Standards FAQ

Q: Do these Standards require that Topic 2, The History of Students’ Own State or Region, be taught at all grades, K-2 and 3-4?

A: No. The local school curriculum and the approach it takes to history for young children will determine when the standards included in Topic 2 are taught, whether partially in grades K-3, exclusively in grade 4, or in some other curriculum arrangement. Once that curriculum decision is made, teachers can enter these standards to determine which ones are appropriate for their students.

Q: Are teachers of grades 3-4 expected to teach all the standards coded K-4 in the shaded boxes?

A: No. These standards assume that teachers at all grades of early schooling, K-4, will include history in their programs. In that case, standards coded as appropriate for grades K-4 will probably have been studied to some degree during grades K-2, and emphasis can be turned in grades 3 and 4 to those standards that are coded 3-4 and that are better reserved for these later years. Again, these are matters of well-designed, articulated curriculum planning within the jurisdiction of local schools.

Q: Does the thinking skill incorporated in a particular standard limit teachers to that one skill?

A: No. Decidedly not. Each elaborated standard highlights one important thinking skill. However, it is understood that good teaching will incorporate several, or even many, thinking skills to develop these understandings. In fact, as students mature, they will draw on a widening range of skills.

Q: Does the particular thinking skill identified in the standard limit the instructional approaches teachers might use to develop these outcomes with students?

A: No. To take one example, the first bulleted component of Standard 3B, “Gathering data in order to analyze geographic, economic, and religious reasons that brought the first explorers and settlers to their state or region,” can be developed through a variety of teaching approaches. Illustrated in the Examples of Student Achievement of Standard 3B presented on pages 10 and 11, these approaches include reading biographies and historical fiction, visiting historic sites and living history museums, and studying historical maps, journals, and other primary sources in order to gather data; engaging in such activities as creating group stories and historical narratives of their own; and creating maps, dramatizations, and “shoebox pictures strips” to depict and explain the reasons people came and the experiences they encountered.