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Social Studies Curriculum Social Studies - 3rd Grade (2024)
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course

Strand 1: Types of Government and the United States and Utah Constitutions
Students will learn about and compare different types of government. They will identify significant ideas in the United States and Utah Constitutions, as well as compare similarities and differences between the documents.

Compelling Questions:

  • How are the founding documents of the United States unique?
  • How does the government protect individual rights?
  • How does the Preamble reflect the Founding Fathers’ expectations for the role of government?
  • How are checks and balances applied in government?

Standard 3.1.1
Discuss the basic differences between different forms of government, including a constitutional republic, a pure democracy, an oligarchy, and a monarchy.

Standard 3.1.2
Explain why the first three words of the United States Constitution are vital to the workings of representative government.

Standard 3.1.3
Summarize how the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and explain how laws provide order and stability.

Standard 3.1.4
Identify the rights protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and analyze how those rights affect them.

Standard 3.1.5
Explain how the Constitution balances power between the three branches of government at both the state and federal levels (checks and balances).

Strand 2: Your Community
Students analyze the communities in which they live, including geography, relative size, and interdependent relationships.

Compelling Questions:

  • What are some of the different communities to which you belong?
  • What is your culture?
  • What do communities need to thrive?
  • What are some unique aspects of your community?
  • How has your community changed or remained the same with the passage of time and why?

Standard 3.2.1
Locate their community, city or town, state, country, and continent on print and digital maps of the earth, and contrast their sizes and the relationships in scale.

Standard 3.2.2
Describe how geography (that is, physical features and natural resources) has shaped where and how their community developed, how it sustains itself, and how it will sustain itself in the future.

Standard 3.2.3
Define their own cultures or the cultures of their communities (for example, art, music, food, dance, system of writing, architecture, government to which they are regularly exposed or of which they are part).

Standard 3.2.4
Evaluate how their community has changed over time (for example, economic interdependence, changes to the environment).

Strand 3: Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Community Member
Students delineate their civic rights and responsibilities as members of their community and the limits to their rights when they conflict with the rights of others. Students are introduced to the concepts of civil rights, public virtue, and civic engagement.

Compelling Questions:

  • What do you like about your community? Are there changes you would like to make?
  • Who decides what your community is like?
  • How can you demonstrate respect for others in your community?
  • How has your community improved, and how can you help your community continue to improve?
  • How are your local leaders chosen, and how does your community assure that its leaders do what your community wants and/or needs?

Standard 3.3.1
Analyze how their community has been shaped by the diverse people who have resided within it. Compare primary and secondary sources (when available) from or about these people.

Standard 3.3.2
Reflect upon the processes used to address needs and reach solutions within their family, their classroom, or other groups of which they are a part. Compare those to the democratic processes used to address needs and reach solutions within their communities.

Standard 3.3.3
Research improvements that have been made in their community over time (for example, schools, roads, emergency services, utilities, jobs, recreation, libraries, clean environment, protection of civil rights).

Standard 3.3.4
Describe some of the civic roles that people fulfill within their community, and explain the reasons why people choose to serve in those roles and how they benefit the community.

Standard 3.3.5
Explain how their community’s leaders are elected or appointed and effective ways to work together with them to improve the community.

Standard 3.3.6
Describe why governments collect taxes and how they decide how to use them.

Standard 3.3.7
Discuss how the choices of individuals and leaders affect their community and its future (for example, supporting local businesses, volunteering, voting).

Standard 3.3.8
Collaborate with peers to address a need in their local community through service.

Strand 4: Connecting Your Community to the World
Students learn about one or more communities in other regions of the world. Students use what they have learned in the first three Strands about their own community as a basis for comparison. These communities could reflect the diverse heritage of class members and community members.

Compelling Questions:

  • How is your community both alike and different from other communities in other parts of the world?
  • Where are these other communities located and how do their locations affect people’s lives?
  • Why do other communities have different cultures and systems of government?

Standard 3.4.1
Choose a community outside of the United States. Locate that community on both print and digital maps of the Earth, their continent, country, and city or town, and contrast their sizes and the relationships in scale.

Standard 3.4.2
Research the geography (that is, physical features and natural resources) of the community they chose in 3.4.1, and make inferences regarding how the geography influenced the cultures that have developed there.

Standard 3.4.3
Define the cultures of the community they chose in 3.4.1 (for example, art, music, food, dance, system of writing, architecture, government, religion).

Standard 3.4.4
Examine the types of government found in the community they chose in 3.4.1, and compare them with the government of their community (for example, how community leaders are selected, how the government maintains order, keeps people safe, and makes and enforces rules and laws; the role of a community member; the inclusion of immigrants).

Standard 3.4.5
Examine how and why the community they chose in 3.4.1 has adapted to and/or modified its environment over time, and identify the consequences of these environmental changes.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Robert  Austin and see the Social Studies website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

These materials 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 Board 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 Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.