranges


Describe and give examples of ways in which people interact with the physical environment, including use of land, location of communities, methods of construction, and design of shelters


Use atlases, databases, grid systems, charts, graphs, and maps to gather information about the local community, Wisconsin, the United States, and the world


Identify and distinguish between predictable environmental changes, such as weather patterns and seasons, and unpredictable changes, such as floods and droughts, and describe the social and economic effects of these changes


Identify connections between the local community and other places in Wisconsin, the United States, and the world


Identify major changes in the local community that have been caused by human beings, such as a construction project, a new highway, a building torn down, or a fire; discuss reasons for these changes; and explain their probable effects on the community and the environment


Give examples to show how scientific and technological knowledge has led to environmental changes, such as pollution prevention measures, air-conditioning, and solar heating


Identify and examine various sources of information that are used for constructing an understanding of the past, such as artifacts, documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, paintings, architecture, oral presentations, graphs, and charts


Explain the history, culture, tribal sovereignty, and current status of the American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin


Use a timeline to select, organize, and sequence information describing eras in history


Examine biographies, stories, narratives, and folk tales to understand the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people, place them in time and context, and explain their relationship to important historical events


Compare and contrast changes in contemporary life with life in the past by looking at social, economic, political, and cultural roles played by individuals and groups


Identify the historical background and meaning of important political values such as freedom, democracy, and justice


Explain the significance of national and state holidays, such as Independence Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and national and state symbols, such as the United States flag and the state flags


Identify and describe important events and famous people in Wisconsin and United States history


Compare past and present technologies related to energy, transportation, and communications and describe the effects of technological change, either beneficial or harmful, on people and the environment


Describe examples of cooperation and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations


Identify and explain the individual's responsibilities to family, peers, and the community, including the need for civility and respect for diversity


Identify the documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, in which the rights of citizens in our country are guaranteed.


Explain how families, schools, and other groups develop, enforce, and change rules of behavior and explain how various behaviors promote or hinder cooperation


Explain the basic purpose of government in American society, recognizing the three levels of government


Explain how various forms of civic action such as running for political office, voting, signing an initiative, and speaking at hearings, can contribute to the well-being of the community


Locate, organize, and use relevant information to understand an issue in the classroom or school, while taking into account the viewpoints and interests of different groups and individuals


Describe and explain of the role of money, banking, and savings in everyday life


Identify situations requiring an allocation of limited economic resources and appraise the opportunity cost (for example, spending one's allowance on a movie will mean less money saved for a new video game)


Identify local goods and services that are part of the global economy and explain their use in Wisconsin


Give examples to explain how businesses and industry depend upon workers with specialized skills to make production more efficient


Distinguish between private goods and services (for example, the family car or a local restaurant) and public goods and services (for example, the interstate highway system or the United States Postal Service)


Identify the economic roles of various institutions, including households, businesses, and government


Describe how personal economic decisions, such as deciding what to buy, what to recycle, or how much to contribute to people in need, can affect the lives of people in Wisconsin, the United States, and the world


Explain the influence of prior knowledge, motivation, capabilities, personal interests, and other factors on individual learning


Give examples and explain how the media may influence opinions, choices, and decisions.


Give examples and explain how language, stories, folk tales, music, and other artistic creations are expressions of culture and how they convey knowledge of other peoples and cultures


Give examples of important contributions made by Wisconsin citizens, United States citizens, and world citizens


Investigate and explain similarities and differences in ways that cultures meet human needs


Describe how differences in cultures may lead to understanding or misunderstanding among people


Describe instances of cooperation and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations, such as helping others in famines and disasters


Explain the influence of factors such as family, neighborhood, personal interests, language, likes and dislikes, and accomplishments on individual identity and development


Describe how families are alike and different, comparing characteristics such as size, hobbies, celebrations, where families live, and how they make a living


Describe the ways in which ethnic cultures influence the daily lives of people


Identify and describe institutions such as school, church, police, and family and describe their contributions to the well being of the community, state, nation, and global society


Give examples of group and institutional influences such as laws, rules, and peer pressure on people, events, and culture


Explain the reasons why individuals respond in different ways to a particular event and the ways in which interactions among individuals influence behavior


Describe and distinguish among the values and beliefs of different groups and institutions


Explain how people learn about others who are different from themselves