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Introduction to the shift in the History Social Science Framework 

This framework guides educators as they design, implement, and maintain a coherent course of study to teach content, develop inquiry-based critical thinking skills, improve reading comprehension and expository writing ability, and promote an engaged and knowledgeable citizenry in history and the related social sciences.

The subject areas covered in this framework offer students the opportunity to learn about the world and their place in it, think critically, read, write, and communicate clearly. History, civics and government, geography, and economics are integral to the mission of preparing California’s children for college, careers, and civic life. These disciplines develop students’ understanding of the physical world, encourage their participation in our democratic system of government, teach them about our past, inform their financial choices, and improve their ability to make reasoned decisions based upon evidence. Moreover, these disciplines play a vital role in the development of student literacy because of a shared emphasis on text, argumentation, and use of evidence.

Important shifts in instructional practice have occurred since this document was last updated. Thus this framework seeks to bring up to date the state of these important areas of study. Achieving these goals is a shared responsibility. History–social science teachers are encouraged to collaborate with their colleagues in other disciplines to ensure that all students achieve the common goal of readiness for their future as literate, informed, and engaged citizens.


Goal of Knowledge and Cultural Understanding    

The goal of knowledge and cultural understanding is pursued by developing students’ literacy in history and the other humanities (including ethics), geography, economics, sociology, and political science. Certain essential learning’s are integral to the development of each of these literacy strands.

Historical Literacy   To develop historical literacy, students must:

  • Develop research skills and a sense of historical empathy.
  • Understand the meaning of time and chronology.
  • Analyze cause and effect
  • Understand the reasons for continuity and change.
  • Recognize history as common memory, with political implications.
  • Understand the importance of religion, philosophy, and other major belief systems in history.

Ethical Literacy   To develop ethical literacy, students must:

  • Recognize the sanctity of life and the dignity of the individual.
  • Understand the ways in which different societies have tried to resolve ethical issues
  • Understand that the ideas people profess affect their behavior.
  • Realize that concern for ethics and human rights is universal and represents the aspirations of men and women in every time and place.

Cultural Literacy   To develop cultural literacy, students must:

  • Understand the rich, complex nature of a given culture: its history, geography, politics, literature, art, drama, music, dance, law, religion, philosophy, architecture, technology, science, education, sports, social structure, and economy.
  • Recognize the relationships among the various parts of a nation’s cultural life.
  • Learn about the mythology, legends, values, and beliefs of a people.
  • Recognize that literature and art shape and reflect the inner life of a people.
  • Take pride in their own cultural heritages and develop a multicultural perspective that respects the dignity and worth of all people.

Geographic Literacy    To develop geographic literacy, students must:

  • Develop an awareness of place.
  • Develop locational skills and understanding.
  • Understand human and environmental interaction.
  • Understand human movement.
  • Understand world regions and their historical, cultural, economic, and political characteristics.

Economic Literacy  To develop economic literacy, students must:

  • Understand the basic economic problems confronting all societies.
  • Understand comparative economic systems.
  • Understand the basic economic goals, performance, and problems of our society.
  • Understand the international economic system.

Sociopolitical Literacy   To develop sociopolitical literacy, students must:

  • Understand the close relationship between social and political systems.
  • Understand the close relationship between society and the law.
  • Understand comparative political systems.


The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for grades six through eight. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in grades six through eight. In addition to the standards for grades six through eight, students demonstrate the following intellectual reasoning, reflection, and research skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

1.  Students explain how major events are related to one another in time.

2.  Students construct various time lines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era they are studying.

3.  Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems.

Research, Evidence, and Point of View

1.  Students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research.

2.  Students distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories.

3.  Students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories.

4.  Students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them.

5.  Students detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author’s perspectives).

Historical Interpretation

1.  Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.

2.  Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long- and short-term causal relations.

3.  Students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns. 

4.  Students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history.

5.  Students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as

new information is uncovered.

6.  Students interpret basic indicators of economic performance and conduct cost-benefit analyses of economic and political issues.

National Geographic Geography Bee

Prepare for the Nat Geo Bee at


Stanley Bee is held in January.

Email Ms Lusk with questions.


  • Use PowerPoint™ presentations / overhead transparencies and notes / graphic organizers for visual learners when lecturing.
  • Teach key concepts and generalizations unique to each topic or period.
  • Examine various points of view.
  • Use a variety of text, video, and taped material of varying degrees of difficulty.
  • Contrast historical or abstract facts with current events to bring relevancy to students.
  • Offer several options for projects so that each student can express his or her understanding in individual ways.