Social Studies

3rd Grade Social Studies

3rd Grade Social Studies
Text: Meet Michigan 

3rd Grade Social Studies

Text: Meet Michigan 

 

The following overview of 3rd Grade Social Studies has been copied from the State of Michigan Department of Education GLCEs.


Third grade students explore the social studies disciplines of history, geography, civics and government, and economics through the context of Michigan studies. Building on prior social studies knowledge and applying new concepts of each social studies discipline to the increasingly complex social environment of their state, the third grade content expectations prepare students for more sophisticated studies of their country and world in later grades.

 

History

In third grade, students refine their abilities to think like a historian by identifying the types of questions that historians ask. Building upon experiences of timeline construction, students sequence early periods of Michigan history from exploration through attaining statehood. The expectations move students from examining a variety of simple sources to understanding how historians use both primary and secondary sources to learn about the past. Students use both types of sources as they explore the early history of Michigan, providing a rich connection to the English language arts. Through traditional stories, students learn about the beliefs of American Indians. They compare how American Indians and settlers interacted with their environment through informational text. The skill of constructing historical narratives is developed using the context of daily life in the early settlements. The expectations build on students’ sense of chronology by requiring students to describe causal relationships among events. These foundational understandings prepare students for more sophisticated writing and analyses as they prepare to study United States history in subsequent grades.

 

Geography

Third grade students draw upon prior knowledge to create more complex understandings of geographic concepts using the context of Michigan. They further develop spatial awareness through the use of more complex maps of Michigan. Students refine the concept of regions as they explore different ways Michigan can be divided into regions and learn about the different geographic regions to which Michigan belongs. Building upon their knowledge of human systems, students investigate current economic activities in Michigan and explore factors that influence the location of these economic activities. The expectations also extend the geographic theme of movement as students describe current movements of goods, people, jobs, or information to, from, or within Michigan, and investigate the reasons for the movements. In addressing human-environment interactions, the expectations integrate history as students apply their knowledge of how people adapt to, use, and modify the environment to the more complex social environment of their state. More sophisticated understandings are also created as students locate different natural resources in Michigan and analyze the consequences of their use. These foundations prepare students for a more elaborate understanding of geography as they examine their country and world in subsequent grades.

 

Civics and Government

In extending students’ civic perspective beyond the family, neighborhood, and community to the state, the third grade content expectations prepare students for their role as responsible and informed citizens of Michigan. Building upon their knowledge of government of the local community, students distinguish the roles of state government from local government. Using the context of state government, students examine the concept of separation of powers by exploring the powers of each branch of state government. By examining how the state courts function to resolve conflicts, students deepen their understanding of the rule of law. The idea of representative government is introduced. By focusing on key concepts, such as citizens’ rights and responsibilities, separation of powers, individual rights, rules of law, representative government, and justice, students are prepared for the roles of citizens in our democratic republic.

 

Economics

Third grade students refine their understanding of the principles and concepts of economics. Building on a basic understanding of scarcity and choice, students learn to appreciate the relationships among scarcity, choice, and opportunity costs in making economic decisions. In addition, students are introduced to how incentives impact economic decision making. Students explore Michigan’s economy by examining how natural resources have influenced economic development in the state. An introduction to the concepts of entrepreneurship, specialization, and interdependence allows students to explore the relationship of Michigan to the national and global economies. Finally, students use these concepts to consider the role of new business development in Michigan’s future.

 

Public Discourse, Decision Making, and Citizen Involvement

Students continue to develop a more sophisticated understanding of public issues and the importance of citizen action in a democratic republic. Using the context of Michigan, third grade students identify public policy issues facing citizens in Michigan, use graphic data and other sources to analyze information about the issue, and evaluate alternative resolutions. By utilizing core democratic values to demonstrate why people may differ on the resolution of a state issue, students continue to develop competency in expressing their own opinions relative to these issues and justify their opinions with reasons. This foundational knowledge is built upon throughout the grades as students develop a greater understanding of how, when, and where to communicate their positions on public issues with a reasoned argument.