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Social Studies Core Standards

The Utah Social Studies Core Standards reflect the content, concepts, and skills considered essential for all students. The Social Studies Core Standards are contained in three documents, the K-2 Social Studies Core, the 3-6 Social Studies Core, and the Secondary Social Studies Core. With the additional adoption of the Utah core standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects came an opportunity to ensure a seamless connection between the content and concepts in the existing social studies standards and the literacy skills in the ELA core.

The term “literacy” is too often considered solely an ELA term. In fact, literacy is a term that transcends disciplines. We must have historically literate students, with all the skills essential to understand and appreciate the rich tapestry of human history. We must have geographically literate students able to understand the world around them. Clearly economic literacy is essential for the well-being of our students and nation. Civic literacy is essential for the sustaining of our democratic republic.

Here are examples of how the core standards for ELA/Literacy complement the social studies content standards. Each social studies content standard is paired with a possible ELA/Literacy standard.

Kindergarten:

Social Studies Standard 2: Students will recognize their roles and responsibilities of being a good citizen.

ELA Anchor Standard: Writing Standard 2, Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

First Grade:

Social Studies Standard 1: Students will recognize and describe how schools and neighborhoods are both similar and different.

ELA Anchor Standard, Reading Standard 9, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: With prompting and support, identify basic similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Second Grade:

Social Studies Standard 3: Students will use geographic tools and skills to locate and describe places on Earth.

ELA Anchor Standard, Reading Standard 5, Craft and Structure: Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: Know and use various text features (e.g. captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

Third Grade:

Social Studies Standard 1: Students will understand how geography influences community location and development.

ELA Anchor Standard, Reading Standard 3, Key Ideas and Details: Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Fourth Grade:

Social Studies Standard 3: Students will understand the roles of civic life, politics, and government in the lives of Utah citizens.

ELA Anchor Standard, Reading Standard 8, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

Fifth Grade:

Social Studies Standard 3: Students will understand the rights and responsibilities guaranteed in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights

ELA Anchor Standard, Writing Standard 7, Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Conduct short as well more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

ELA Grade-Specific Standard: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Sixth Grade:

Social Studies Standard 3: Students will understand how revolutions have had an impact on the modern world.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Reading Standard 1, Key Ideas and Details: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

ELA/Literacy Grade-Specific Standard: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Seventh Grade (Utah Studies):

Social Studies Standard 4: Students will understand the diverse ways people make a living in Utah.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Writing Standard 4, Production and Distribution of Writing: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

ELA/Literacy Grade-Specific Standard: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Eighth Grade (U.S. History 1):

Social Studies Standard 10: Students will understand the development of the American West following the Civil War.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Writing Standard 8, Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

Grade-Specific Standard: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Ninth Grade (Geography for Life):

Social Studies Standard 3: Students will understand how physical processes shape the Earth’s surface.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Reading Standard 2, Key Ideas and Details: Determine central ideas of themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Grade-Specific Standard: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Tenth Grade (World Civilizations):

Social Studies Standard 5: Students will understand the interaction of peoples in the global integration of the 20th century.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Writing Standard 1, Text Types and Purposes: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

ELA/Literacy Grade-Specific Standard: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

  • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
  • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Eleventh Grade (U.S. History 2):

Social Studies Standard 2: Students will understand how the growth of industry changed the United States.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Writing Standard 3, Text Types and Purposes: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

ELA/Literacy Grade-Specific Standard: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  • Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.
  • Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.


Twelfth Grade (U.S. Government and Citizenship):

Social Studies Standard 5: Students will understand basic economic principles and how they influence everyday life.

Anchor Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Standard 6, Craft and Structure: Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Grade-Specific Standard: Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.


K-2 Social Studies Core Document

3-6 Social Studies Core Document

Secondary Social Studies Core Document

Utah Core Language Arts and Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects