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Presidential Biography

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Summary

Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States, including being commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, leader of the Constitutional Convention, and the first president of the United States. Students will understand that a biography is a type of literary genre.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters
  • Bicentennial coins

Objectives

  • Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States, including being commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, leader of the Constitutional Convention, and the first president of the United States.
  • Students will understand that a biography is a type of literary genre.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • United States of America
  • George Washington
  • Revolutionary War
  • President
  • Great Britain

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Biography
  • Biographer
  • Bicentennial
  • Liberty
  • Declaration of Independence

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of the following pages:
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse”
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse”
  • Copies of the following worksheets:
    • “Biographies of Washington”
    • “George Washington Designs”
  • Copies of various texts (1 per student) that give biographical information about George Washington and the American Revolution, such as:
    • A Picture Book of George Washington by David A. Adler
    • When Washington Crossed the Delaware by Lynne Cheney
    • George Washington by Lenny Hort
    • George Washington by Cheryl Harness
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Crayons, colored pencils 

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Biographies of Washington” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “George Washington Designs” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make 1 overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” page
    • “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse” page
  • Locate texts about George Washington and the American Revolution (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Gather texts about George Washington and the American Revolution to use in a classroom library. 

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/323.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” overhead transparency. Ask the students what they know about the image. Make sure that the students understand the following:
    • The image is the obverse (front) of a quarter, which is worth 25 cents, and four quarters equal one dollar.
    • The name of our country, “The United States of America,” is stamped at the top of the quarter.
    • “Liberty,” which means being free, is also stamped on the coin.
    • The man on the quarter is George Washington, who was the first president of the United States of America.
    • The quarter is “bicentennial,” meaning two hundred years. This coin from 1976 marks the two hundredth anniversary of when the American colonies declared together their independence from Great Britain in 1776.
  2. Ask the students to recall any other information they may know about George Washington. Tell the class that they will read a biography of George Washington. Ask the students what a biography is. If necessary, explain that a biography is a book that tells the story of a person’s life, written by a different person (as opposed to an autobiography).
  3. Ask the students what type of information the story of a person’s life should include. List their responses on chart paper. Tell the students to listen to the biography and note whether or not it has the type of information they predicted it would have.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about George Washington. As a group, preview the text. Read the text or excerpts aloud to the students. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  5. After reading the selected text, compare the information in the text with the students’ predictions on the chart paper.
  6. Distribute one “Biographies of Washington” worksheet to each student. Tell the students that they will need to think about the biography that they just heard in order to complete the worksheet. They will also need to choose an important fact from each part of George Washington’s life and write that fact in the space provided.
  7. Allow time for the student to complete the worksheet.
  8. Display the “Biographies of Washington” overhead transparency. Briefly have the students share their responses with the class. Record responses on the transparency. Collect the worksheets.
    Note: Before Session 2, you may want to create small reading groups based on reading level and select a text for each group to read.

Session 2

  1. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” overhead transparency. Briefly discuss the main points about George Washington discussed in the previous session. Review the definition of a biography.
  2. Tell the students that they will independently read another biography about George Washington, assigned or self-chosen. If having them choose, show and briefly discuss with the students each of the texts from which they can choose.
  3. Redistribute the students’ completed “Biographies of Washington” worksheets. Tell the students that biographers (people who write biographies) do not always agree about which things are important enough to include in their books. Explain to the students that different biographers will emphasize or include different facts about the same person’s life. Tell the students that, while they read the second biography, they should look for new information about George Washington that was not included in the biography from the previous session and record this information in the second part of the “Biographies of Washington” worksheets. If they can’t find new information for a particular category, they should include something that they did not note in the first part of the worksheet.
  4. Distribute or allow the students to choose one of the biographies available. Have the students read the text and complete their worksheets for the remainder of the class.
  5. Collect the worksheets and texts.

Session 3

  1. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Obverse” overhead transparency again. Redistribute the “Biographies of Washington” worksheets. Ask the students to share with a partner what new information they learned about George Washington in their second biography.
  2. As a class, discuss the information learned about George Washington. From the readings, point out to the students that George Washington lived a very full and exciting life and that there are many things that a biographer could write about him. Lead a brief discussion regarding how a biographer would decide what events were important enough to include in a biography. Guide the students to the conclusion that a biography should include information about both what a person did and about the person’s character and personality.
  3. Explain to the students that an author will sometimes tell a fact or event in the person’s life, and leave it up to the reader to decide what that fact says about the character or personality of the person. For example, many biographers note that, when Washington was home on his farm, he got up every morning and rode around the farm to see everything that was going on. Ask the students what they think this says about George Washington. Tell the students that a good biography makes readers feel like they have met the person they are reading about.
  4. Assign the students to small groups. (If possible, make sure that no two students in the same group read the same biography.) Distribute a poster-sized sheet of chart paper to each group. Have the students review as a group the facts from their completed worksheets and choose five important facts about George Washington’s life. Have them list those facts down one side of the chart paper and draw a picture next to each fact that tells more about the fact. The groups should be ready to tell the others what each fact says about George Washington.
  5. Allow time for the students to complete their charts.
  6. Have the student groups share their charts with the class and post them in the classroom.

Session 4

  1. Display the “Bicentennial Quarter Reverse” overhead transparency. Tell the students that this is the reverse (back) of a special quarter. This quarter is called “bicentennial,” meaning 200 years. It commemorates the 200-year anniversary in 1976 of the year the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, 1776. Our Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, which we celebrate each year as Independence Day.
  2. The images chosen for coins often tell a story or represent a big idea. Ask the students why they think the image of the man was chosen. The students should respond that he represents the soldiers who fought for our nation’s independence from Great Britain. Ask the students why they think that 13 stars were chosen. The students should respond that the 13 stars represent the 13 colonies that existed at the time.
  3. Ask the students to hypothesize why George Washington was on the obverse of the bicentennial quarter. The students should respond that George Washington was the leader of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and is called “the father of our country.”
  4. Distribute the “George Washington Designs” worksheet. Tell the students that, before the United States Mint produces a coin, the image is designed as a drawing. Sometimes many designs are suggested before one is chosen.
  5. Tell the students that their assignment is to think of three designs for the reverse of a new George Washington quarter. Explain to the students that, since his picture is on the obverse of the quarter, they must select something different for the reverses. They may choose to draw an important scene from his life or use symbols to represent his accomplishments or characteristics. Like a biographer, their goal is to present facts about Washington and also something about his personality. Then they are to choose one of the images and write a journal entry (5 to 7 sentences) explaining its importance.
  6. Allow time for the students to complete the worksheets.
  7. Collect the worksheets. 

Differentiated Learning Options

  • The teacher may select texts written at the appropriate reading level.
  • Allow students to read with a partner.
  • Provide books on tape. 

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students read other texts on another Revolutionary War figure and write a biography.
  • Write the following on the board: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Explain to students that this was written about George Washington after his death. Ask students to explain the meaning of the quote.
  • Have the students locate other words with the prefix “bi” and “tri” in them and create an illustrated mini-dictionary.
  • Have the students look at the reverse of the Virginia quarter, and discuss the meaning of the word “quadricentennial” and its pertinence to the coin. (The Virginia quarter honors the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, our nation’s first permanent English settlement, in 1607. Jamestown turns 400 years old in 2007). 
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ classroom participation.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets for achievement of the lesson objectives. 
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.4.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.4.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4.)
  • W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.5.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • W.5.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)
  • W.5.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.4.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
  • RL.4.5. Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
  • RL.4.6. Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.4.7. Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
  • RL.4.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.4.9. Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.4.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • RL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.5.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
  • RL.5.5. Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
  • RL.5.6. Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.5.7. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
  • RL.5.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.5.9. Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.5.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
  • RL.5.3. Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RL.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
  • RL.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
  • RL.6.6. Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RL.6.7. Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.
  • RL.6.8. not applicable to literature.
  • RL.6.9. Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Literature
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RL.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RL.6.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RL.6.3. Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.5.7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.5.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Power, Authority, and Governance
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to their families, their social groups, their community, and their nation; help students to understand the purpose of government and how its powers are acquired, used, and justified
  • provide opportunities for learners to examine issues involving the rights, roles, and status of individuals in relation to the general welfare
  • enable learners to describe the ways nations and organizations respond to forces of unity and diversity affecting order and security
  • have learners explain conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations
  • help learners to analyze and explain governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, and establish order and security
  • have learners identify and describe the basic features of the American political system, and identify representative leaders from various levels and branches of government
  • challenge learners to apply concepts such as power, role, status, justice, democratic values, and influence to the examination of persistent issues and social problems guide learners to explain and evaluate how governments attempt to achieve their stated ideals at home and abroad

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • help learners understand the concepts of role, status, and social class and use them in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society
  • help learners analyze groups and evaluate the influences of institutions, people, events, and cultures in both historical and contemporary settings
  • help learners to understand the various forms institutions take, their functions, their relationships to one another and how they develop and change over time
  • assist learners in identifying and analyzing examples of tensions between expressions of individuality and efforts of groups and institutions to promote social conformity
  • help learners to describe and examine belief systems basic to specific traditions and laws in contemporary and historical societies
  • challenge learners to evaluate the role of institutions in furthering both continuity and change
  • guide learner analysis of the extent to which groups and institutions meet individual needs and promote the common good in contemporary and historical settings
  • assist learners as they explain and apply ideas and modes of inquiry drawn from the behavioral sciences in the examination of persistent social issues and problems

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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