Fort Dodge Community School District

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Fourth Grade Social Studies Overview

The Social Studies Curriculum in Fourth Grade acquaints students with the Regions of the United States.  Resources for the Social Studies Curriculum are varied, but the basic curriculum is the Social Studies Alive Curriculum developed by Teachers Curriculum Institute.

Social Studies Alive:  The fourth grade level of Social Studies Alive! offers a full-year program with 17 lessons that help children explore social studies concepts.  A colorful, considerate text contains companion readings for each learning activity.

  • Chapter  1:  Where are the Social Sciences?  Students explore the roles of geographers, historians, economists, and political scientists.
  • Chapter 2:  Exploring Regions of the  United States: Students develop mapping skills as they study five regions of the United States.  
  • Chapter 3:  The People of the United States:  Students learn how five racial and ethnic groups came to America and contributed to its growth and development.
  • Chapter 4 :  A Train Tour of the Northeast:  Students take a simulated tour of nine northeastern sites. 
  • Chapter 5:  Population Density and Life in the Northeast:  Students learn how population density affects life in this very urban region.
  • Chapter 6:  A Bus and Boat Tour of the Southeast:  Students take a simulated tour of nine southeastern sites. 
  • Chapter 7:  The Effects of Geography on Life in the Southeast: Students learn how climate, elevation, natural resources, and bodies of water affect life in this region.
  • Chapter 8:  A Crop Duster Tour of the Midwest:   Students take a simulated tour of nine Midwestern sites.
  • Chapter 9:  Agricultural Changes in the Nation's Breadbasket:  Students learn how farm life has changed from 1800 to today.
  • Chapter 10: A Big Rig Tour of the Southwest: Students take a simulated tour of nine southwestern sites.
  • Chapter 11:  A Case Study in Water Use: The Colorado River: Students explore the history of people's sharing and taming the waters of the Colorado River.
  • Chapter 12:  A Van and Airplane Tour of the West:  Students take a simulated tour of nine western sites.
  • Chapter 13:  Cities of the West   Students learn about life in seven major cities in the West.
  • Chapter 14:  Researching Your State's Geography:   Students use maps, atlases, library books, and the internet to explore the geography of their state.
  • Chapter 15:  Researching Your State's History:  Students create "talking buildings" that tell the story of their state's history.
  • Chapter 16:  Researching Your State's Economy:  Students create "museum exhibits" that depict essential activities of their state's economy.
  • Chapter 17:  Researching Your State's Government   Students develop an idea for a new state law and write a storybook depicting the law's progress through their state's legislative system.

Through the study of the lessons above, as well as units integrated with reading, students in fourth grade will continue their study of the following Iowa Core Social Studies Standards:

  • Understand how personality and socialization impact the individual.
  • Understand the process of how humans develop, learn, adapt to the environment, and internalize their culture.
  • Understand current social issues to determine how the individual formulates opinions and responds to issues.
  • Understand how to evaluate social research and information.
  • Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions.
  • Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development society and the movement of populations.
  • Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
  • Understand historical patterns, periods of time, and the relationships among these elements.
  • Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
  • Understand the effects of geographic factors on historical events.
  • Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.
  • Understand the differences among local, state, and national government.


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