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Social Studies Curriculum Social Studies - 4th Grade (2024)
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course

Strand 1: Utah's Unique Geography

Students will examine Utah’s geography, and analyze its historical and current impacts on residents.

Compelling Questions:

  • Where is Utah located in the world?
  • Why is Utah’s most populated area along the Wasatch Front?
  • How does the physical geography of Utah affect its inhabitants?

Standard 4.1.1
Use a variety of geographic tools to identify Utah and its surrounding states: latitude, longitude, hemisphere, climate, natural resources, landforms, and regions (for example, Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Basin and Ridge Region).

Standard 4.1.2
Examine maps of Utah’s precipitation, temperature, vegetation, population, and natural resources; make inferences about relationships between the data sets. Describe how and why humans have changed the physical environment of Utah to meet their needs (for example, reservoirs, irrigation, climate, transcontinental railroad).

Standard 4.1.3
Describe how the physical geography of Utah has both negative and positive consequences on our health and safety (for example, inversions, earthquakes, aridity, fire, recreation).

Strand 2: Pre-Expansion (Before 1847)

Students will learn that while recorded history spans only a few centuries, humans have lived in the land now called Utah for thousands of years. They will recognize that for centuries the historic tribal groups of Utah—the Goshute, Navajo (Diné), Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute—adapted to their ever-changing environment. Students will understand that more adaptations occurred due to contact and trade while Utah was part of the Spanish Empire and later Mexico. Students will identify the factors that encouraged early trade and exploration among varied explorers and frontiersmen.

Compelling Questions:

  • What can the study of archaeology teach us about the economies, communities, and other aspects of the cultures of indigenous Native American tribes within Utah?
  • How did the arrival of European and American trappers and traders alter the human geography of Utah?
  • What may happen when two or more cultures, with significant differences, come into contact?

Standard 4.2.1
Use evidence (for example, artifacts, texts, oral traditions, geographic inquiry) to make inferences about, and explain the importance of, the geography of the land that would become Utah in the culture of one or more prehistoric or historic Native American cultures.

Standard 4.2.2
Explain the economic concepts of trade, scarcity, and supply and demand. Apply these concepts in analyzing the economic activity of Native American tribal groups that existed during this period in the land now called Utah and their trade with European-American trappers and traders.

Standard 4.2.3
Use primary and secondary sources to compare important aspects of the ways of life of at least two Native American tribal groups (for example, Ute, Paiute, Navajo (Diné), Shoshone, Goshute) existing within the land now called Utah and how those ways of life changed as settlers from Europe arrived prior to 1847.

Standard 4.2.4
Investigate the reasons why early explorers and frontiersmen came to the land now called Utah, and determine how their contributions are relevant to Utahns today.

Strand 3: Expansion (1847-1896)

Students will learn about the unprecedented migration, dramatic cultural change and conflicts, and new technologies of this era. Students will study the migration of diverse populations who settled across the region that would become Utah. They will learn about some of the implications of this settlement on Native American communities. Students will evaluate the relationships between the Industrial Revolution, the completion of the transcontinental railroad, other technologies, and the human and physical geography of the region. Students will also learn about the process and challenges Utah faced transforming from a territory to the 45th state.

Compelling Questions:

  • What factors led people from all over the world to settle in Utah and positioned Utah to become “The Crossroads of the West”?
  • Why did Utah struggle to attain statehood?
  • How did new immigrant communities contribute to the history and culture of Utah?
  • How did Native American life change as settlement continued?
  • How did improved transportation, industry, and mining transform Utah’s economy, politics, and other aspects of culture?

Standard 4.3.1
Use primary sources to compare experiences of at least three groups’ migration to Utah between 1847–1896 (for example, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, people from Greece, Italy, China).

Standard 4.3.2
Explain how Utah’s physical geography provided opportunities and imposed constraints for human activities between 1847-1896 (for example, agriculture, mining, settlement, communication, transportation networks) and how people changed the physical environment to meet their needs.

Standard 4.3.3
Describe the establishment of communities and the economic development of the Great Basin area under the direction of Brigham Young as the first Territorial Governor of Utah.

Standard 4.3.4
Identify the political challenges that delayed Utah’s statehood, and explain how these challenges were overcome. Describe the involvement of Utah women in the state and national Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Standard 4.3.5
Cite multiple perspectives to explain the historical significance and context of at least one conflict of this period (for example, The Utah War, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, The Bear River Massacre, The Black Hawk War).

Standard 4.3.6
Describe how and why humans have changed the physical environment of Utah to meet their needs (for example, reservoirs, irrigation, climate, transcontinental railroad) between 1847-1896.

Standard 4.3.7
Explain how the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad and other transportation and communication networks changed Utah’s economy and led to greater economic interdependence.

Strand 4: Post-Statehood (1896-1999)

Students will study Utah’s continued development as a state, including learning about its Constitution and the role of geography in Utah’s economy and settlement patterns. Students will evaluate the roles and functions of different levels and types of governments. They will identify and explain the cultural connections that Utah’s diverse communities share.

Compelling Questions:

  • How has Utah’s physical and human geography impacted the development of the state?
  • How is federal and state power balanced in Utah, and what is the function of Utah’s state Constitution?
  • Who are some of the most influential leaders in Utah, and what are some of the contributions they have made to the state?
  • How are issues between state, federal, and tribal lands resolved?

Standard 4.4.1
Identify the function and location of state government. Analyze Article 1 of the Utah Constitution to explain how the enumerated rights reflect shared values.

Standard 4.4.2
Compare the Utah Constitution with the United States Constitution, noting the similarities (including legislative, executive and judicial branches, rights of citizens) and important/ significant differences (for example, role in education, public lands, local governance).

Standard 4.4.3
Identify Utah symbols, their connection to history and geography, and what these symbols tell us about our shared culture. Explain how they can show respect and appreciation for those symbols.

Standard 4.4.4
Use primary and secondary sources to explain how Utah’s economy has changed over time (for example, recreation, tourism, mining, information technology, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum production).

Standard 4.4.5
Analyze the way local, state, tribal, and federal governments interact with one another.

Standard 4.4.6
Use case studies to explain how national or global events between 1896–1999 (for example, World War I, the Spanish Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression, World War II, Japanese American Incarceration, the Cold War, civil rights movements, Americans with Disabilities Act) had an impact in their local communities and state.

Strand 5: A New Millenia (2000 - Present)

Students will examine, through a 21st century lens, the enduring central themes of diffusion of cultures, global interconnectedness, the importance of creating and sustaining community, and the need for a strong economy. They will recognize that most current events (for example, interactions between Native American sovereign nations and state and federal governments, concerns about water, tensions and questions about the proper role and jurisdiction of local, state, and federal governments, ideas about how best to grow Utah’s economy) have their roots deeply embedded in Utah’s rich history. They will also understand that, while forced to make even further adaptations as they came into contact with European explorers, Native Americans still thrive as eight sovereign tribal nations in Utah.

Compelling Questions:

  • What are historic and contemporary examples of Utah’s economic interdependence, and what are some ways to ensure growing demand for natural resources in Utah are met?
  • How do various ethnic and/or religious communities in Utah maintain and celebrate their unique cultures?
  • What are some of the most pressing issues facing Utah today?
  • What are your rights and responsibilities as a citizen or resident in Utah?

Standard 4.5.1
Describe sovereignty as it relates to Native American sovereign nations (Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray reservation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Navajo (Diné) Nation, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, Confederated Tribes of Goshute, Skull Valley Band of Goshute) existing within Utah, and explain efforts to preserve and maintain their culture.

Standard 4.5.2
Make a case for the lasting historical significance of an event in recent Utah history (2000–present), and create an argument for including it in a historical text.

Standard 4.5.3
Use data and trends to make recommendations for the best sustainable development of Utah’s resources (for example, forests, state lands, geology, coal, minerals, oil and gas, state parks, water, wildlife, School Trustlands).

Standard 4.5.4
Explain continuity and change over time by comparing experiences of today’s immigrants in Utah with those of immigrants in Utah’s past.

Standard 4.5.5
After studying examples of individuals or groups making positive changes in Utah, propose positive steps individual students or groups of students can implement (for example, raising awareness through digital media, energy and resource conservation, letter writing, fundraising).

Standard 4.5.6
Choose one of Utah’s cultural institutions (for example Utah Symphony, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, Utah Opera Company, Ballet West, Utah’s Shakespeare Festival, Utah Festival Opera), and explain its historical significance as well as the cultural benefits to Utah families and our nation.

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.