Grade Expectation Number Inquiry

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Grade Expectation Number



Students initiate an inquiry by…

  • Asking relevant and focusing questions based on what they have seen, what they have read, what they have listened to, and/or what they have researched (e.g., Why was the soda machine taken out of the school? Why is the number of family farms in Vermont growing smaller?).


Students develop a hypothesis, thesis, or research statement by…

  • Using prior knowledge to predict results or proposing a choice about a possible action (e.g., using experience from a field trip to the nature center, propose a way to preserve Vermont’s natural habitats).


Students design research by…

  • Identifying resources for finding answers to their questions (e.g., books, videos, people, and the Internet).

  • Identifying tasks and how they will be completed, including a plan for citing sources (e.g., I will interview the principal about why the soda machine was taken out of he school).

  • Planning how to organize information so it can be shared.


Students conduct research by…

  • Referring to and following a plan for an inquiry.

  • Locating relevant materials such as print, electronic, and human resources.

  • Describing evidence and recording observations using notecards, videotape, tape recorders, journals, or databases (e.g., taking notes while interviewing the principal).

  • Citing sources.


Students develop reasonable explanations that support the research statement by…

  • Organizing and displaying information in a manner appropriate to the research statement through tables, graphs, maps, dioramas, charts, narratives, and/or posters.

  • Classifying information and justifying groupings based upon observations, prior knowledge, and/or research.

  • Using appropriate methods for interpreting information such as comparing and contrasting.


Students make connections to research by…

  • Explaining the relevance of their findings to the research question.

  • Proposing solutions to problems and asking other questions.

  • Identifying what was easy or difficult about following the research plan.

History and Social Sciences GEs: Grades 3 – 4

Grade Expectation Number



Students communicate their findings by…

  • Giving an oral, written, or visual presentation that summarizes their findings.

Grade Expectation Number



Students connect the past with the present by…

  • Explaining differences between historic and present day objects in Vermont, and identifying how the use of the object and the object itself changed over time (e.g., evaluating how the change from taps and buckets to pipelines has changed the maple sugaring industry). i

  • Describing ways that life in the community and Vermont has both changed and stayed the same over time (e.g., general stores and shopping centers).

  • Examining how events, people, problems and ideas have shaped the community and Vermont (e.g., Ann Story’s role in the American Revolution). i


Students show understanding of how humans interpret history by…

  • Identifying and using various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others. i

  • Differentiating among fact, opinion, and interpretation in various events. i


Students show understanding of past, present, and future time by…

  • Grouping historical events by broadly defined eras in the history of the local community and state.

  • Constructing time lines of significant historical developments in the community and state, identifying the dates at which each occurred.

  • Interpreting data presented in time lines. i

  • Measuring calendar time by days, weeks, months, years, decades, and centuries (e.g., How old is your town?).

  • Making predictions and/or decisions based on an understanding of the past and the present (e.g., What was farming in Vermont like in the past? What is it like now? What will it be like in the future?) i

  • Identifying an important event in their communities and/or Vermont, and describing a cause and an effect of that event (e.g., Excessive rain caused the flood of 1927, and as a result communication systems have changed to warn people.).

Grade Expectation Number

Physical and Cultural Geography


Students interpret geography and solve geographic problems by…


  • Identifying characteristics of surrounding towns and the state of Vermont using resources such as road signs, landmarks, models, maps, photographs and mental mapping. i

  • Observing, comparing, and analyzing patterns of local and state land use (e.g., agriculture, forestry, industry) to understand why particular locations are used for certain human activities. i

  • Locating the physical and political regions of Vermont (e.g., six regions, towns, counties).

  • Locating countries and major cities in North America.

  • Locating major global physical divisions, such as continents, oceans, cardinal directions, poles, equator, tropics, Arctic and Antarctic Circles, tropical, mid-latitude and polar regions.

  • Creating effective geographic representations using appropriate elements to demonstrate an understanding of relative location, direction, size, and shape of the local community, Vermont, the U.S., and locations worldwide (e.g., create a representation of a globe, including continents, oceans, and major parallels).

  • Identifying and using basic elements of the map (e.g., cardinal directions and key).

  • Using grid systems to locate places on maps and globes (e.g., longitude and latitude).

  • Asking appropriate geographic questions and using geographic resources to answer them (e.g., what product is produced in a region and why; atlas, globe, wall maps, reference books). i


Students show understanding of human interaction with the environment over time by…

  • Describing how people have changed the environment in Vermont for specific purposes (e.g., clear-cutting, sheep-raising, interstate highways, farming, ski resorts). i

  • Identifying and participating in ways they can contribute to preserving natural resources (e.g., creating a class or school recycling center). i

  • Describing a community or state environmental issue (e.g., creating a slide show describing the environmental issues surrounding Lake Champlain).

  • Describing how patterns of human activities (for example, housing, transportation, food consumption, or employment) relate to natural resource distribution (e.g., how population concentrations in Vermont developed around fertile lowlands, French/English/Indian conflict for furs in northern Vermont). i

  • Recognizing patterns of voluntary and involuntary migration in Vermont (e.g., use maps and place names to hypothesize about movements of people). i


Students analyze how and why cultures continue and change over time by…

  • Identifying expressions of culture in Vermont and the U.S., such as language, social institutions, beliefs and customs, economic activities, behaviors, material goods, food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines (e.g., discovering how Abenaki oral tradition reflects and influences their society). i

  • Describing the contributions of various cultural groups to Vermont and the U.S. (e.g., describing French cultural diffusion in Vermont). i

  • Identifying ways in which culture in Vermont has changed (e.g., Colonists learning maple sugaring from the Indians, Indians acquiring metal tools in exchange for furs). i

Grade Expectation Number

Civics, Government, and Society


Students act as citizens by…

  • Identifying the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a school and local community (e.g., the right to use town roads and speak one’s mind at town meeting, the responsibility to pay town taxes).

  • Demonstrating positive interaction with group members (e.g., working with a group of people to complete a task).

  • Identifying problems, planning and implementing solutions in the classroom, school or community. i

  • Explaining their own point of view on issues that affect themselves and society (e.g., forming an opinion about a social or environmental issue in Vermont, then writing a letter to a legislator to try to influence change).

  • Demonstrating the role of individuals in the election processes (e.g., voting in class or mock elections).

  • Describing the roots of American culture, its development and many traditions, and the ways many people from a variety of groups and backgrounds played a role in creating it.

  • Participating in setting, following and changing the rules of the group and school. i


Students show understanding of various forms of government by…

  • Comparing similarities of rules and laws (e.g., how are bike helmet and seatbelt laws similar?).

  • Knowing where to locate written rules and laws for school and community.

  • Explaining what makes a just rule or law (e.g., provides protection for members of the group).

  • Describing how characteristics of good leadership and fair decision-making affect others (e.g., cooperative group behavior). i


Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Explaining how a community promotes human rights.

  • Identifying and describing ways regional, ethnic, and national cultures influence individuals’ daily lives (e.g., reading myths and legends to learn about the origins of culture). i

  • Defining their own rights and needs – and the rights and needs of others – in the classroom, school, and community (e.g., establishing a clothing drive/swap for the needy; creating a park for roller blades).

  • Giving examples of ways that she or he is similar to and different from others (e.g. gender, race, religion, ethnicity).

  • Citing examples, both past and present, of how diversity has led to change.

  • Identifying examples of interdependence among individuals and groups. (e.g., buyers and sellers; performers and audience).

  • Identifying behaviors that foster cooperation among individuals.

  • Identifying different types of conflict among individuals and groups (e.g., girls and boys, religion, material goods).

  • Explaining different ways in which conflict has been resolved, and different ways in which conflicts and their resolution have affected people (e.g., reservations and Indian schools; Green Mountain Boys; treaties).


Students examine how access to various institutions affects justice, reward, and power by…

  • Describing ways in which local institutions promote the common good (e.g., state police, library, recreation programs).

Grade Expectation Number



Students show an understanding of the interaction/interdependence between humans, the environment, and the economy by…

  • Tracing the production, distribution, and consumption of goods in Vermont (e.g., after visiting a sugar house, tracing the distribution of locally-produced maple syrup). i

  • Describing how producers in Vermont have used natural, human, and capital resources to produce goods and services (e.g., describing the natural, human, and capital resources needed to produce maple syrup).

  • Describing the causes and effects of economic activities on the environment in Vermont (e.g., granite industry). i


Students show understanding of the interconnectedness between government and the economy by…

  • Identifying goods and services provided by local and state governments (e.g., firefighters, highways, museums).

  • Explaining the relationship between taxation and governmental goods and services in Vermont (e.g., town taxes provide for road upkeep).

  • Describing and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of using currency vs. bartering in the exchange of goods and services (e.g., an advantage of bartering is that one doesn’t need money, a disadvantage is determining fairness).


Students make economic decisions as a consumer, producer, saver, investor, and citizen by…

  • Examining factors that influence supply and demand (e.g., Why is Vermont considering investing in wind energy?). i

  • Explaining ways people meet their basic needs and wants (e.g., people buy oil because they need heat; people buy video games because they want entertainment).

  • Comparing prices of goods and services.

  • Explaining how people save (e.g., by giving up something you want, by saving your allowance, by putting money in the bank).

History and Social Sciences GEs: Grades 34

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