• Grade 4:  New York State and Local History and Government

    In fourth grade, students will study “New York State and Local History and Government

    Our fourth graders engage in structured inquiry to learn about:  

    • Civic Ideals and Practices
    • Development, Movement, and Interaction of Cultures
    • Geography, Humans and the Environment
    • Development and Transformation of Social Structures
    • Time, Continuity, and Change 
    • Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic  Systems
    • Power, Authority, and Governance
    • Science, Technology, and Innovation
    • Global Connections and Exchange

    Grade 4 Social Studies is focused on New York State and local communities and their change over time, incorporating the study of geography, history, economics, and government. Students will make local connections throughout the year. The year is divided into seven key ideas that span the state’s history from before the European colonial era to the modern period. The key ideas allow students to make connections to present-day New York State and the local community.

    The New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework is designed to prepare students for college, careers, and civic life. Our K-4 social studies curriculum provides an introduction to civics/government, economics, geography, and history. Throughout grades K-4, students will develop and apply disciplinary literacy skills to social studies themes. These skills include: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as digital literacy skills through their use of technology. As students seek answers to compelling and supporting questions, they will examine a variety of primary and secondary sources and communicate their responses in multiple ways; including oral, visual, digital, and written forms. Students will learn to gather and interpret sources of information/evidence, draw and build upon ideas, ask and answer questions, explore current issues, and analyze events to develop critical thinking skills essential for productive citizens.


    • GEOGRAPHY OF NEW YORK STATE: New York State has a diverse geography. Various maps can be used to represent and examine the geography of New York State.
    • NATIVE AMERICAN GROUPS AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Native American groups, chiefly the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and Algonquian-speaking groups, inhabited the region that became New York State. These people interacted with the environment and developed unique cultures. 
    • COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD IN NEW YORK: European exploration led to the colonization of the region that became New York State. Beginning in the early 1600s, colonial New York was home to people from many different countries. Colonial New York was important during the Revolutionary Period. 
    • GOVERNMENT: There are different levels of government within the United States and New York State. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens and to promote the common good. The government of New York State establishes rights, freedoms, and responsibilities for its citizens.
    • IN SEARCH OF FREEDOM AND A CALL FOR CHANGE: Different groups of people did not have equal rights and freedoms. People worked to bring about change. The struggle for rights and freedoms was one factor in the division of the United States that resulted in the Civil War.
    • WESTWARD MOVEMENT AND INDUSTRIALIZATION: New York State played an important role in the growth of the United States. During the 1800s, people traveled west looking for opportunities. Economic activities in New York State are varied and have changed over time, with improvements in transportation and technology.
    • IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION FROM THE EARLY 1800S TO THE PRESENT:  Many people have immigrated and migrated to New York State contributing to its cultural growth and development.