Vermont Learning Opportunities for Social Studies — Grade K

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Students initiate an inquiry byDeveloping a question by completing prompts, I wonder?, Why?, How is this like?.


Students show understanding of past, present, and future time byPlacing events from their lives in their correct sequence. Constructing a timeline of events in their own lives. Differentiating between broad categories of historical time(e.g., long, long ago; yesterday, today, tomorrow; past, present, and future). Identifying an important event in their lives.


Students interpret geography and solve geographic problems byVerbalizing their names and addresses. Recognizing that neighborhood spaces are defined by boundaries yard, playground, sidewalk, roads. Describing or identifying a map or globe. Using vocabulary which defines location in space (e.g. near, far, above, below). Using a simple map to find something. Creating a simple map showing the student in relation to some other meaningful place (e.g., using a flannel board to show the location of the students desk in the classroom).


Students show understanding of human interaction with the environment over time byIdentifying ways in which they take care of or hurt the environment (e.g., recycling vs. littering, planting trees and flowers). Identifying ways in which they adapt to their physical environment (e.g., dressing for seasonal weather, outdoor play opportunities).


Students analyze how and why cultures continue and change over time byIdentifying ways culture is expressed in their families (e.g., celebrations, food, and traditions). Understanding and appreciating that he or she is alike and different from other people in many different ways (e.g., personal physical characteristics, likes and dislikes).


Students act as citizens byIdentifying various groups that they belong to (e.g., Im a part of a family, Im a part of a class, Im a part of a school, etc.). Demonstrating positive interaction with group members (e.g., sharing play space). Contributing to the life of the class and the school.


Students show understanding of various forms of government by Identifying the need for rules in a variety of settings, and demonstrating appropriate behavior in a variety of settings (e.g., classroom, playground, field trip). Explaining that rules are established for the benefit of individuals and groups. Identifying authority figures who make, apply, and enforce rules (e.g., at home, in the family, school personnel, police, firefighters, etc.), and how these people help to meet the needs of the people in the community.


Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence byPracticing communication skills with individuals and groups. Identifying feelings that might lead to conflict (e.g., what happens when two people want the same thing?).


Students examine how access to various institutions affects justice, reward, and power byNaming various social, economic, and governmental institutions in their community (e.g., schools, churches, post office, grocery store, etc.).


Students show an understanding of the interaction/ interdependence between humans, the environment, and the economy by Participating in activities as a buyer or seller (e.g., bake sale, school store, etc.). Identifying economic activities that use resources in the local region (e.g., farmers markets). Identifying jobs people do in the home and school.


Students show understanding of the interconnectedness between government and the economy byDescribing ways in which people exchange money for goods.


Students develop a hypothesis, thesis, or research statement bySharing ideas about possible answers to questions (e.g., What might we see on a field trip to a factory?).


Students make economic decisions as a consumer, producer, saver, investor, and citizen byRecognizing the differences between the basic needs and wants (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, and affection vs. toys and sweets). Explaining why people earn, spend, and save.


Students design research byIdentifying resources for finding answers to their questions (e.g., books, videos, and people).Explaining what their jobs will be during an inquiry investigation (e.g., drawing pictures after a field trip).Identifying ways they will show what they have learned.


Students conduct research byFollowing directions to complete an inquiry.Asking questions and observing during the investigation process.Recording observations with words, numbers, symbols, and/or pictures (e.g., drawing or labeling a diagram, creating a title for a drawing or diagram, recording data provided by the teacher in a table).


Students develop reasonable explanations that support the research statement byOrganizing and displaying information (e.g., pictograph, bar graph, chart, building blocks).Analyzing evidence (e.g., sorting objects, justifying groupings, role playing).


Students make connections to research byDiscussing if their findings answered their research question.Proposing solutions to problems and asking other questions.


Students communicate their findings bySpeaking, using pictures (e.g., sharing ideas or artifacts with classmates) or writing a story or letter by dictating ideas to a teache


Students connect the past with the present by Recognizing objects from long ago and today (e.g., a slate was used long ago and a computer is used today). Describing ways that family life has both changed and stayed the same over time (e.g., chores in the past vs. chores today). Identifying how events and people have shaped their families (e.g., How does life change when one starts school?).


Students show understanding of how humans interpret history by Collecting information about the past by interviewing a parent or grandparent for family or personal history. Differentiating among fact, opinion, and interpretation when sharing stories or retelling events, especially those that relate to family and friends. i