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Elementary K-4 Ideas
Standard 1 K-4 Standard 2 Standard 3 Standard 4 Standard 5


Standard 5:  Civics, Citizenship, and Government  Elementary  Grades K-4

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the U.S. and other nations; the U.S. Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation

Key Idea 1:  The study of civics, citizenship, and government involves learning about political systems; the purposes of government and civic life; and the differing assumptions held by people across time and place regarding power, authority, governance, and law. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)
Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students 

·          know the meaning of key terms and concepts related to government, including democracy, power, citizenship, nation-state, and justice

·          explain the probable consequences of the absence of government and rules

·          describe the basic purposes of government and the importance of civic life

·          understand that social and political systems are based upon people’s beliefs

·          discuss how and why the world is divided into nations and what kinds of governments other nations have

Key Idea 2:  The state and federal governments established by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York embody basic civic values (such as justice, honesty, self-discipline, due process, equality, majority rule with respect for minority rights, and respect for self, others, and property), principles, and practices and establish a system of shared and limited government. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994
Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students

·          explain how the Constitutions of New York State and the United States and the Bill of Rights are the basis for democratic values in the United States

·          understand the basic civil values that are the foundation of American constitutional democracy

·          know what the United States Constitution is and why it is important (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)

·          understand that the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of New York are written plans for organizing the functions of government

·          understand the structure of New York State and local governments including executive, legislative, and judicial branches

·          identify their legislative and executive representatives at the local, state, and national governments (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)

Key Idea 3:  Central to civics and citizenship is an understanding of the roles of the citizen within American constitutional democracy and the scope of a citizen’s rights and responsibilities. 
Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students

·          understand that citizenship includes an awareness of the holidays, celebrations, and symbols of our nation

·          examine what it means to be a good citizen in the classroom, school, home, and community

·          identify and describe the rules and responsibilities students have at home, in the classroom, and at school

·          examine the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and New York State

·          understand that effective, informed citizenship is a duty of each citizen, demonstrated by jury service, voting, and community service

·          identify basic rights that students have and those that they will acquire as they age

Key Idea 4:  The study of civics and citizenship requires the ability to probe ideas and assumptions, ask and answer analytical questions, take a skeptical attitude toward questionable arguments, evaluate evidence, formulate rational conclusions, and develop and refine participatory skills
Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students

·          show a willingness to consider other points of view before drawing conclusions or making judgments

·          participate in activities that focus on a classroom, school, or community issue or problem

·          suggest alternative solutions or courses of action to hypothetical or historic problems

·          evaluate the consequences for each alternative solution or course of action

·          prioritize the solutions based on established criteria

·          propose an action plan to address the issue of how to solve the problem