National Standards

Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS Bulletin 89)

(An example of a Project American Life activity that correlates with the
national standards follows each particular objective. Many P.A.L. activities
cover a multitude of these objectives at the same time.)

Culture

Early Grades

The learner can:
- explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies,
and cultures address similar human needs and concerns (The Compassion Meal)
- -describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture (Mind Music)
- compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with
the physical environment and social conditions (Wall Street)

Middle Grades

The learner can:
- compare similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures
meet human needs and concerns (The Friendship Meal)
- explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of culture (Mind Music)
- explain why individuals and groups respond differently to their physical and
social environments and/or changes to them on the basis of shared assumptions,
values, and beliefs (Eyes to See)


Time, Continuity, and Change
Early Grades


The learner can:
- compare and contrast different stories or accounts about past events, people,
places, or situations, identifying how they contribute to our understanding of the
past (Quiet Sing)


Middle Grades

The learner can:
- identify and use processes important to reconstructing and reinterpreting the
past, such as using a variety of sources, providing, validating, and weighing
evidence for claims, checking credibility of sources, and searching for causality
(Riddle of the Ages)


People, Places and Environments
Early Grades

The learner can:
- examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions (I am Human)


Middle Grades

The learner can:
- examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their
interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of
customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes (I am Human)
- describe ways that historical events have been influenced by, and have influenced, physical and human geographic factors in local, regional, national, and global settings (In Search of America)


Individual Development and Identity
Early Grades

The learner can:
- describe personal connections to place—especially place as associated with
immediate surroundings (Principle Meal)
- identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the
individual’s daily life and personal choices (Eyes to See)
- explore factors that contribute to one’s own personal identity such as interests,
capabilities, and perceptions (Night Hike)
- work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals (Wall Street)


Middle Grades


The learner can:
- describe personal connections to place—as associated with community, nation,
and world (Questions of the Day)
- identify and describe the influence of perception, attitudes, values, and beliefs on personal history (Night Hike)
- identify and interpret examples of stereotyping, conformity, and altruism (Riddle
of the Ages)
- work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals (Laws of Nature)

Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Early Grades

The learner can:
- identify and describe examples of tension between an individual’s beliefs and
government policies and laws (Standard Procedure)


Middle Grades


The learner can:
- demonstrate an understanding of concepts such as role, status, and social class in describing the interactions of individuals and social groups (The Caste System)
- identify and describe examples of tensions between belief systems and
government policies and laws (Brainiac)


Power, Authority, and Governance
Early Grades


The learner can:
- examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her
social group, such as family, peer group, and school class (In Search of a Better
Idea)
- give examples of how government does or does not provide for needs and wants of people, establish order and security, and manage conflict (Citizenship Rules)
- identify and describe factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes
within and among groups and nations (Laws of Nature)


Middle Grades
The learner can:
- examine persistent issues involving the rights, roles, and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare (The Caste System)
- analyze and explain ideas and governmental mechanisms to meet the needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, and establish order and
security (Citizenship Rules)
- explain conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and
cooperation within and among nations (Independence Hall)


Global Connections
Early Grades


The learner can:
- investigate concerns, issues, standards, and conflicts related to universal human
rights, such as the treatment of children, religious groups, and effects of war (In
Search of America)

Middle Grades
The learner can:
- demonstrate understanding of concerns, standards, issues, and conflicts related to universal human rights (In Search of America)
- identify and describe the roles of international and multinational organizations
(The Compassion Meal)


Production, Distribution, and Consumption
Early Grades
The learner can:
- give examples that show how scarcity and choice govern our economic decisions
(Quest)
- identify examples of private and public goods and services (Citizenship Rules)
- describe the influence of incentives, values, traditions, and habits on economic
decisions (Citizenship Rules)
- Explain and demonstrate the role of money in everyday life (Wall Street)
- Use economic concepts such as supply, demand, and price to help explain events in the community and nation (Brainiac)


Middle Grades
The learner can:
- give and explain examples of ways that economic systems structure choices about how goods and services are to be produced and distributed (Citizenship Rules)
- explain the difference between private and public goods and services (Brainiac)
- explain and illustrate how values and beliefs influence different economic
decisions (Laws of Nature)
- differentiate among various forms of exchange and money (Quest)
- compare basic economic systems according to who determines what is produced, distributed, and consumed (Citizenship Rules)
- use economic concepts to help explain historical and current developments and
issues in local, national, or global issues (Brainiac)


Science, Technology, and Society
Early Grades


The learner can:
- describe instances in which changes in values, beliefs, and attitudes have resulted
from new scientific and technological knowledge (Eyes to See)
- identify examples of laws and policies that govern scientific and technological
applications (Standard Procedure)

Middle Grades
The learner can:
- show through specific examples how science and technology have changed
people’s perceptions of the social and natural world (I am Human)
- describe examples in which values, beliefs, and attitudes have been influenced by new scientific and technological knowledge (Brainiac)
- explain the need for laws and policies to govern scientific and technological
applications (Standard Procedure)


Civic Ideals and Practices
Early Grades


The learner can:
- identify key ideals of the United States’ democratic republican form of
government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the
rule of law, and discuss their application in specific situations (In Search of
America)
- identify examples of rights and responsibilities of citizens (Questions of the Day)
- locate, access, organize, and apply information about an issue of public concern
from multiple points of view (Eyes to See)
- identify and practice selected forms of civic discussion and participation
consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic (Brainiac)
- examine the influence of public opinion on personal decision-making and
government policy on public issues (Laws of Nature)
- recognize and interpret how the “common good” can be strengthened through
various forms of citizen actions (Profiles in Courage)


Middle Grades
The learner can:
- examine the origins and continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic
republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice,
equality, and the rule of law (In Search of America)
- identify and interpret sources and examples of the rights and responsibilities of
citizens (Questions of the Day)
- locate, access, analyze, organize, and apply information about selected public
issues—recognizing and explaining multiple points of view (Eyes to See)
- practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of
citizens in a democratic republic (Brainiac)
- analyze the influence of diverse forms of public opinion on the development of
public policy and decision-making (Laws of Nature)
- examine strategies designed to strengthen the “common good,” which consider a range of options for citizen action (The Compassion Meal)