History–Social Science Content Standards

for California Public Schools


Kindergarten Through Grade Five


Message from the State Board of Education

and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction


Seventeen years ago the report A Nation at Risk, by the National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983), brought squarely to our attention a “rising tide of mediocrity” in our schools. An era of education reform began. The results were somewhat uneven. The reform movement did stimulate important infrastructure improvements: instructional time was increased, high school diplomas came to signify the completion of minimum course requirements, and emphasis was placed on local planning efforts to improve the schools’ efficiency and effectiveness.

A shortcoming of the movement up to this point has been the lack of focus on rigorous academic standards. The desire to improve student achievement guided the effort, but it lacked a comprehensive, specific vision of what students actually needed to know and be able to do.

 Standards are a bold initiative.

With the adoption of content standards, California is going beyond reform. We are redefining the state’s role in public education. For the first time, we are stating—explicitly—the content that students need to acquire at each grade level from kindergarten to grade twelve. These standards are rigorous. With student mastery of this content, California schools will be on a par with those in the best educational systems in other states and nations. The content is attainable by all students, given sufficient time, except for those few who have severe disabilities. We regard the standards as firm but not unyielding; they will be modified in future years to reflect new research and scholarship.

Standards describe what to teach, not how to teach it. Standards-based education maintains California’s tradition of respect for local control of schools. To help students achieve at high levels, local school officials and teachers—with the full support and cooperation of families, businesses, and community partners—are encouraged to take these standards and design the specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students.

Standards are an enduring commitment, not a passing fancy. Every initiative in public education, especially one so bold as establishing high standards, has its skeptics. “Just wait a while,” they say, “stan-dards, too, will pass.” We intend to prove the skeptics wrong, and we intend to do that by completely aligning state efforts to these standards, including the statewide testing program, curriculum frameworks, instructional materials, professional development, preservice education, and compliance review. We will see a generation of educators who think of standards not as a new layer but as the foundation itself. Standards are our commitment to excellence.

Fifteen years from now, we are convinced, the adoption of standards will be viewed as the signal event that began a “rising tide of excellence” in our schools. No more will the critical question What should my child be learning? be met with uncertainty of knowledge, purpose, or resolve. These standards answer the question. They are comprehensive and specific. They represent our commitment to excellence.



California State Board of Education


State Superintendent of Public Instruction



 The California State Board of Education has worked hard with the Academic Standards Commission to develop history–social science standards that reflect California’s commitment to history–social science education. These standards emphasize historical narrative, highlight the roles of significant individuals throughout history, and convey the rights and obligations of citizenship. In that spirit the standards proceed chronologically and call attention to the story of America as a noble experiment in a constitutional republic. They recognize that America’s ongoing struggle to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution is the struggle to maintain our beautifully complex national heritage of e pluribus unum. While the standards emphasize Western civilizations as the source of American political institutions, laws, and ideology, they also expect students to analyze the changing political relationships within and among other countries and regions of the world, both throughout history and within the context of contemporary global interdependence.

The standards serve as the basis for statewide assessments, curriculum frame-works, and instructional materials, but methods of instructional delivery remain the responsibility of local educators.

Development of the Standards

The recommended history–social science standards build on the work of exemplary documents from both within and outside California, most notably the History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, a document strengthened by the consensus that elicited it and nationally recognized for its emphasis on historical events presented within a chronological and geographic context.

The standards reflect guidance and input from countless members of the California teaching community and other citizens who attended the meetings of the State Board and Standards Commission. Their input contributed substantively to the discussions and the drafts, as did the input gathered from the nine directed community input meetings hosted by the Standards Commission throughout the state in January 1998 and from the five field hearings held by the State Board throughout the state in August 1998. At those forums, parents, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders helped define key issues.

Current practice and the state of history–social science instruction in California were also given special consideration during the process. In addition, history–social science experts from around the nation reviewed and submitted formal comments on the first and second drafts. The more than 70 reviewers included eminent historians, geographers, economists, and political scientists. Their input helped immeasurably to strengthen the rigor and quality of the standards.

Highlights of the Standards

With the History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools as a guide to the eras and civilizations to study, these standards require students not only to acquire core knowledge in history and social science, but also to develop the critical thinking skills that historians and social scientists employ to study the past and its relationship to the present. It is possible to spend a lifetime studying history and not learn about every significant historical event; no one can know everything. However, the State Board hopes that during their years of formal schooling, students will learn to distinguish the important from the unimportant, to recognize vital connections between the present and the past, and to appreciate universal historical themes and dilemmas.

Throughout this document, the use of biographies, original documents, diaries, letters, legends, speeches, and other narrative artifacts from our past is encouraged to foster students’ understanding of historical events by revealing the ideas, values, fears, and dreams of the people associated with them. Found in archives, museums, historical sites, and libraries across California, these original materials are indispensable resources. The State Board hopes schools will take advantage of these repositories and encourage students’ direct contact with history. The standards also emphasize the importance of enriching the study of history through the use of literature, both from and about the period being studied.

Mastery of these standards will ensure that students not only know the facts, but also understand common and complex themes throughout history, making connections among their own lives, the lives of the people who came before them, and the lives of those to come. The statements at the beginning of each grade provide a brief overview of the greater story under study.

The overarching statements in each grade and their substatements function as conceptual units: the numbered items under each overarching standard delineate aspects of the bigger concept that students are expected to master. In this way, teachers and assessors can focus on the concept without neglecting the essential components of each.

The standards include many exemplary lists of historical figures that could be studied. These examples are illustrative. They do not suggest that all of the figures mentioned are required for study, nor do they exclude the study of additional figures that may be relevant to the standards.

The standards do not exist in isolation. The History–Social Science Framework will be revised to align with the standards, and it will include suggested ways to relate the standards’ substance to students, ways to make connections within and across grades, and detailed guidance for day-to-day instruction and lesson plans. Teachers should use these documents together.

Knowledge and skills increase in complexity in a systematic fashion from kindergarten through grade twelve, although no standards exist for grade nine in deference to current California practice in which grade nine is the year students traditionally choose a history–social science elective. However, in the coming years, the State Board intends to review this current practice.

In kindergarten through grade three, students are introduced to the basic concepts of each discipline: history, geography, civics, and economics. Beginning at grade four, the disciplines are woven together within the standards at each grade.

The critical thinking skills that support the study of history–social science are outlined in the sections for grades five, eight, and ten. To approach subject matter as historians, geographers, economists, and political scientists, students are expected to employ these skills as they master the content.

While the State Board recognizes that it will take both time and changes in policies for schools, teachers, and students to meet these standards, we believe it can and must be done. When students master the content and develop the skills contained in these standards, they will be well equipped for the twenty-first century.


Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills

The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for kindergarten through grade five. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in kindergarten through grade five. In addition to the standards for kindergarten through grade five, students demonstrate the following intellectual, reasoning, reflection, and research skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

 1. Students place key events and people of the historical era they are studying in a chrono-logical sequence and within a spatial context; they interpret time lines.

2. Students correctly apply terms related to time, including past, present, future, decade, century, and generation.

3. Students explain how the present is connected to the past, identifying both similarities and differences between the two, and how some things change over time and some things stay the same.

4. Students use map and globe skills to determine the absolute locations of places and interpret information available through a map’s or globe’s legend, scale, and symbolic representations.

5. Students judge the significance of the relative location of a place (e.g., proximity to a harbor, on trade routes) and analyze how relative advantages or disadvantages can change over time.


Research, Evidence, and Point of View

 1. Students differentiate between primary and secondary sources.

2. Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.

3. Students distinguish fact from fiction by comparing documentary sources on historical figures and events with fictionalized characters and events.


Historical Interpretation

 1. Students summarize the key events of the era they are studying and explain the historical contexts of those events.

2. Students identify the human and physical characteristics of the places they are studying and explain how those features form the unique character of those places.

3. Students identify and interpret the multiple causes and effects of historical events.

4. Students conduct cost-benefit analyses of historical and current events.


Kindergarten - Learning and Working

Now and Long Ago

Students in kindergarten are introduced to basic spatial, temporal, and causal relation-ships, emphasizing the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe the range and continuity of human experience and introduce the concepts of courage, self-control, justice, heroism, leadership, deliberation, and individual responsibility. Historical empathy for how people lived and worked long ago reinforces the concept of civic behavior: how we interact respectfully with each other, following rules, and respecting the rights of others.


K.1 Students understand that being a good citizen involves acting in certain ways.

1. Follow rules, such as sharing and taking turns, and know the consequences of breaking them.

2. Learn examples of honesty, courage, determination, individual responsibility, and patriotism in American and world history from stories and folklore.

3. Know beliefs and related behaviors of characters in stories from times past and understand the consequences of the characters’ actions.

K.2 Students recognize national and state symbols and icons such as the national and state flags, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty.

K.3 Students match simple descriptions of work that people do and the names of related jobs at the school, in the local community, and from historical accounts.

K.4 Students compare and contrast the locations of people, places, and environments and describe their characteristics.

1. Determine the relative locations of objects using the terms near/far, left/right, and behind/in front.

2. Distinguish between land and water on maps and globes and locate general areas referenced in historical legends and stories.

3. Identify traffic symbols and map symbols (e.g., those for land, water, roads, cities).

4. Construct maps and models of neighborhoods, incorporating such structures as police and fire stations, airports, banks, hospitals, supermarkets, harbors, schools, homes, places of worship, and transportation lines.

5. Demonstrate familiarity with the school’s layout, environs, and the jobs people do there.

K.5 Students put events in temporal order using a calendar, placing days, weeks, and months in proper order.

K.6 Students understand that history relates to events, people, and places of other times.

1. Identify the purposes of, and the people and events honored in, commemorative holidays, including the human struggles that were the basis for the events (e.g., Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day).

2. Know the triumphs in American legends and historical accounts through the stories of such people as Pocahontas, George Washington, Booker T. Washington, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Franklin.

3. Understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives would be different today (e.g., getting water from a well, growing food, making clothing, having fun, forming organizations, living by rules and laws).


Grade One - A Child’s Place in Time and Space


Students in grade one continue a more detailed treatment of the broad concepts of rights and responsibilities in the contemporary world. The classroom serves as a microcosm of society in which decisions are made with respect for individual responsibility, for other people, and for the rules by which we all must live: fair play, good sportsman-ship, and respect for the rights and opinions of others. Students examine the geographic and economic aspects of life in their own neighborhoods and compare them to those of people long ago. Students explore the varied backgrounds of American citizens and learn about the symbols, icons, and songs that reflect our common heritage.


1.1 Students describe the rights and individual responsibilities of citizenship.

1. Understand the rule-making process in a direct democracy (everyone votes on the rules) and in a representative democracy (an elected group of people make the rules), giving examples of both systems in their classroom, school, and community.

2. Understand the elements of fair play and good sportsmanship, respect for the rights and opinions of others, and respect for rules by which we live, including the meaning of the “Golden Rule.”

1.2 Students compare and contrast the absolute and relative locations of places and people and describe the physical and/or human characteristics of places.

1. Locate on maps and globes their local community, California, the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans.

2. Compare the information that can be derived from a three-dimensional model to the infor-mation that can be derived from a picture of the same location.

3. Construct a simple map, using cardinal directions and map symbols.

4. Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation.

1.3 Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across time.

1. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing songs that express American ideals (e.g., “My Country ’Tis of Thee”).

2. Understand the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them.

3. Identify American symbols, landmarks, and essential documents, such as the flag, bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and know the people and events associated with them.

1.4 Students compare and contrast everyday life in different times and places around the world and recognize that some aspects of people, places, and things change over time while others stay the same.

1. Examine the structure of schools and communities in the past.

2. Study transportation methods of earlier days.

3. Recognize similarities and differences of earlier generations in such areas as work (inside and outside the home), dress, manners, stories, games, and festivals, drawing from biographies, oral histories, and folklore.


1.5 Students describe the human characteristics of familiar places and the varied backgrounds of American citizens and residents in those places.

1. Recognize the ways in which they are all part of the same community, sharing principles, goals, and traditions despite their varied ancestry; the forms of diversity in their school and community; and the benefits and challenges of a diverse population.

2. Understand the ways in which American Indians and immigrants have helped define Californian and American culture.

3. Compare the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, traditions, and social practices of the varied cultures, drawing from folklore.

1. 6 Students understand basic economic concepts and the role of individual choice in a free-market economy.

1. Understand the concept of exchange and the use of money to purchase goods and services.

2. Identify the specialized work that people do to manufacture, transport, and market goods and services and the contributions of those who work in the home.


Grade Two - People Who Make a Difference


Students in grade two explore the lives of actual people who make a difference in their everyday lives and learn the stories of extraordinary people from history whose achievements have touched them, directly or indirectly. The study of contemporary people who supply goods and services aids in understanding the complex interdependence in our free-market system.


2.1 Students differentiate between things that happened long ago and things that happened yesterday.

1. Trace the history of a family through the use of primary and secondary sources, including artifacts, photographs, interviews, and documents.

2. Compare and contrast their daily lives with those of their parents, grandparents, and/or guardians.

3. Place important events in their lives in the order in which they occurred (e.g., on a time line or storyboard).

2.2 Students demonstrate map skills by describing the absolute and relative locations of people, places, and environments.

1. Locate on a simple letter-number grid system the specific locations and geographic features in their neighborhood or community (e.g., map of the classroom, the school).

2. Label from memory a simple map of the North American continent, including the countries, oceans, Great Lakes, major rivers, and mountain ranges. Identify the essen-tial map elements: title, legend, directional indicator, scale, and date.

3. Locate on a map where their ancestors live(d), telling when the family moved to the local community and how and why they made the trip.

4. Compare and contrast basic land use in urban, suburban, and rural environments in California.

2.3 Students explain governmental institutions and practices in the United States and other countries.

1. Explain how the United States and other countries make laws, carry out laws, determine whether laws have been violated, and punish wrongdoers.

2. Describe the ways in which groups and nations interact with one another to try to resolve problems in such areas as trade, cultural contacts, treaties, diplomacy, and military force.

2.4 Students understand basic economic concepts and their individual roles in the economy and demonstrate basic economic reasoning skills.

1. Describe food production and consumption long ago and today, including the roles of farmers, processors, distributors, weather, and land and water resources.

2. Understand the role and interdependence of buyers (consumers) and sellers (produc-ers) of goods and services.

3. Understand how limits on resources affect production and consumption (what to produce and what to consume).

2.5 Students understand the importance of individual action and character and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past have made a difference in others’ lives (e.g., from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Sitting Bull, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Jackie Robinson, Sally Ride).


Grade Three - Continuity and Change


Students in grade three learn more about our connections to the past and the ways in which particularly local, but also regional and national, government and traditions have developed and left their marks on current society, providing common memories. Emphasis is on the physical and cultural landscape of California, including the study of American Indians, the subsequent arrival of immigrants, and the impact they have had in forming the character of our contemporary society.

 3.1 Students describe the physical and human geography and use maps, tables, graphs, photographs, and charts to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.

1. Identify geographical features in their local region (e.g., deserts, mountains, valleys, hills, coastal areas, oceans, lakes).

2. Trace the ways in which people have used the resources of the local region and modified the physical environment (e.g., a dam constructed upstream changed a river or coastline).

3.2 Students describe the American Indian nations in their local region long ago and in the recent past.

1. Describe national identities, religious beliefs, customs, and various folklore traditions.

2. Discuss the ways in which physical geography, including climate, influenced how the local Indian nations adapted to their natural environment (e.g., how they obtained food, clothing, tools).

3. Describe the economy and systems of government, particularly those with tribal constitutions, and their relationship to federal and state governments.

4. Discuss the interaction of new settlers with the already established Indians of the region.

3.3 Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.

1. Research the explorers who visited here, the newcomers who settled here, and the people who continue to come to the region, including their cultural and religious traditions and contributions.

2. Describe the economies established by settlers and their influence on the present-day economy, with emphasis on the importance of private property and entrepreneurship.

3. Trace why their community was established, how individuals and families contributed to its founding and development, and how the community has changed over time, drawing on maps, photographs, oral histories, letters, newspapers, and other primary sources.

3.4 Students understand the role of rules and laws in our daily lives and the basic structure of the U.S. government.

1. Determine the reasons for rules, laws, and the U.S. Constitution; the role of citizenship in the promotion of rules and laws; and the consequences for people who violate rules and laws.

2. Discuss the importance of public virtue and the role of citizens, including how to participate in a classroom, in the community, and in civic life.

3. Know the histories of important local and national landmarks, symbols, and essential documents that create a sense of community among citizens and exemplify cherished ideals (e.g., the U.S. flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Capitol).

4. Understand the three branches of government, with an emphasis on local government.

5. Describe the ways in which California, the other states, and sovereign American Indian tribes contribute to the making of our nation and participate in the federal system of government.

6. Describe the lives of American heroes who took risks to secure our freedoms (e.g., Anne Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr.).

3.5 Students demonstrate basic economic reasoning skills and an understanding of the economy of the local region.

1. Describe the ways in which local producers have used and are using natural resources, human resources, and capital resources to produce goods and services in the past and the present.

2. Understand that some goods are made locally, some elsewhere in the United States, and some abroad.

3. Understand that individual economic choices involve trade-offs and the evaluation of benefits and costs.

4. Discuss the relationship of students’ “work” in school and their personal human capital.



 Fourth Grade - California: A Changing State

Students learn the story of their home state, unique in American history in terms of its vast and varied geography, its many waves of immigration beginning with pre-Columbian societies, its continuous diversity, economic energy, and rapid growth. In addition to the specific treatment of milestones in California history, students examine the state in the context of the rest of the nation, with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the relationship between state and federal government.

 4.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California.

1. Explain and use the coordinate grid system of latitude and longitude to determine the absolute locations of places in California and on Earth.

2. Distinguish between the North and South Poles; the equator and the prime meridian; the tropics; and the hemispheres, using coordinates to plot locations.

3. Identify the state capital and describe the various regions of California, including how their characteristics and physical environments (e.g., water, landforms, vegetation, climate) affect human activity.

4. Identify the locations of the Pacific Ocean, rivers, valleys, and mountain passes and explain their effects on the growth of towns.

5. Use maps, charts, and pictures to describe how communities in California vary in land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services, and transportation.

4.2 Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.

1. Discuss the major nations of California Indians, including their geographic distribution, economic activities, legends, and religious beliefs; and describe how they depended on, adapted to, and modified the physical environment by cultivation of land and use of sea resources.

2. Identify the early land and sea routes to, and European settlements in, California with a focus on the exploration of the North Pacific (e.g., by Captain James Cook, Vitus Bering, Juan Cabrillo), noting especially the importance of mountains, deserts, ocean currents, and wind patterns.

3. Describe the Spanish exploration and colonization of California, including the relationships among soldiers, missionaries, and Indians (e.g., Juan Crespi, Junipero Serra, Gaspar de Portola).

4. Describe the mapping of, geographic basis of, and economic factors in the placement and function of the Spanish missions; and understand how the mission system expanded the influence of Spain and Catholicism throughout New Spain and Latin America.

5. Describe the daily lives of the people, native and nonnative, who occupied the presidios, missions, ranchos, and pueblos.

6. Discuss the role of the Franciscans in changing the economy of California from a hunter-gatherer economy to an agricultural economy.

7. Describe the effects of the Mexican War for Independence on Alta California, including its effects on the territorial boundaries of North America.

8. Discuss the period of Mexican rule in California and its attributes, including land grants, secularization of the missions, and the rise of the rancho economy.

4.3 Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood.

1. Identify the locations of Mexican settlements in California and those of other settle-ments, including Fort Ross and Sutter’s Fort.

2. Compare how and why people traveled to California and the routes they traveled (e.g., James Beckwourth, John Bidwell, John C. Fremont, Pio Pico).

3. Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physi-cal environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).

4. Study the lives of women who helped build early California (e.g., Biddy Mason).

5. Discuss how California became a state and how its new government differed from those during the Spanish and Mexican periods.

4.4 Students explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its political and cultural development since the 1850s.

1. Understand the story and lasting influence of the Pony Express, Overland Mail Ser-vice, Western Union, and the building of the transcontinental railroad, including the contributions of Chinese workers to its construction.

2. Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California, including the types of products produced and consumed, changes in towns (e.g., Sacramento, San Francisco), and economic conflicts between diverse groups of people.

3. Discuss immigration and migration to California between 1850 and 1900, including the diverse composition of those who came; the countries of origin and their relative locations; and conflicts and accords among the diverse groups (e.g., the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act).

4. Describe rapid American immigration, internal migration, settlement, and the growth

of towns and cities (e.g., Los Angeles).

5. Discuss the effects of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and World War II on California.

6. Describe the development and locations of new industries since the turn of the cen-tury,

such as the aerospace industry, electronics industry, large-scale commercial agriculture and irrigation projects, the oil and automobile industries, communications and defense industries, and important trade links with the Pacific Basin.

7. Trace the evolution of California’s water system into a network of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs.

8. Describe the history and development of California’s public education system, including universities and community colleges.

9. Analyze the impact of twentieth-century Californians on the nation’s artistic and cultural development, including the rise of the entertainment industry (e.g., Louis B. Meyer, Walt Disney, John Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, John Wayne).

4.5 Students understand the structures, functions, and powers of the local, state, and federal governments as described in the U.S. Constitution.

1. Discuss what the U.S. Constitution is and why it is important (i.e., a written document that defines the structure and purpose of the U.S. government and describes the shared powers of federal, state, and local governments).

2. Understand the purpose of the California Constitution, its key principles, and its relationship to the U.S. Constitution.

3. Describe the similarities (e.g., written documents, rule of law, consent of the governed, three separate branches) and differences (e.g., scope of jurisdiction, limits on government powers, use of the military) among federal, state, and local governments.

4. Explain the structures and functions of state governments, including the roles and re-sponsibilities of their elected officials.

5. Describe the components of California’s governance structure (e.g., cities and towns, Indian rancherias and reservations, counties, school districts).


Grade Five - United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation


Students in grade five study the development of the nation up to 1850, with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when and from where others arrived, and why they came. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. They recognize that ours is a nation that has a constitution that derives its power from the people, that has gone through a revolution, that once sanctioned slavery, that experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and that experi-enced a westward movement that took its people across the continent. Studying the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the War for Independence and western expansion is central to students’ fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of a pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.

 5.1 Students describe the major pre-Columbian settlements, including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi River.

1. Describe how geography and climate influenced the way various nations lived and adjusted to the natural environment, including locations of villages, the distinct structures that they built, and how they obtained food, clothing, tools, and utensils.

2. Describe their varied customs and folklore traditions.

3. Explain their varied economies and systems of government.

5.2 Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.

1. Describe the entrepreneurial characteristics of early explorers (e.g., Christopher Columbus, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado) and the technological developments that made sea exploration by latitude and longitude possible (e.g., compass, sextant, astrolabe, seaworthy ships, chronometers, gunpowder).

2. Explain the aims, obstacles, and accomplishments of the explorers, sponsors, and leaders of key European expeditions and the reasons Europeans chose to explore and colonize the world (e.g., the Spanish Reconquista, the Protestant Reformation, the Counter Reformation).

3. Trace the routes of the major land explorers of the United States, the distances traveled by explorers, and the Atlantic trade routes that linked Africa, the West Indies, the British colonies, and Europe.

4. Locate on maps of North and South America land claimed by Spain, France, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Russia.

5.3 Students describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the American Indians and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.

1. Describe the competition among the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Indian nations for control of North America.

2. Describe the cooperation that existed between the colonists and Indians during the 1600s and 1700s (e.g., in agriculture, the fur trade, military alliances, treaties, cultural interchanges).

3. Examine the conflicts before the Revolutionary War (e.g., the Pequot and King Philip’s Wars in New England, the Powhatan Wars in Virginia, the French and Indian War).

4. Discuss the role of broken treaties and massacres and the factors that led to the Indi-ans’ defeat, including the resistance of Indian nations to encroachments and assimilation (e.g., the story of the Trail of Tears).

5. Describe the internecine Indian conflicts, including the competing claims for control of lands (e.g., actions of the Iroquois, Huron, Lakota [Sioux]).

6. Explain the influence and achievements of significant leaders of the time (e.g., John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, Chief Tecumseh, Chief Logan, Chief John Ross, Sequoyah).

5.4 Students understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.

1. Understand the influence of location and physical setting on the founding of the original 13 colonies, and identify on a map the locations of the colonies and of the American Indian nations already inhabiting these areas.

2. Identify the major individuals and groups responsible for the founding of the various colonies and the reasons for their founding (e.g., John Smith, Virginia; Roger Williams, Rhode Island; William Penn, Pennsylvania; Lord Baltimore, Maryland; William Bradford, Plymouth; John Winthrop, Massachusetts).

3. Describe the religious aspects of the earliest colonies (e.g., Puritanism in Massachusetts, Anglicanism in Virginia, Catholicism in Maryland, Quakerism in Pennsylvania).

4. Identify the significance and leaders of the First Great Awakening, which marked a shift in religious ideas, practices, and allegiances in the colonial period, the growth of religious toleration, and free exercise of religion.

5. Understand how the British colonial period created the basis for the development of political self-government and a free-market economic system and the differences between the British, Spanish, and French colonial systems.

6. Describe the introduction of slavery into America, the responses of slave families to their condition, the ongoing struggle between proponents and opponents of slavery, and the gradual institutionalization of slavery in the South.

7. Explain the early democratic ideas and practices that emerged during the colonial period, including the significance of representative assemblies and town meetings.

5.5 Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.

1. Understand how political, religious, and economic ideas and interests brought about the Revolution (e.g., resistance to imperial policy, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, taxes on tea, Coercive Acts).

2. Know the significance of the first and second Continental Congresses and of the Committees of Correspondence.

3. Understand the people and events associated with the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the document’s significance, including the key political concepts it embodies, the origins of those concepts, and its role in severing ties with Great Britain.

4. Describe the views, lives, and impact of key individuals during this period (e.g., King George III, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams).

5.6 Students understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.

1. Identify and map the major military battles, campaigns, and turning points of the Revolutionary War, the roles of the American and British leaders, and the Indian leaders’ alliances on both sides.

2. Describe the contributions of France and other nations and of individuals to the out-come of the Revolution (e.g., Benjamin Franklin’s negotiations with the French, the French navy, the Treaty of Paris, The Netherlands, Russia, the Marquis Marie Joseph de Lafayette, Tadeusz Ko´sciuszko, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben).

3. Identify the different roles women played during the Revolution (e.g., Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Molly Pitcher, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren).

4. Understand the personal impact and economic hardship of the war on families, prob-lems of financing the war, wartime inflation, and laws against hoarding goods and materials and profiteering.

5. Explain how state constitutions that were established after 1776 embodied the ideals of the American Revolution and helped serve as models for the U.S. Constitution.

6. Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of land policies developed under the Continental Congress (e.g., sale of western lands, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787) and those policies’ impact on American Indians’ land.

7. Understand how the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence changed the way people viewed slavery.

5.7 Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution’s significance as the foundation of the American republic.

1. List the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation as set forth by their critics.

2. Explain the significance of the new Constitution of 1787, including the struggles over its ratification and the reasons for the addition of the Bill of Rights.

3. Understand the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy, including how the government derives its power from the people and the primacy of individual liberty.

4. Understand how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government and compare the powers granted to citizens, Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court with those reserved to the states.

5. Discuss the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution.

6. Know the songs that express American ideals (e.g., “America the Beautiful,” “The Star Spangled Banner”).

5.8 Students trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s, with emphasis on the role of economic incentives, effects of the physical and political geography, and transportation systems.

1. Discuss the waves of immigrants from Europe between 1789 and 1850 and their modes of transportation into the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys and through the Cumberland Gap (e.g., overland wagons, canals, flatboats, steamboats).

2. Name the states and territories that existed in 1850 and identify their locations and major geographical features (e.g., mountain ranges, principal rivers, dominant plant regions).

3. Demonstrate knowledge of the explorations of the trans-Mississippi West following the Louisiana Purchase (e.g., Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Zebulon Pike, John Fremont).

4. Discuss the experiences of settlers on the overland trails to the West (e.g., location of the routes; purpose of the journeys; the influence of the terrain, rivers, vegetation, and climate; life in the territories at the end of these trails).

5. Describe the continued migration of Mexican settlers into Mexican territories of the West and Southwest.

6. Relate how and when California, Texas, Oregon, and other western lands became part of the United States, including the significance of the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War.

5.9 Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals.