Illinois Learning Standards
Stage A - Social Science
Students who meet the standard can understand and explain basic principles of the United States government.
- Name rules and responsibilities that students have at home,
in school, and in public places.
- Describe rules that help students treat each other fairly.
- Demonstrate ways students help each other (e.g., taking
turns and sharing).
- Explain the consequences of breaking rules.
- Give an example of a fair resolution to a conflict among
Students who meet the standard can understand the structures and functions of the political systems of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.
- Identify persons who are authority figures in their home,
school, and community.
- Describe a person who provides positive leadership for
- Name a person who has served as President of the United
- Identify a type of official who has an office or role
within a government (e.g., mayor, Congressman, President).
- Name a duty, job, or responsibility of a government (e.g.,
protection of the people, make laws).
Students who meet the standard can understand election processes and responsibilities of citizens.
- Discuss decision-making in their lives.
- Describe a situation where people vote to resolve their
differences and decide what to do.
- Lead a class vote over something the class would like
- Explain why majority rule is used in group decision-making
(e.g., voting for food at a class party).
Students who meet the standard can understand the roles and influences of individuals and interest groups in the political systems of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.
- Name a student or parent group that serves their school.
- Describe a person in the community who helps to improve
the lives of others (e.g., community center director, day
- Identify a government official or public servant carrying
out their duties or responsibilities (e.g., a police officer
arresting a criminal, lifeguard teaching swimming at the
Students who meet the standard can understand United States foreign policy as it relates to other nations and international issues.
- Identify a country other than the United States to which
a person can travel.
- Recognize the titles for heads of government (e.g., presidents).
Students who meet the standard can understand the development of United States political ideas and traditions.
- Give reasons for being honest and truthful when talking
and working with other people.
- State the benefits of showing respect for the ideas and
property of others.
- Name a holiday with political significance.
- Identify a patriotic symbol of the United States (e.g.,
flag, bald eagle).
- Describe what freedom means.
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Students who meet the standard understand economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
- Identify goods and services from a set of pictures of
goods and services.
- Describe a choice they have made and explain why they
had to make a choice.
- Suggest a way in which a scarce item could be distributed
(e.g., one jump rope, 3 children).
- Describe jobs they do at home.
- Identify workers they see at school and in the community.
Students who meet the standard understand that scarcity necessitates choices by consumers.
- Identify a choice students have made when buying a good
- List goods they want and label them as "wants."
- Make a choice between two items and tell what was given
Students who meet the standard understand that scarcity necessitates choices by producers.
- Identify people who produce goods and services in the
- List the resources needed to make a simple item.
Students who meet the standard understand trade as an exchange of goods or services.
- Identify exchanges that students have made without the
use of money.
- Identify exchanges that students have made with the use
- List items that students use but do not make themselves.
Students who meet the standard understand the impact of government policies and decisions on production and consumption in the economy.
- Identify workers who provide public goods and services
in the community.
Students who meet the standard can apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation.
- Give an example of an event that occurred in the past
and an example of a current event.
- Place a series of events that occurred during their lifetime
in chronological order.
- Tell why they need to know about their past, and others'
- Use a story or an image about the distant past to tell
about what life was like during that period.
Students who meet the standard understand the development of significant political events.
- Name commemorative holidays and festivals. (US)
- Explain why important people and events are remembered
on holidays. (US)
- Tell how a past event has influenced their life. (US)
- Tell about a current political event in the world today.
- Tell how people were governed in the past (e.g., what
did kings do? What did nobles do? What rights did people
Students who meet the standard understand the development of economic systems.
- Provide examples of goods and services traded in the past.
- Compare/contrast images of people trading in the past
and present. (US)
- Identify economic choices (e.g., crops to plant, items
to trade) made by people in the past and present. (W)
- Cite examples of workers from around the world in the
past and present. (W)
Students who meet the standard understand Illinois, United States, and world social history.
- Describe a family tradition. (US)
- Use an image or other historical source from the past
to describe family roles. (US)
- Describe a community tradition. (US)
- Identify a family tradition from another land. (W)
- Provide examples of traditions and customs from people
in the past. (W)
Students who meet the standard understand Illinois, United States, and world environmental history.
- Ask a question about what the physical features of the
land were like before people came to the local community.
- Tell how people survived in the local community many years
- Tell how people survived in a place far away and long
Students who meet the standard can locate, describe and explain places, regions and features on Earth.
- Describe how physical and human features look between
home and school (e.g., hilly, flat, a river, trees).
- Construct a model of the physical and human features on
the school grounds or in the neighborhood (e.g., using a
sandbox and toys).
- Describe daily changes in the weather and in the seasons
in your community.
- Identify land and water areas on a map of the local community
and on a globe.
- Identify the globe as a model of Earth.
- Locate objects in the classroom using a simple map.
Students who meet the standard can analyze and explain characteristics and interactions of Earth's physical systems.
- Compare physical features of different places around the
community using photographs.
- Describe physical features seen on a field trip or a vacation.
- Show seasonal change (e.g., marking the changing length
of a student's shadow at various times throughout the year,
drawing or taking a picture of a student by a tree at various
times throughout the year).
Students who meet the standard can understand relationships between geographic factors and society.
- Identify pictures showing how people use air, water, and
land in different ways.
- Describe how people dress for various activities (e.g.,
making a snowman, going to the beach, going on a picnic).
- Identify food resources coming from farms and water resources
Students who meet the standard can understand the historical significance of geography.
- Draw pictures of changes in natural vegetation in your
neighborhood during the four seasons.
- Observe and record changes in the school and local community
through pictures or photos.
- Tell how shopping areas, housing, play areas, and businesses
in the local neighborhood have changed over time.
Students who meet the standard can compare characteristics of culture as reflected in language, literature, the arts, traditions, and institutions.
- List cultural groups in your community (e.g., churches,
- Give examples of language, traditions, and artifacts that
represent the community.
Students who meet the standard can understand the roles and interactions of individuals and groups in society.
- List activities that groups do together on a regular basis.
- Tell about the roles of family members.
- Tell about the roles performed by people in the community.
Students who meet the standard can understand how social systems form and develop over time.
- List social categories (e.g., father, cousin, employer,
friend) to which people belong.
- Identify the basic needs of individuals and groups for
Return to Social Science Classroom
Assessments and Performance Descriptors