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DC: Fourth Grade Standards

(Note: In 2011, DC public schools began transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.)

  • Geography of D.C.

    • 4.1. Broad Concept: Students describe the different peoples, with different languages and ways of life, that eventually spread out over the North and South American continents and the Caribbean Basin, from Asia to North America (the Bering Strait) (e.g., Inuits, Anasazi, Mound Builders, the Caribs). (G)

      Examples

      • Students brainstorm ways in which the early hunters and their families, who are thought to have crossed the Bering Strait into North America, had to adapt to life in very cold climates. Students examine and write about three ways in which early people in the Americas used animals in their daily lives (e.g., food; clothing; tanned hides used as cooking bags, tent covers, pouches; bones used as tools, jewelry, supports for shelters) (4.1.1).
      • Students read books on the lives of the Inuits, Anasazi, and Mound Builders. Working in pairs, students draw pictures and write about the housing, clothing, food, and/or religious beliefs of a particular group. They display the product on a bulletin board for all to see (4.1.1).
    • 4.2. Broad Concept: Students describe the legacy and cultures of the major indigenous settlements, including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the triple alliance empire of the Yucatan Peninsula, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi.

      Students:

      1. Identify 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. (G)
      2. Describe systems of government, particularly those with tribal constitutions, and their relationship to federal and state governments. (P)
      3. Describe religious beliefs, customs, and various folklore traditions. (R)
      4. Explain their varied economies and trade networks. (E)

      Examples

      • Students work in small groups to create models of villages of selected Native American tribes in different geographical areas. Each village model showcases shelter, food sources, clothing, common tools and utensils, and the like. Students become experts on aspects of village life, including customs and religious beliefs, and they report as the class tours each village (4.2.1 and 4.2.3).
  • Age of Exploration (15th-16th Centuries

    • 4.3. Broad Concept: Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.

      Students:

      1. Compare maps of the modern world with historical maps of the world before the Age of Exploration. (G)
      2. Locate and explain 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. (G)
      3. Locate the North, Central, Caribbean, and South American land claimed by European countries. (G)
      4. Describe 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, and the Counter-Reformation). (G)
      5. Identify 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, including the exchange of technology and ideas with Asia and Africa. (G, E)
      6. Analyze the impact of exploration and settlement on the indigenous peoples and the environment (e.g., military campaigns, spread of disease, European agricultural practices). (S)

      Examples

      • Students compare historical maps to modern maps and discuss how and why modern maps are more accurate (www.lib.virginia.edu/small/exhibits/lewis_clark/novus_orbis.html) (4.3.1).
      • On individual maps of the world, students draw and color-code the various routes of the early European explorers (4.3.2).
      • Students read or listen to Morning Girl, by Michael Dorris, and Encounter, by Jane Yolen, noting the differences between the depiction of Native American life before and after the arrival of Columbus. Half of the class writes about the encounter from the perspective of the indigenous peoples, and half write from the perspective of Columbus and his men (4.3.6).
    • 4.4. Broad Concept: Students identify the six different countries (France, Spain, Portugal, England, Russia, and the Netherlands) that influenced different regions of the present United States at the time the New World was being explored, and describe how their influence can be traced to place names, architec- tural features, and language. (G)

      Examples

      • In cooperative groups, students conduct Internet research on the history of European settlement in the Americas. Each group chooses a different European nation and creates a collage showing the influence of that nation’s heritage on their settled region (4.4).
    • 4.5. Broad Concept: Students describe the productive resources and market relationships that existed in early America.

      Students:

      1. Describe the economic activities within and among Native American cultures prior to contact with Europeans. (G, E)
      2. Identify how the colonial and early American economy exhibited these characteristics. (G, E)
      3. Understand the development of technology and the impact of major inventions on business productivity during the early development of the United States. (E, I)

      Examples

      • Students use the Internet to discover the ways in which Native American culture conducted trade along the Trading Path (a route spanning the Chesapeake Bay Region to Northern Georgia). In small groups, students represent different Native American groups and European settlers living along the Trading Path. Using the crafts and labor indigenous to their nation, students conduct trade with one another (4.5.1).
  • Settling the Colonies to the 1700s

    • 4.6. Broad Concept: Students describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the Native Americans and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.

      Students:

      1. Describe the competition between European nations for control of North America. (G)
      2. Understand the major ways Native Americans and colonists used the land, adapted to it, and changed the environment. (G)
      3. Compare and contrast the differing views on ownership or use of land and the conflicts between them (e.g., the Pequot and King Philip’s Wars in New England). (G, M)
      4. Explain the cooperation that existed between the colonists and Native Americans during the 1600s and 1700s (e.g., fur trade, military alliances, treaties, and cultural interchanges). (G, P)
      5. Describe the conflicts between Indian nations, including the competing claims for control of land (e.g., actions of the Iroquois, Huron, and Lakota). (G, P, M)
      6. Identify the influence and achievements of significant leaders of the time (e.g., John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, Chief Tecumseh, Chief Logan, Chief John Ross, and Sequoyah). (P)
      7. Explain the alliances between Native Americans and Africans in resistance to European colonialism and enslavement, emphasizing the Seminole nation and the Seminole Wars.
      8. Explain the role of broken treaties and massacres and the factors that led to the Native Americans’ defeat, including the resistance of Native American nations to encroachment and assimilation. (P, M, S)

      Examples

      • Students brainstorm what it means to own land today and compare it to different Native American beliefs. They discuss how these differences could have led to war (4.6.3).
      • Students compare treaties to promises and discuss how broken promises make people feel. They examine specific broken treaties and the ensuing warfare. They make lists of reasons why both sides felt they were being treated unfairly (4.6.8).
    • 4.7. Broad Concept: Students understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.

      Students:

      1. Locate and identify the first 13 colonies and explain how their location and natural environment influenced their development. (G)
      2. Explain the significance of the relative location of a place (e.g., proximity to a harbor, on trade routes) when reviewing the settlement patterns of colonists. (G, E)
      3. Identify major leaders and groups responsible for the founding of the original colonies in North America and the reasons for their founding (e.g., Lord Baltimore, Maryland; John Smith, Virginia; Roger Williams, Rhode Island; and John Winthrop, Massachusetts). (P)
      4. Understand the early democratic ideas and practices that emerged during the colonial period, includ- ing the significance of representative assemblies and town meetings. (P)
      5. Contrast these democratic ideals and practices with the presence of enslavement in all colonies and the attempts by Africans in the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New England colonies to petition for freedom. (P)
      6. Outline the religious aspects of the earliest colonies (e.g., Puritanism in Massachusetts, Anglicanism in Virginia, Catholicism in Maryland, and Quakerism in Pennsylvania). (R)
      7. Explain various reasons why people came to the colonies, including how both whites from Europe and blacks from Africa came to America as indentured servants who were released at the end of their indentures. (G, S)
      8. Describe how Africans in the Caribbean and North America exchanged information about their vari- ous cultures to begin to create the foundation for an African American identity. (S)
      9. Describe how Africans in North America drew upon their African past and upon selected European (and sometimes Native American) customs and values to develop a distinctive African American culture. (S)
      10. Explain how the British colonial period created the basis for the development of political self- government and a free-market economic system. (P, E)
      11. Analyze the impact of the European presence on Native American life (e.g., religious practices, land use, political structures, health and health systems). (R, P, E, S)

      Examples

      • On a blank U.S. outline map, students draw in the first 13 colonies, including their natural features. Taking the role of a colonist from a particular area, students write a letter to their families in Europe explaining features of the landscape that make it conducive to development (4.7.1).
      • Students take part in the democratic process by having a classroom meeting to discuss schoolwide issues of importance. They choose a representative to send to the principal to state their concerns (4.7.4).
      • In small groups, students read selected passages from the Declaration of Independence. As a class, students read A Petition for Freedom, written by African Americans from Massachusetts in 1777. Students then write a letter to the Founding Fathers voicing their opinions on the direction the country was taking with regards to slavery (4.7.5).
      • Students research foods that derive from African roots, such as gumbos, and sample them in class (4.7.9).
      • Students research musical instruments that slaves created to simulate those from Africa. They create their own percussion instruments from found objects (4.7.9).
  • The War for Independence (1760-1788)

    • 4.8. Broad Concept: Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.

      Students:

      1. Explain the effects of transportation and communication on American independence (e.g., long travel time to England fostered local economic independence, regional identities developed in the colonies through regular communication).
      2. Explain 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, and Coercive Acts). (P, R, E)
      3. Describe the significance of the First and Second Continental Congresses and of the Committees of Correspondence. (P)
      4. Identify 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. (P)
      5. Identify the views, lives, and influences of key leaders during this period (e.g., King George III, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams). (P)

      Examples

        • Students examine a copy of John Turnbull’s famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and identify the men in the picture, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin (explorer.monticello.org/index.html?s1=0%7Cs4=4_71) (4.8.3).
        • Students research leaders of the War for Independence to find quotes that best represent their points of view. On a class bulletin board, students post the selected quotes next to a picture of the leader (4.8.5).
    • 4.9. Broad Concept: Students describe the course and consequences of the American Revolution.

      Students:

      1. Locate and identify the major military battles, campaigns, and turning points of the Revolutionary War. (G, M)
      2. Understand the roles of the American and British leaders, and the Indian leaders’ alliances on both sides. (P)
      3. Understand the roles of African Americans, including their alliances on both sides (especially the case of Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation and its impact on the war).
      4. Identify the contributions of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Russia, as well as certain individuals, to the outcome of the Revolution (e.g., the Marquis Marie Joseph de Lafayette, Tadeusz Kósciuszko, and Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben). (P, M)
      5. Describe 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. (G, P)
      6. Explain how the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence changed the way people viewed slavery. (P, S)
      7. Describe the different roles women played during the Revolution (e.g., Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, and Mercy Otis Warren). (S, E)
      8. Analyze the personal impact and economic hardship of the war on families, problems of financing the war, wartime inflation, and laws against hoarding goods and materials and profiteering. (S, E)

      Examples

        • Students debate the pros and cons of westward expansion from different perspectives, including that of a wealthy landowner, a Native American whose traditional hunting grounds are being claimed by farmers, a farmer who wants to increase his holdings, and a slave owner (4.9.5).
        • Students discuss the first and last paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and compare the ideals of the document to the condition of slavery. They create a list of reasons why the United States should not allow slavery based on the Declaration of Independence (4.9.6).
        • Students conduct research on a woman who played a role in the Revolutionary War. Then, in character, they write a letter to their family explaining to future generations what they went through during the war and the accomplishments of which they are most proud (4.9.6).
        • Students write a letter to a loved one as a person who has endured the hardship of the Civil War. Students read their letters aloud to the class (4.9.7).
      • 4.10. Broad Concept: Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution.

        Students:

        1. Describe the significance of the new Constitution of 1787, including the struggles over its ratification and the reasons for the Bill of Rights. (P)
        2. Describe the direct and indirect (or enabling) statements of the conditions on slavery in the Constitution and their impact on the emerging U.S. nation-state.
        3. Describe how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government. (P)
        4. Understand the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individ- ual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution. (P)
        5. List and interpret the songs that express American ideals (e.g., “America the Beautiful,” “The Star- Spangled Banner”). (P)

        Examples

        • Students memorize the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and learn what it means. They write a persuasive newspaper article that urges its ratification (4.10.2).
        • Students draw a chart that shows the branches of government as a means of checks and balances (bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/index.html) (4.10.3).
        • As a class, students read the picture book America the Beautiful, written by Katherine Bates and illustrated by Wendell Minor. Students choose a national song (e.g., “This Land Is Your Land,” or “The Star-Spangled Banner”) and illustrate it to make a class book (4.10.5).
      • 4.11. Broad Concept: Students compare and contrast 15th- through18th-century America and the United States of the 21st century with respect to population, settlement, patterns, resource use, trans- portation systems, human livelihoods, and economic activity. (G, E)

        Examples

        • Students create a chart that juxtaposes life in the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 21st centuries. The chart shows information on population, settlement patterns, resource use, transportation systems, human livelihoods, and economic activity (4.11).
     
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