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Archived Information

History and Social Science
Curriculum Framework

IX. Learning Standards and Examples,
PreK-12

Strand Two: Geography

Learning Standard 7: Physical Spaces of the Earth.

Students will describe earth's natural features and their physical and biological characteristics; they will be able to visualize and map oceans and continents; mountain chains and rivers; forest, plain, and desert; resources both above and below ground; and conditions of climate and seasons.

Learning Standard Components
(Core Knowledge and Skills)
Examples
PreK-4
Students know and locate the cardinal directions, poles, equator, hemispheres, continents, oceans, major mountain ranges, and other major geographical features of the earth.
PreK-2: Students use a compass to locate north, east, south, and west.

Students examine a relief map of the United States, discuss how mountain ranges are indicated, and make a list of their names.

Students learn stories about the European exploration of North and South America and follow the routes of explorers on a globe.

Grades 3-4: Students examine how latitude affects the climate of continents.
Students know and locate principal features of New England's physical geography. Students make a physical map of New England and describe its topography, waters, coastline, and climate.
Grades 5-8
Students learn and locate the principal ocean currents and wind patterns.
Students trace the Gulf Stream and the Jet Stream on a globe.
They learn and locate the watersheds, ecological regions, and resources of the United States. Students trace the Great Divide, the Great Lakes, and the areas where iron ore, coal, and oil are found.
Grades 9-10
Students recognize the natural distribution of plants and animals in the world
Students identify the origins of potatoes, cotton, horses, and chickens.
They recognize natural barriers to human access to and movement within major geographic regions. Students explain geographic factors affecting the rate at which European colonization of North America proceeded.
They learn of Massachusetts' major fisheries and other ocean resources. Students locate Georges Bank and identify the principal fish native to the area.
Grades 11-12
Students compare the potential of various regions for increased agricultural production.
Students explain the conditions that would have to be met to increase cereal production in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Learning Standard 8: Places and Regions of the World.

Students will identify and explain the location and features of places and systems organized over time, including boundaries of nations and regions; cities and towns; capitals and commercial centers; roads, rails, and canals; dams, harbors, and fortifications; and routes of trade and invasion.

Learning Standard Components
(Core Knowledge and Skills)
Examples
PreK-4
Students locate their own community in relation to important geographical features of Massachusetts.
PreK-2: Using photographs, pictures, stories, and field trips, students explore the question, "How has my community changed over time?"

Grades 3-4: Students locate their school and their homes on a city or town map, and write directions explaining how to travel from school to home.
They learn and locate Massachusetts' major cities. Name and locate the states and major cities of the United States. From memory, students draw maps of Massachusetts and the United States and compare them to standard maps. They name and locate the original 13 colonies.
They learn and locate the major countries of the world. Students create maps of the world showing national boundaries.
Grades 5-8
Students map the historical migrations of the American people.
Students compare patterns of immigration in eastern and western states during the 19th century.
They map the growth and decline of empires. Students map the conquests of Alexander the Great and of the Romans.
They map the diffusion of ideas across regions of the globe. Students make maps of the spread of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism from their origins to the present.
Grades 9-10
Students understand how regions may be identified by economic activities.
Students analyze relations between agricultural and commercial sectors in a particular nation.
They consider historical and contemporary world events using evidence from maps, globes, and other geographic data. Students analyze the geographical aspects of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
Grades 11-12
Students recognize geographic factors in political decisions.
Students examine the factors in Hawaii's decision to seek statehood.
They understand geographic factors in economic development. Students describe and explain the development of Route 128 since 1950.

Learning Standard 9: The Effects of Geography

Students will learn how physical environments have influenced particular cultures, economies, and political systems, and how geographic factors have affected population distribution, human migration, and other prehistoric and historical developments, such as agriculture, manufacturing, trade, and transportation.

Learning Standard Components
(Core Knowledge and Skills)
Examples
PreK-4
Students understand reasons why people move from one place to another.
PreK-2: Drawing on personal experiences and reading, students discuss the possible reasons for a family's decision to move.

Grades 3-4: Students study farming in Massachusetts and make a list of the important requirements of the industry.
Grades 5-8
Students understand how physical characteristics, transportation routes, climate, and specialization influenced the variety of crops, products, and industries and the general pattern of economic growth in Massachusetts.
Grades 5-6: Students describe how the geography of Massachusetts influenced the location of communities, the forms of shelter, and the economic life of Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century.

Using maps, climate data, narratives, pictures, and archaeological data, students explain how geography shaped continental movements of Native American groups, 1600-1800.
Students recognize the settlement patterns, migration routes, and cultural influence of racial, ethnic, and religious groups. By interviewing parents, older friends, and relatives, and by reading primary sources such as newspapers, students gather information on how and why the ethnic composition of some neighborhoods in their city or town has changed since the 1940s.
Students understand the reasons for the distribution of cities over a region. Students locate the major cities in ancient history on a map of the Mediterranean, and hypothesize reasons for their locations.
Students understand how technology has increased human capacity for modifying the environment and acquiring resources, and analyze the impact of increased technology on the environment. Students show how water was managed in Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, in prehistoric Pueblo cities of the Southwest, and in modern agriculture.
Grades 9-10
Students learn the relationships between locations of resources and patterns of population distribution.
As they study ancient civilizations, students make maps that indicate archaeological sites in relation to bodies of water.
Students recognize, locate, and describe major changes in national boundaries and names brought about by the outcomes of war, revolution, and independence movements. Students create maps showing the changes in country names and borders in Africa since World War II.
Students understand the importance of geographic factors in military decisions and outcomes. Students explain the role of topography, waterways, distance, and climate in the major turning points for the contending forces in the two World Wars.
Grades 11-12
Students understand how geography and climate affect the development of social, economic, and political patterns of human life.
Students describe the physical geography of South and Central America and the Caribbean, and explain its effects upon social and economic life, and trade with the United States.

Students describe and explain the reasons behind major 20th century population shifts among regions of the Untied States.

Learning Standard 10: Human Alteration of Environments.

Students will describe the ways in which human activity has changed the world, such as removing natural barriers; transplanting some animal and plant species; and eliminating others; increasing or decreasing natural fertility of land; and the mining of resources. They explain how science, technology, and institutions of many kinds have affected human capacity to alter environments.

Learning Standard Components
(Core Knowledge and Skills)
Examples
PreK-4
Students learn the native and non-native species in Massachusetts domesticated and wild, and describe the natural resources of New England.

Students learn from stories about how and why species were introduced to the New World.

Students learn stories about how Indians and European settlers learned to exploit the natural resources of New England.
Grades 5-8
Students recognize the intended and unintended consequences of technological advances on the environment.
Students examine social and environmental changes brought about by the technological advances in transportation, food production, and preservation in the 19th century.
Grades 9-10
Students understand economic and social changes that affect the physical world and evaluate efforts to manage their consequences in developed and less developed regions of the world.
Students describe the environmental changes caused by rapid urbanization in selected developing countries, explain resulting social problems, and consider possible solutions for the future.
Grades 11-12
Students evaluate the economic, social, and ecological impact of governmental environmental policies.
Students describe and explain the impact of policies such as fishing and timber cutting restrictions.


Last Updated: September 1, 1997
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