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Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies - Utah Studies
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Students will understand the interaction between Utah's geography and its inhabitants.

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Objective 1
Investigate the relationship between physical geography and Utah’s settlement, land use, and economy.

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  1. Read and interpret a variety of maps.
  2. Identify the physical features and regions of Utah.
  3. Compare and contrast the relationship between physical features and regions to settlement, land use, and the economy.

Objective 2
Examine the interrelationship between Utah’s climate, location, landforms, and life.

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  1. Describe how latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean influence Utah’s climate
  2. Explain how mountains, valleys, and bodies of water affect climate.
  3. Assess how climate influences life in Utah.
  4. Explain how natural forces shape the living environment and landscape.
  5. Investigate how natural forces shape the local environments.
  6. Predict how natural forces affect environments; e.g., earthquakes, volcanic action, mudslides, flooding, erosion.

Objective 3
Assess how natural resources sustain and enhance people’s lives.

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  1. Recognize the impact of water, minerals, wildlife, and forests on people.
  2. Distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources.
  3. Analyze how natural resources improve the quality of life.
  4. Assess the importance of protecting and preserving natural resources.

Objective 4
Examine how people affect the geography of Utah.

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  1. Identify Utah’s counties and cities.
  2. Assess how people change the landscape.
  3. Examine how altered landscapes affect people.

Standard 2
Students will understand the contributions of Native American Indians, explorers, and Utah's pioneers.

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Objective 1
Examine the contributions of Native American Indians to the culture of Utah.

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  1. Identify prehistoric and historic Native American Indian groups.
  2. Examine the interrelationship between each culture and its environment.
  3. Investigate spiritual, artistic, architectural, and oral traditions of Utah's Native American Indians; e.g., languages, storytelling, pottery, basketry, weaving, beadwork, and dwellings.
  4. Identify how Native American Indian heritage influences Utah today.

Objective 2
Investigate the importance of explorers to Utah’s settlement.

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  1. Explain the contributions of the Spanish, mountain men, government, and scientific explorers.
  2. Identify other explorers who contributed to our understanding of Utah.

Objective 3
Describe the significance of pioneers in Utah history.

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  1. Explain the reasons for the Mormon migration to Utah.
  2. Explore the pattern of Mormon settlement throughout the West.
  3. Recognize how the Mormon pioneers' heritage influences Utah today.
  4. Investigate the contributions of Utah's "new pioneers", i.e., ethnic/multicultural/religious/scientific/technological groups.

Standard 3
Students will understand the relationship between government and the people of Utah.

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Objective 1
Examine Utah’s struggle for statehood.

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  1. Compare and contrast territorial and state government organization.
  2. Explain the benefits of statehood over territorial government.
  3. Examine the unique relationship between the sovereign Native American Indian nations, the United States government and the Utah State government.
  4. Investigate how government services affect the residents of the state.

Objective 2
Examine the structure and function of city, county, and state governments.

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  1. Explain the role of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in state government.
  2. Assess the similarities and differences among the levels of local government.
  3. Identify local officials and their responsibilities.
  4. Research services that are provided by each level of government; i.e., city, county, township.

Objective 3
Assess the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

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  1. Compare and contrast the United States and Utah Constitutions.
  2. Explain the rights and responsibilities of good citizens.
  3. Investigate how individuals can be involved in the political process.

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

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Objective 1
Explore the components of Utah’s economy.

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  1. Identify the multiple components of Utah’s economy; e.g., government, agriculture, mining, tourism, high tech industry.
  2. Investigate Utah's global trade interdependence.
  3. Research important segments of the local economy.
  4. Assess factors that attract people and businesses to locate in Utah.

Objective 2
Investigate the past and present role of agriculture in Utah.

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  1. Identify the importance of farming and ranching to Utah’s economy.
  2. Explain the impact of the Great Depression on farmers and agriculture.
  3. Investigate how agriculture has diversified and improved over time.
  4. Examine the cultural legacy of agriculture in Utah.

Objective 3
Examine aspects that have broadened Utah’s economy.

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  1. Investigate the role of mining in Utah.
  2. Examine the railroad's impact on Utah.
  3. Explain the impact of military installations.
  4. Assess the development of heavy and high tech industries.

Objective 4
Investigate the current status of Utah's economy.

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  1. Examine the role of recreation and tourism in Utah.
  2. Outline the role of labor unions.
  3. Explain the effects of private, state, and federal land ownership on land use; i.e., parks, forests, trust lands, etc.

Standard 5
Students will understand the diverse nature of Utah's peoples and cultures.

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Objective 1
Assess the cultural diversity of Utah.

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  1. Recognize the unique lifestyles of various cultural or ethnic groups in the local community.
  2. Explain the role of immigration in changing Utah society.
  3. Research the ways people maintain and preserve cultural identity; e.g., language, custom, holidays, tradition.
  4. Explain the issues immigrants encounter in adapting to life in Utah.

Objective 2
Investigate the contributions of Utah’s religious and ethnic groups, including Native American Indians.

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  1. Identify Utah’s religious and ethnic groups.
  2. Explain the reasons Utah's religious and ethnic groups settled in Utah.
  3. Explain the benefits each ethnic and religious group adds to Utah's society.
  4. Investigate how Utah's religious and ethnic groups adapt and interact.

Objective 3
Assess the diverse cultural and recreational opportunities available in Utah.

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  1. Examine Utah arts opportunities in the areas of dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
  2. Investigate recreational opportunities in Utah.

Standard 6
Students will understand the impact of major contemporary events that concern the land and people of Utah.

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Objective 1
Identify and investigate major contemporary events that affect individuals, institutions, and society.

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  1. Examine different points of view on important events; e.g., land, politics.
  2. Identify the impact each point of view may have on the state.
  3. Investigate the avenues available for individual or community involvement.

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