In the third grade, students built conceptual understandings of community, culture, and
government. They learned basic geographic terms and geographic features necessary for human
settlement and success. They applied their understanding of culture and community as they
learned more about indigenous cultures in the Americas. They began to explore the rights and
responsibilities central to representative government.
In the fourth grade, students will build on these foundational concepts as they learn about the
present state of Utah. Students will study history, government, economics, culture, and
geography to build their understanding of Utah's past and present, as well as make inferences
about Utah's future. Inquiry into current events will help students make connections between the
past and the present. Students will enlarge their world connections as they trace the global
travels of people from many diverse cultures who now call Utah home.
The most important goal: a well-lived life
Excitement, wonder, inquiry, delight, and puzzlement are central to meaningful learning in social
studies. Social studies should be fun and intriguing for all students, and provide opportunities to
make important life-long connections between the past, present, and future. Students who
appreciate the sacrifices that have been made in the past and understand the challenges that lie
ahead can make better decisions in the present.
Core Standards of the Course
Benchmark: Utah's physical geography has a direct impact on the cultures of the various peoples who have inhabited it throughout time. By learning about the physical geography of Utah and how it has changed over time, students will be able to understand the interrelationships between the physical geography of Utah and human cultural development.
Students will understand the relationship between the physical geography in Utah and human life.
Classify major physical geographic attributes of Utah.
Identify Utah's latitude, longitude, hemisphere, climate, natural resources, landforms, and regions using a variety of geographic tools.
Examine the forces at work in creating the physical geography of Utah (e.g. erosion, seismic activity, climate change).
Analyze how physical geography affects human life in Utah.
Identify population concentrations in the state and infer causal relationships between population and physical geography.
Classify the distribution and use of natural resources.
Compare the development of industry and business in Utah as it relates to its physical geography (e.g. mining, oil, agriculture, tourism).
Make inferences about the relationships between the physical geography of Utah and the state's communication and transportation systems (e.g. trails, roads, telegraph, rail lines).
Examine the interactions between physical geography and public health and safety (e.g. inversions, earthquakes, flooding, fire).
Explain how archaeology informs about the past (e.g. artifacts, ruins, excavations).
Analyze how human actions modify the physical environment.
Describe how and why humans have changed the physical environment of Utah to meet their needs (e.g. reservoirs, irrigation, climate, transportation systems and cities).
Explain viewpoints regarding environmental issues (e.g. species protection, land use, pollution controls, mass transit, water rights, trust lands).
Outline the development of recreation in Utah since 1900 (e.g. sports, tourism, state, and national parks).
d. Make data-supported predictions about the future needs of Utahns and the natural resources that will be necessary to meet those needs.
Benchmark: The history of Utah has been shaped by many diverse people, events, challenges, and ideas. People came to the land now known as Utah for many reasons, and from many different places around the world. The story of Utah includes American Indians, the Dominguez- Escalante exploration, explorers, trappers, Latinos, Mormon pioneers, Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Greeks, African-Americans, Middle Easterners, and many other groups seeking new homes, work and refuge. As each culture has come to Utah, Utah has changed. These changes have had and will continue to have significant impacts on all the people of Utah.
Students will understand how Utah's history has been shaped by many diverse people, events, and ideas.
Describe the historical and current impact of various cultural groups on Utah.
Chart the routes that diverse cultural groups took from their places of origin to Utah, using maps and other resources.
Explore points of view about life in Utah from a variety of cultural groups using primary source documents.
Explore cultural influences from various groups found in Utah today (e.g. food, music, religion, dress, festivals).
Identify and describe leaders from various cultures who exemplify outstanding character and life skills.
Explain the importance of preserving cultural prehistory and history, including archaeological sites and other historic sites and artifacts.
Describe ways that Utah has changed over time.
Identify key events and trends in Utah history and their significance (e.g. American Indian settlement, European exploration, Mormon settlement, westward expansion, American Indian relocation, statehood, development of industry, World War I and II).
Compare the experiences faced by today's immigrants with those faced by immigrants in Utah's history.
Investigate the development of the economy in Utah.
Explain the relationship between supply and demand.
Describe the role of producers and consumers.
Identify examples of producers and consumers in the local community.
Research the development of Utah's economy over time.
Identify the factors which bring about economic changes (e.g. natural resource development, new technologies, new market development, globalization, global conflicts, education).
Examine how economic development affects communities (e.g. dams, sports, tourism, power plants, mining, etc.).
Benchmark: Representative government has developed in Utah. People who live in Utah have rights and responsibilities associated with representative government. People have created systems of power and authority within this government.
Students will understand the roles of civic life, politics, and government in the lives of Utah citizens.
Describe the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community.
Identify rights of a citizen (e.g. voting, peaceful assembly, freedom of religion).
Identify responsibilities of a citizen (e.g. jury duty, obeying the law, paying taxes).
Determine how and why the rights and responsibilities of various groups have varied over time (e.g. Chinese railroad workers, Greek miners, women, children, Mormons, Japanese-Americans at Topaz, American Indians, African-Americans).
how the influence and power of individuals is affected when they organize into groups.
Describe and model ways that citizens can participate in civic responsibilities (e.g. current issue analysis, recycling, volunteering with civic organizations, letter writing).
Contribute to and practice classroom goals, rules and responsibilities.
Recognize and demonstrate respect for United States and Utah symbols (i.e. Pledge of Allegiance, flag etiquette).
Analyze the different ways people have organized governments in Utah to meet community needs.
Identify the forms of government found in Utah in different eras (i.e. historic and current American Indian government, State of Deseret, Utah Territory, statehoodera, present).
Compare how these governments addressed community needs.
Compare the roles and responsibilities of state, county, and local officials.
have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies
of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use.
When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State
Office of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part,
or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State
Office of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City,
For more information about this core curriculum, contact the USOE Specialist,
or visit the
Social Studies Home Page.
For general questions about Utah's Core Curriculum, contact the USOE Curriculum Director,
Sydnee Dickson .
UEN Contact Info: 801-581-2999 | 800-866-5852 |