Skip Navigation

Utah Core  •  Curriculum Search  •  All Social Studies Lesson Plans  •  USBE Social Studies website


Social Studies Curriculum Social Studies - 6th Grade (2024)
Course Preface Course Preface
Printable Version Printable Version (pdf)


Core Standards of the Course

Strand 1: World Civilizations

Students will compare how the aspects of geography, culture, religion, government, technology, and systems in ancient civilizations met human needs and wants, as well as allowed and encouraged the growth and development of civilizations as humans migrated across the earth. They will compare early governments to the foundations of modern governments.

Compelling Questions:

  • What characteristics or qualities must a group of people have to be considered a civilization?
  • What role does religion play in the cultural expression of a civilization?
  • How do cultures of different ancient civilizations compare? What influenced these similarities and differences?
  • How do interactions between diverse groups of people influence the rise or fall of societies?
  • How does appreciating and allowing for differences, while seeking out commonalities, contribute to the strength, resiliency, and sustainability of civilizations?

Standard 6.1.1
Discern characteristics needed for the transformation from simple societies to civilizations, and compare those characteristics in at least three different ancient civilizations found in different regions of the world (for example, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River Valley, China, Inca, Aztec, Persia, Greece, Carthage, Gupta, Rome).

Standard 6.1.2
Throughout their study of world history, recognize the origins of major world religions (including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism). Evaluate the role religion played in the development of civilizations, colonization, imperialism, and independence movements.

Standard 6.1.3
Use maps to analyze how physical geography affected the development of three civilizations found in different regions of the world.

Standard 6.1.4
Identify some of the economic systems and technologies (for example, irrigation, writing systems, farming techniques, trading and bartering, coins and currency) created by three civilizations found in different regions of the world, and categorize how they met specific human needs or wants.

Standard 6.1.5
Use primary and secondary sources to compare the cultures of three civilizations found in different regions of the world and identify examples of cultural expression (for example, architecture, writing, philosophy, artwork).

Standard 6.1.6
Compare the purposes and functions of early governments (for example, monarchy, oligarchy, tyranny, pure democracy, republic, theocracy) to modern governments.

Strand 2: Globalization

Students will compare how the transformation and changes of the post-classical era (Ca. 500 C.E.–1500 C.E.) set in motion the expansion of knowledge through science, language, writing, religion, and technological innovations. They will understand how this created and encouraged a global interconnectedness among distant societies and civilizations that ripples into modern history.

Compelling Questions:

  • How do ideas and belief systems unite or divide groups of people?
  • How did technological and scientific developments of the time promote literacy and the exchange of ideas that continue to this day?
  • Make a case for the most significant technological or scientific development from the Middle Ages or the Renaissance.
  • How does immigration play a role in globalization of ideas, goods, or knowledge?

Standard 6.2.1
Summarize key tenets of the major world religions (including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism).

Standard 6.2.2
Use primary and secondary sources to explain how the spread of religious ideas during the post-classical era influenced globalization (for example, spread of Islam, Crusades, cultural expression through art and architecture, Reformation).

Standard 6.2.3
Identify the most historically significant inventions and innovations from Ca. 500 C.E.–1500 C.E. (for example, printing press/moveable type, astronomy, medicine), and argue their ongoing importance.

Standard 6.2.4
Use maps to trace how geography affected the ability of humans to connect with each other (for example, economic and cultural expansion, development of international trade, spread of disease).

Standard 6.2.5
Critique how and why systems of governance took steps toward self-rule during the post-classical period (for example, the rise of the merchant class, Magna Carta, feudalism in Europe and Japan).

Standard 6.2.6
Generalize how the spread of goods and ideas led to the increased influence of China, India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East on globalization.

Strand 3: Colonization, Imperialism and Independence Movements

Students will describe how the political and economic impacts of this time period (c. 1500 C.E.–2000 C.E.) created new political ideologies and technology, providing prime conditions and motivations for colonization, imperialism, and independence that continue to be echoed in current conversations.

Compelling Questions:

  • Why do nations often desire to create empires, and how do they do so?
  • What conditions can lead to revolutions?
  • What are the pros and cons of global interconnectedness?
  • In what ways does immigration impact the conditions and motivations of exploration, colonization, or independence movements?
  • In what ways do the ideals of Industrial Imperialism and 19th century Enlightenment lead to desires for independence, self-rule, and rights?

Standard 6.3.1
Describe how the conditions and motivations of exploration, colonization, and/or imperialism around the world connect to globalization.

Standard 6.3.2
Use maps and other data sets to make inferences about the lasting impacts of exploration, colonization, and/or imperialism.

Standard 6.3.3
Use primary and secondary sources to draw conclusions about the positive and negative economic impacts of expansion and major global conflicts (for example, Colombian Exchange, economic depressions, rise of factories, effects of famine, slave trade).

Standard 6.3.4
Explain the causes and effects of at least three events that created political, social, economic, industrial, and/or scientific revolution during the 18th–20th century (for example, the French Revolution, Vietnam, Latin American revolutions, the Enlightenment, independence movements of India and African nations).

Standard 6.3.5
Cite evidence to identify the causes and effects of World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.

Strand 4: Our Modern World (World Religions, Cold War Era, Current Global Events/Issues)

Students will examine varying perspectives and opportunities for civic responsibilities based on the backdrop of two world wars, competing economic systems, and unprecedented technological changes. They will review how human and civil rights have developed over time, and use current events to increase awareness and identify possible solutions.

Compelling Questions:

  • What are some of the commonalities found in major world religions?
  • How has the struggle to gain and retain basic human rights, needs, and power in society resulted in historical conflict?
  • Who are some of the inspiring people around the world who are champions of human rights and dignity?
  • What impact might the (insert current global issue here) have on world economies?

Standard 6.4.1
Use primary and secondary sources to describe the impact and/or lasting historical significance of at least two major global events of the 20th–21st centuries not previously studied (for example, the Cold War, Vietnam, genocides, trade wars, terrorism, human rights movements).

Standard 6.4.2
Summarize the main differences between economic systems across the world (including communism, free market capitalism, individualism, socialism). Discuss the relationship between these systems and the concepts of freedom, equality, and fairness.

Standard 6.4.3
Determine how human rights and responsibilities around the world have developed over time, and identify ways individuals and organizations work to protect rights considered essential for all humans.

Standard 6.4.4
Cite current national and/or global events that exemplify the concept of global interconnectedness.

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.