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Social Studies: 4th Grade

Learn the social studies topics covered in 4th Grade and help your child with activities you both can do at home.

Learning Benefits

Social studies in the 4th grade encourages students to deepen their reading, writing and analytical skills as well as their knowledge and appreciation of their own local history and American history. Students compare different perspectives using both primary and secondary texts and write both informative pieces and essays. Fourth graders also use technology to research both past and current events. In all of their work, 4th graders are taught to analyze the reasons why things occur and form strong supported opinions and ideas, encouraging them to think more deeply around the world. Since most social studies curricula are specific to a location, consult your child’s teacher or your state’s social studies standards to find out which specific communities and which specific aspects of the community will be covered. While many social studies curricula differ according to state, many 4th grade classes study the founding and early years of American society and government.

In order to build social studies skills, your 4th grader:

  • Studies and uses maps to gain a deeper understanding of geography and how geography affects a community.
  • Researches, organizes and presents his research on various topics, events and figures.
  • Discusses topics focusing on explaining his opinion using specific details, facts and reasons to support his opinion.
  • Writes essays which state an opinion and includes supporting facts for that opinion.
  • Reads primary and secondary sources about different events, people and topics.
  • Uses technology to research both past and current events and topics. 
  • Deepens his understanding of government and civic responsibility.
  • Deepens his understanding of basic economic principles and how one’s community effects his or her economy and business.
  • Uses and creates multiple types of sources including art, film, poetry and fiction to learn and show what he has learned about historical events and social studies topics.
  • Understands different concepts such as cause and effect in order to explain and learn why things happen or happened.
  • Compares different events and retellings of the same event.
  • Discusses American holidays and important days and events as they approach.

Social Studies Activities

  • Stay Current: Encourage your child to read news magazines for kids, such as Scholastic Kids. Ask them and talk to them about current events. Encourage them to share their opinion and ideas about the events.
  • Imagine That: Help your child see things from different perspectives. Read or learn about a moment, adult or child in history and talk about how your child would feel if he were in their shoes. Your child can even dress up as the figure or a person living during that time and act out how he felt.
  • Compare Perspectives: Your child can interview a person who lived during an important historical or current event. Then read about the moment in a secondary source and compare the two perspectives.
  • Watch, Read and Listen: Compare different sources (books, movies, art, songs, poems) about an event and talk about how they treat one topic or moment differently.
  • Visit Historical Places: Visit both local and national historical landmarks.  Local landmarks are particularly important as they will help your child relate to events which occurred near to his own home. 

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