Grade 4 Social Studies Table of Contents Unit 1: Map Skills—Examining the United States’ Place in the World 1 Unit 2: Geographic and Cultural Characteristics of Regions 15 Unit 3: The Movement of People: a historical Perspective 28 Unit 4: The Movement of

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Grade 4

Social Studies

Grade 4

Social Studies
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Map Skills—Examining the United States’ Place in the World 1
Unit 2: Geographic and Cultural Characteristics of Regions 15
Unit 3: The Movement of People: A Historical Perspective 28
Unit 4: The Movement of Ideas: Scientific Contributions and Culture 38
Unit 5: The Movement of Goods and Resources 47
Unit 6: Our Government 59
Unit 7: Growth of a Nation 68
Unit 8: Making Economic Choices 82
Unit 9: Producers and Consumers 89
Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum, Revised 2008

Course Introduction
The Louisiana Department of Education issued the Comprehensive Curriculum in 2005. The curriculum has been revised based on teacher feedback, an external review by a team of content experts from outside the state, and input from course writers. As in the first edition, the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum, revised 2008 is aligned with state content standards, as defined by Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs), and organized into coherent, time-bound units with sample activities and classroom assessments to guide teaching and learning. The order of the units ensures that all GLEs to be tested are addressed prior to the administration of iLEAP assessments.
District Implementation Guidelines

Local districts are responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and have been delegated the responsibility to decide if

  • units are to be taught in the order presented

  • substitutions of equivalent activities are allowed

  • GLES can be adequately addressed using fewer activities than presented

  • permitted changes are to be made at the district, school, or teacher level

Districts have been requested to inform teachers of decisions made.
Implementation of Activities in the Classroom

Incorporation of activities into lesson plans is critical to the successful implementation of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum. Lesson plans should be designed to introduce students to one or more of the activities, to provide background information and follow-up, and to prepare students for success in mastering the Grade-Level Expectations associated with the activities. Lesson plans should address individual needs of students and should include processes for re-teaching concepts or skills for students who need additional instruction. Appropriate accommodations must be made for students with disabilities.
New Features

Content Area Literacy Strategies are an integral part of approximately one-third of the activities. Strategy names are italicized. The link (view literacy strategy descriptions) opens a document containing detailed descriptions and examples of the literacy strategies. This document can also be accessed directly at
A Materials List is provided for each activity and Blackline Masters (BLMs) are provided to assist in the delivery of activities or to assess student learning. A separate Blackline Master document is provided for each course.
The Access Guide to the Comprehensive Curriculum is an online database of suggested strategies, accommodations, assistive technology, and assessment options that may provide greater access to the curriculum activities. The Access Guide will be piloted during the 2008-2009 school year in Grades 4 and 8, with other grades to be added over time. Click on the Access Guide icon found on the first page of each unit or by going directly to the url
Grade 4

Social Studies

Unit 1: Map Skills—Examining the United States’ Place in the World

Time Frame: Three weeks

Unit Description

This unit focuses on a review of map skills. Historical and geographical analysis skills are used to examine a history of the United States. Fundamental concepts in geography are explored.

Student Understandings
Students will understand the characteristics and uses of various maps as they locate nations, states, and communities. They should be able to compare characteristics of different areas by using geographic tools, such as grid lines and the compass rose, to locate places around the world.

Guiding Questions
1. Can students identify and interpret various types of maps?

2. Can students locate and label locations on a map or globe using lines of latitude and


3. Can students explain what causes the Earth’s surface to change?

4. Can students discuss how people impact their environment and in what way people

depend on the environment?

5. Can students explain what influences patterns of land use and settlement?

6. Can students identify the differences among countries, states, parishes, and


Unit 1 Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs)


GLE Text and Benchmarks



Interpret different kinds of maps using a map key/legend, compass rose, cardinal and intermediate directions, and distance scale (G-1A-E1)


Use a variety of images or other spatial graphics (e.g., aerial photographs, satellite images) to locate major physical and human characteristics (G-1A-E1)


Locate and label places on a map or globe: the seven continents, the United States and its major land forms, major bodies of water and waterways, referring to the poles, the equator, latitude, longitude and meridians (G-1A-E2)


Identify all U.S. states by shapes and position on map (G-1A-E2)


Draw, complete, and add features to a map (including such map elements as a title, compass rose, legend, and scale), based on given information (G-1A-E3)

Places and Regions


Describe and compare the distinguishing characteristics of various land forms, bodies of water, climates, and forms of vegetation in the United States (G-1B-E1)

Physical and Human Systems


Identify physical processes that change Earth’s surface and create physical features suddenly or over time (e.g., what physical process created the Grand Canyon, Great Lakes, and Hawaiian Islands) (G-1C-E1)


Identify geographical/physical reasons for regional variations that influence patterns of settlement and land use in the United States and the world, past and present (G-1C-E2)


Differentiate between countries, states, parishes, and cities (G-1C-E6)

Environment and Society


Identify ways in which people in the United States depend upon and modify the physical environment (G-1D-E1)

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