Elementary Social Studies - Grade 4


In the fourth grade Social Studies Program, students will begin an in-depth study of the historical period in the United States history starting with Native Americans, exploration, colonization, the impact of slavery, and life in the early 1700s.  Students relate information about early American life to early life in Maryland, before studying present day Maryland.  Students also participate in a unit to increase general Geography competencies.

The units of study are designed to accommodate the varing needs of the fourth grade learner through the use of student-centered activities.  Students are given opportunities to investigate the problems and events of the past  and present using a variety of sources including textbooks and the Internet.

The program provides many small group activities, hands-on projects, and research opportunities to help each child meet his/her individual needs.

                                                                                                                      

UNITS AND INDICATORS

I.  Geography

  • Construct and interpret a variety of maps using map elements.
  • Use photographs, maps, charts, graphs, and atlases to describe geographic characteristics of Maryland/United States.
  • Identify and locate natural/physical features and human-made features of Maryland such as Appalachian Mountains, Piedmont Plateau, and Atlantic Coastal Plain.
  • Identify and locate natural/physical features and human-made features of the United States.
  • Describe similarities and differences of regions by using geographic characteristics.
  • Compare physical characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland and the United States including natural/physical features, weather and climate, soil, vegetation, minerals and animal life.
  • Compare human characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland the United States, including human-made features, language, religions, political systems, economic activity, and population distribution.
  • Describe how geographic characteristics of a place or region change over time and affect the way people live and work.
  • Describe and analyze population growth, migration, and settlement patterns in Maryland and regions of the United States.
  • Identify the reasons for the movement of peoples to, from, and within Maryland and the United States.
  • Describe how people adapt to, modify and impact the natural environment.
  • Describe ways and reasons people in Maryland and the United States modify the natural environment and the consequences of modifications.
  • Explain how the growth of communities and suburbs has had consequences on the environment, loss of farmland, and pollution.
  • Describe how land use and urban growth are influenced by governmental decisions.
 
II.  Maryland’s Past
 
  • Examine and describe the unique and diverse cultures of early Native American societies.
  • Give examples of barter exchanges of goods and services in Maryland.
  • Identify the development of indigenous societies from the Pale-Indians to the Woodland Indians.
  • Describe Native American societies indigenous to Maryland after European contact.
  • Students will be able to differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
  • Define how culture influences people.
  • Site examples of how various cultures borrow and share traditions.
  • Compare human characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland the United States, including human-made features, language, religions, political systems, economic activity, and population distribution.
  • Describe how geographic characteristics of a place or region change over time and affect the way people live and work.
  • Compare ways Native American societies used the natural environment for food, clothing, and shelter.
  • Explain how geographic characteristics influenced settlement patterns in Maryland and the United States.
  • Identify the reasons for the movement of peoples to, from, and within Maryland and the United States.
  • Describe the contributions of past Maryland leaders.
  • Describe the contribution of individuals and groups.
  • Explain how and why the Maryland colony was established, including political and economic motives for coming to the new world.
  • Compare the early cultures of the Native American with the European settlers and their influences on each other.
  • Compare the development of places and regions, such as St. Mary’s city, Western Maryland, Kent Island, and Annapolis.
  • Analyze how colonial law influenced individuals in Maryland and other colonies, such as indentured servants’ contract, tolerance acts of 1649, Maryland Charter of 1632.
  • Describe how the colony of Maryland was established and governed including the establishment of rule of law and power with authority, such as proprietorship, Royal Governor, and early General Assembly.
  • Describe the contributions of 17th century English settlers who influenced the early political structures.   
  • Describe the social, political, and religious character of the earliest colonies.
  • Provide examples of tradition in the Maryland economy, such as businesses and skills that are handed down through families.
  • Give examples of the kinds of goods and services produced in Maryland during different historical periods.
  • Describe the similarities and differences of religious, ethnic, and economic groups in colonial and contemporary times.
  • Describe the differing historical conflicts such as between the Patriots and Loyalists.
  • Describe Maryland colonists’ reactions to changing economic policies from England using events that lead to the American Revolutionary War.
  • Explain the interactions between colonist and the British during the Pre Revolutionary Period.
  • Research the role of Marylanders who influenced the building of our new nation, such as the Sons of Liberty, William Paca, Charles Carroll, Thomas Stone, and Samuel Chase.
  • Analyze perspectives and policies in Maryland regarding historic and current public issues.
  • Students will be able to explain how changes in transportation and communication led to the growth and development of towns and cities in Maryland and United States
  • Describe the transportation and communication networks for the movement of people, goods, and ideas to, from and within Maryland such as Bay Bridge, National Road, B & O Railroad, the Port of Baltimore, and C & O Canal.
  • Explain how available resources determine which careers are more common in one region such as waterman on the Eastern Shore.
  • Explain how changes in transportation and communication led to the growth and development of towns and cities in Maryland and United States.
 
III.  Maryland’s Present
 
  • Explaining the importance of the Office of Governor and the Court of Appeals.
  •  Outlining the structure and function of the Maryland General Assembly and the roles of State senators and delegates.
  •  Explaining how limited resources are used to produce goods and services to satisfy economic wants in Maryland.
  •  Describing how entrepreneurship inspired technological changes and affected business productivity.
  •  Describing how land use and urban growth are influenced by governmental decisions.
  •  Investigating the causes of contemporary conflict and compromises.
  •  Giving examples of government’s rules and laws that affect how people in businesses work such as requiring licenses to drive and regulating resources.
  •  Describing ways and reasons people in Maryland and the United States modify the natural environment and the consequences of modifications.
  •  Describing how land use and urban growth are influenced by governmental decisions.
  •  Understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

HELPFUL PARENT TIPS

  • Use maps to show places where your family has traveled.
  • Plan a trip together to a historical point of interest.  Use travel brochures to plan what to see, estimate mileage and time by using the key, determine the best route to take.
  • Have your child keep a journal/scrapbook of the trip.
  • Share current events.