Navigating through Educational Standards

One of the primary audiences for this web site will be students and teachers from upper elementary grades through college. This navigation section will draw on national educational standards to help teachers and students find stories that relate to subjects they need to cover.

In addition, there will be up to 40 lesson plans (depending on funding) that will take the most important themes of the 60s match those to the most important standards and outline suggested lessons for students from fourth grade through college. These lessons will be written by master teachers and will go through a full instructional design process. They will include objectives, standards, resources, a detailed process section, learning advise, conclusing activities and assessments.

Throughout the 60s, LOOK editors were committed to fostering a better educational system in America. They wrote articles about how too much emphasis on tests was stunting the imaginations of students across the country. They wrote about unequal opportunities offered students in rich districts and poor ones. And they profiled scores of individual students from pre-K to college.

Educational standards vary from state to state, but McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning) has produced a compendium of the standards that are common from state to state. In their compendium there are at least 27 different standards and 148 benchmarks that will be addressed by the stories to be produced by the Sixties Survivors project.

You can jump to the various disciplines that 60s Survivors addresses by clicking the links below.

Below, is a list of standards and numbered benchmarks at the appropriate grade levels.

Beverly Seevers, a promising student from Kansas City

Beverly Seevers was an 11-year-old in Kansas City's Woodland elementary school in 1961. She was identified as a good student from a poor family, "with a great love of beauty. Beverly affirms the faith educators have in the human spirit."


History Standard 27. Understands how the Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics
Level II (Grades 5-6) …

  1. Understands the characteristics and impact of the Vietnam War (e.g., the war's effect on Vietnamese and Americans; effects on postwar politics and culture; the location of the war in Southeast Asia; how the war escalated during the 1960s)

Level III (Grades 7-8) …

  1. Understands the differences between the foreign policies of Kennedy and Johnson (e.g., changes in U.S. foreign policy toward the Soviet Union and the reasons for these changes, changing foreign policy toward Latin America, the Kennedy administration's Cuban policy)
  2. Understands political and social characteristics of the Vietnam War (e.g., the Vietnam policy of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations and shifts of public opinion about the war; the role of the Nixon Administration in the Paris Peace Accord of 1973; early U.S. involvement in Vietnam following World War II and policies of the Truman and Eisenhower administrations)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands U.S. foreign policy from the Truman administration to the Johnson administration (e.g., American policies toward independence movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East; … Kennedy's response to the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile crisis; … the Kennedy-Johnson response to anti-colonial movements in Africa)
  2. Understands the political elements of the Vietnam War (e.g., the constitutional issues involved in the Vietnam War, the legacy of the war)
  3. Understands the social issues that resulted from U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (e.g., the composition of American forces recruited in the war, why the Vietnam War contributed to a generational conflict and concomitant lack of respect for traditional authority figures)
  4. Understands factors that contributed to the development of the Cold War (e.g., the mutual suspicions and divisions fragmenting the Grand Alliance at the end of World War II, U.S. support for "self-determination" and the USSR's desire for security in Eastern Europe, the practice of "atomic diplomacy")

History Standard 28. Understands domestic policies in the post-World War II period
Level II (Grades 5-6)

  1. Understands the civil rights movement …
  2. Understands the impact of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations on domestic affairs (e.g., the domestic policies of the "New Frontier," legislation and programs enacted during Johnson's presidency, how Jacqueline Kennedy developed the Camelot images to depict her husband's presidency)

Level III (Grades 7-8) …

  1. Understands the legacy of the New Frontier and Great Society domestic programs (e.g., the effectiveness of the Great Society programs, the second environmental movement, how the two programs differed, the impact of the Kennedy assassination on the passage of reform legislation during the Johnson administration, how Kennedy's and Johnson's leadership styles differed, factors that contributed to greater public support for the Great Society)
  2. Understands the major issues of the 1960 presidential campaign and Kennedy's stance on each (e.g., the central domestic and foreign issues that divided Kennedy and Nixon, the extent to which religion was an issue in the campaign, how Kennedy responded to the Cold War Issues)

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Understands characteristics of the Kennedy presidency (e.g., the role of the media in the election of 1960; Kennedy's commitment to liberalism and his ideas about citizenship, rights and responsibilities)
  2. Understands the various anti-communist movements after World War II (e.g., causes and consequences of the second "Red Scare" that emerged after World War II)
  3. Understands characteristics of the Johnson presidency (e.g., how Johnson's presidential leadership contrasted with and was affected by the Kennedy legacy)

History Standard 29. Understands the struggle for racial and gender equality and for the extension of civil liberties
Level II (Grades 5-6)

  1. Understands the development of the civil rights movement (e.g., the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education and its significance in advancing civil rights; the resistance to civil rights in the South between 1954 and 1965; how the "freedom ride," "civil disobedience," and "non-violent resistance" were important to the civil rights movement; Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in the context of major events)
  2. Understands the involvement of diverse groups in the civil rights movement (e.g., the agendas, strategies, and effectiveness of African, Asian, Latino, and Native Americans, as well as the disabled, in advancing the movement for civil and equal rights; regional issues important to diverse groups and their efforts to attain equality and civil rights after World War II)
  3. Understands the development of the post-World War II women's movement (e.g., the major issues affecting women and the conflicts these issues engendered, the emergence of the National Organization for Women, post-World War II attitudes toward women) …

Level III (Grades 7-8)

  1. Understands individual and institutional influences on the civil rights movement (e.g., the origins of the postwar civil rights movement; the role of the NAACP in the legal assault on the leadership and ideologies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; the effects of the constitutional steps taken in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government; the shift from de jure to de facto segregation; important milestones in the civil rights movement between 1954 and 1965 …)
  2. Understands factors that shaped the women's rights movement after World War II (e.g., the factors that contributed to the development of modern feminism; the ideas, agendas, and strategies of feminist and counter-feminist organizations; conflicts originating from within and outside of the women's movement)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands how diverse groups united during the civil rights movement (e.g., the escalation from civil disobedience to more radical protest, issues that led to the development of the Asian Civil Rights Movement and the Native American Civil Rights Movement, the issues and goals of the farm labor movement and La Raza Unida)
  2. Understands conflicting perspectives on different issues addressed by the women's rights movement (e.g., the Equal Rights Amendment, Title VII, and Roe v. Wade)
  3. Understands how various Warren Court decisions influenced society (e.g., the Warren Court's expansion of due process rights for the accused and criticisms of this extension; Warren Court's reasoning in establishing the "one man, one vote" principle; the effectiveness of the judiciary in promoting civil liberties and equal opportunities)
  4. Understands significant influences on the civil rights movement (e.g., the social and constitutional issues involved in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954) court cases; the connection between legislative acts, Supreme Court decisions, and the civil rights movement; the role of women in the civil rights movement and in shaping the struggle for civil rights)

History Standard 30. Understands developments in foreign policy and domestic politics between the Nixon and Clinton presidencies
Level II (Grades 5-6)

  1. Understands domestic politics from Nixon to Carter (e.g., the effectiveness of different social and environmental programs under the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations; the Nixon administration's involvement in Watergate, and the role of the media in exposing the scandal; how "law and order," the "Silent Majority," and the "New Federalism" were used by the Nixon administration) …

History Standard 31. Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States
Level II (Grades 5-6)

  1. Understands changes in the contemporary workplace (e.g., how scientific and technological changes and the computer revolution affect the economy and nature of work, kinds of education and skills required for available jobs)
  2. Understands the factors that prompted new immigration in contemporary American society (e.g., new immigration policies after 1965 [after the Vietnam War], areas of the world from which most immigrants have come)
  3. Understands influences on religion in contemporary society (e.g., how changing immigration patterns affected religious diversity, issues related to religious belief)
  4. Understands aspects of contemporary American culture (e.g., the international influence of American culture, increased popularity of professional sports, influence of spectator sports on popular culture, sports and entertainment figures who advertise specific products)
  5. Understands contemporary issues concerning gender and ethnicity (e.g., the range of women's organizations, the changing goals of the women's movement, and the issues currently dividing women; issues involving justice and common welfare; how interest groups attempted to achieve their goals of equality and justice; how African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans have shaped American life and retained their cultural heritage)

Level III (Grades 7-8)

  1. Understands changes in the workplace and the economy in contemporary America (e.g., the effects of a sharp increase in labor force participation of women and new immigrants; the shift of the labor force from manufacturing to service industries)
  2. Understands demographic shifts and the influences on recent immigration patterns (e.g., the flow from cities to suburbs, reasons for internal migrations from the "Rustbelt" to the "Sunbelt" and its impact on politics, implications of the shifting age structure of the population)
  3. Understands the growth of religious issues in contemporary society (e.g., the growth of the Christian evangelical movement and its use of modern telecommunications, issues regarding the guarantee of no establishment of religion and the free exercise clauses of the First Amendment, the significance of religious groups in local communities and their approaches to social issues)
  4. Understands various influences on American culture (e.g., the desegregation of education and its role in the creation of private white academies; the influence of the media on contemporary American culture; how ethnic art, food, music, and clothing are incorporated into mainstream culture and society)
  5. Understands how different groups attempted to achieve their goals (e.g., the grievances of racial and ethnic minorities and their reference to the nation's charter documents to rectify past injustices, local community efforts to adapt facilities for the disabled)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands how changes in the national and global economy have influenced the workplace (e.g., sluggishness in the overall rate of economic growth, the relative stagnation of wages since 1973, the social and political impact of an increase in income disparities, the effects of increased global trade and competition on the U.S. economy, the influence of new technology on education and learning, and the relation between education and earnings in the workplace)
  2. Understands how recent immigration and migration patterns, and demographic shifts, impacted social and political issues (e.g., major issues that affect immigrants and conflicts these issues engendered; changes in the size and composition of the traditional American family; demographic and residential mobility since 1970)
  3. Understands how the rise of religious groups and movements influenced political issues in contemporary American society (e.g., the position of major religious groups on such issues as abortion, gay rights, women in the clergy, and educational issues; the causes and significance of religious evangelism and its effect on American political and religious culture in the 1980s; how Supreme Court decisions since 1968 have affected the meaning and practice of religious freedom)
  4. Understands the influence of social change and the entertainment industry in shaping views on art, gender, and culture (e.g., how social change and renewed ethnic diversity affects artistic expression in contemporary American society, the reflection of values in popular TV shows, the effects of women's participation in sports on gender roles and career choices)
  5. Understands major contemporary social issues and the groups involved (e.g., the current debate over affirmative action and to what degree affirmative action policies have reached their goals; the evolution of government support for the rights of the disabled; the emergence of the Gay Liberation Movement and civil rights of gay Americans; continuing debates over multiculturalism, bilingual education, and group identity and rights vs. individual rights and identity; successes and failures of the modern feminist movement)

History Standard 43. Understands how post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up
Level II (Grades 5-6) …

  1. Understands the development of the Cold War (e.g., how political, economic, and military conditions in the mid-1940's led to the Cold War; the significance of international Cold War crises such as the Berlin blockade, the Korean War, the Polish worker's protest, the Hungarian revolt, the Suez crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, the Indonesian civil war, and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia; how the United States and the Soviet Union competed for power and influence in Europe) …

Level III (Grades 7-8) …

  1. Understands nationalist movements and other attempts by colonial countries to achieve independence after World War II (e.g., the impact of Indian nationalism on other movements in Africa and Asia, and reasons for the division of the subcontinent; how World War II and postwar global politics affected the mass nationalist movements in colonial Africa and Southeast Asia; factors that enabled some African and Asian countries to achieve independence through constitutional devolution of power, while others used armed revolution; the methods used by Indians to achieve independence from British rule and the effects of Mohandas Gandhi's call for nonviolent action) …

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Understands the impact of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War (e.g., the effects of United States and Soviet competition for influence or dominance upon such countries as Egypt, Iran, the Congo, Vietnam, Chile, and Guatemala; the impact of the Cold War on art, literature, and popular culture around the world) …
  2. Understands the impact of independence movements in various countries and whether they were successful (e.g., the connections between the rise of independence movements in Africa and Southeast Asia and social transformations such as accelerated population growth, urbanization, and new Western-educated elites; the chronology of the Algerian struggle for independence, the role of domestic and international public opinion in the actions of the government, and how the French presence influenced the outcome; how diverse independence movements in Asia and Africa succeeded)

History Standard 44. Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world
Level II (Grades 5-6)

  1. Understands global influences on the environment (e.g., how population growth, urbanization, industrialization, warfare, and the global market economy have contributed to environmental alterations; how effective governments and citizens' groups have been at protecting the global natural environment) …
  2. Understands how feminist movements and social conditions have affected the lives of women around the world, and the extent of women's progress toward social equality, economic opportunity, and political rights in various countries …
  3. Understands cultural trends of the second half of the 20th century (e.g., the influence of television, the Internet, and other forms of electronic communication on the creation and diffusion of cultural and political information worldwide; how the world's religions have responded to challenges and uncertainties in society and the world)

Level III (Grades 7-8)

  1. Understands the causes and effects of population growth and urbanization (e.g., why population growth rate is accelerating around the world, and connections between population growth and economic and social development in many countries; the global proliferation of cities and the rise of the megalopolis, as well as the impact of urbanization on family life, standards of living, class relations, and ethnic identity; why scientific, technological, and medical advances have improved living standards but have failed to eradicate hunger, poverty, and epidemic disease) …
  2. Understands the emergence of a global culture (e.g., connections between electronic communications, international marketing, and the rise of a popular "global culture" in the late 20th century; how modern arts have expressed and reflected social transformations, political changes, and how they have been internationalized) …
  3. Understands the effects of modern communication on consumer tastes and demands in different parts of the world

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands the influences on and impact of cultural trends in the second half of the 20th century (e.g., the impact of World War II and its aftermath on literature, art, and intellectual life in Europe and other parts of the world; the meaning and social impact of innovative movements in literature and the arts such as Existentialism, Abstract Expressionism, or Pop Art; ways in which art, literature, religion, and traditional customs have expressed or strengthened national or other communal loyalties in recent times) …
  2. Understands the role of ethnicity, cultural identity, and religious beliefs in shaping economic and political conflicts across the globe (e.g., why terrorist movements have proliferated and the extent of their impact on politics and society in various countries; the tensions and contradictions between globalizing trends of the world economy and assertions of traditional cultural identity and distinctiveness, including the challenges to the role of religion in contemporary society; the meaning of jihad and other Islamic beliefs that are relevant to military activity, how these compare to the Geneva Accords, and how such laws and principles apply to terrorist acts) …
  3. Understands how trends in science have influenced society (e.g., interconnections between space exploration and developments since the 1950s in scientific research, agricultural productivity, consumer culture, intelligence gathering, and other aspects of contemporary life; the changing structure and organization of scientific and technological research, including the role of governments, corporations, international agencies, universities and scientific communities) …
  4. Understands gender roles across the globe (e.g., conflicts in the perception of gender roles in various religions, especially the role of women; how the legal status of women varies around the world in Muslim societies, and how the status of women from different classes has changed in the past century)

Historical Understanding

Standard 2. Understands the historical perspective [by] 1. Conducting historical research and 2) historical sources
Level III (Grades 7-8) …

  1. Knows different types of primary and secondary sources and the motives, interests, and bias expressed in them (e.g., eyewitness accounts, letters, diaries artifacts, photos, magazine articles, newspaper accounts, hearsay)


Civics Standard 8. Understands the central ideas of American constitutional government and how this form of government has shaped the character of American society
Level II (Grades 3-5) …

  1. Understands the importance of education as a characteristic of American society (e.g., education is essential for informed and effective citizenship; education is important for earning a living; everyone has a right to public education; people with special needs should be provided with appropriate educational opportunities)

Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Understands how specific provisions of the United States Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) limit the powers of government in order to protect the rights of individuals (e.g., habeas corpus; trial by jury; ex post facto; freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly; equal protection of the law; due process of law; right to counsel)

Civics Standard 9. Understands the importance of Americans sharing and supporting certain values, beliefs, and principles of American constitutional democracy
Level III (Grades 6-8)

  1. Identifies fundamental values and principles that are expressed in basic documents (e.g., Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution), significant political speeches and writings (e.g., The Federalist, King's "I Have a Dream" speech), and individual and group actions that embody fundamental values and principles (e.g., suffrage and civil rights movements)

Civics Standard 11. Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society
Level II (Grades 3-5)

  1. Understands the concept of diversity
  2. Knows some common forms of diversity in the United States (e.g., ethnic, racial, religious, class, linguistic, gender, national origin)
  3. Knows reasons why diversity is so prevalent in the United States
  4. Knows some of the benefits of diversity (e.g., it fosters a variety of viewpoints, new ideas, and fresh ways of looking at and solving problems; it provides people with choices in the arts, music, literature, and sports; it helps people appreciate cultural traditions and practices other than their own)
  5. Knows some of the costs of diversity (e.g., people sometimes discriminate unfairly against others on the basis of age, religious beliefs, race, or disability; members of different groups sometimes misunderstand each other and conflicts subsequently arise)
  6. Knows conflicts that are caused by diversity (e.g., unfair discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, language, and gender; alienation of one group from another; efforts to impose beliefs and customs on others)
  7. Knows ways in which conflicts about diversity can be prevented (e.g., encouraging communication among different groups; identifying common beliefs, interests, and goals; learning about others' customs, beliefs, history, and problems; listening to different points of view; adhering to the values and principles of American democracy)
  8. Knows ways in which conflicts about diversity can be managed fairly when they occur (e.g., provide opportunities for people to present their points of view; arrange for an impartial individual or group to listen to all sides of a conflict and suggest solutions to problems)

Level III (Grades 6-8)

  1. Knows a variety of forms of diversity in American society (e.g., regional, linguistic, socioeconomic)
  2. Knows how diversity encourages cultural creativity
  3. Knows major conflicts in American society that have arisen from diversity (e.g., North/South conflict; conflict about land, suffrage, and other rights of Native Americans; Catholic/Protestant conflicts in the nineteenth century; conflict about civil rights of minorities and women; present day ethnic conflict in urban settings)
  4. Knows ways in which conflicts about diversity can be resolved in a peaceful manner that respects individual rights and promotes the common good
  5. Knows how an American's identity stems from belief in and allegiance to shared political values and principles, and how this identity differs from that of most other nations, which often base their identity on such things as ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender, or national origin
  6. Knows basic values and principles that Americans share (e.g., as set forth in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Gettysburg Address)
  7. Knows why it is important to the individual and society that Americans understand and act on their shared political values and principles

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Knows how the racial, religious, socioeconomic, regional, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of American society has influenced American politics through time
  2. Knows different viewpoints regarding the role and value of diversity in American life
  3. Knows examples of conflicts stemming from diversity, and understands how some conflicts have been managed and why some of them have not yet been successfully resolved
  4. Knows why constitutional values and principles must be adhered to when managing conflicts over diversity
  5. Knows beliefs that are common to American political culture (e.g., belief in equality of opportunity; mistrust of power, as well as high expectations of what elected officials and government should do; the need to admit to faults or shortcomings in the society; the belief that social, economic, or political problems can be alleviated through collective effort)
  6. Knows how shared ideas and values of American political culture are reflected in various sources and documents (e.g., the Bill of Rights, The Federalist and Anti-federalist writings, Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points," Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," landmark decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Civics Standard 13. Understands the character of American political and social conflict and factors that tend to prevent or lower its intensity
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Knows conflicts that have arisen regarding fundamental values and principles (e.g., conflicts between liberty and equality, conflicts between individual rights and the common good, conflicts between majority rule and minority rights)
  2. Knows how disagreements regarding specific issues may arise between people even though the people agree on values or principles in the abstract (e.g., people may agree on the value of freedom of expression but disagree about the extent to which expression of unpopular and offensive views should be tolerated; people may agree on the value of equality but disagree about affirmative action programs)
  3. Knows sources of political conflict that have arisen in the United States historically as well as in the present (e.g., geographic and sectional interests, slavery and indentured servitude, national origins, extending the franchise, extending civil rights to all Americans, the role of religion in American public life, engaging in wars) …
  4. Knows instances in which political conflict in the United States has been divisive and reasons for this division (e.g., the Civil War, labor unrest, civil rights struggles, opposition to the war in Vietnam)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands issues that involve conflicts among fundamental values and principles such as the conflict between liberty and authority …
  2. Knows instances in which political conflict in the United States has been divisive and reasons for this division (e.g., the Civil War, labor unrest, civil rights struggles, opposition to the war in Vietnam)

Civics Standard 14. Understands issues concerning the disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Knows some of the discrepancies that have arisen between American ideals and the realities of political and social life in the United States (e.g., the ideal of equal justice for all and the reality that the poor may not have equal access to the judicial system)
  2. Knows some of the efforts that have been put forth to reduce discrepancies between ideals and the reality of American public life (e.g., abolition, suffrage, civil rights, environmental protection movements)
  3. Knows how various individual actions, social actions, and political actions can help to reduce discrepancies between reality and the ideals of American constitutional democracy

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Knows discrepancies between American ideals and the realities of American social and political life (e.g., the ideal of equal opportunity and the reality of unfair discrimination)
  2. Knows historical and contemporary efforts to reduce discrepancies between ideals and reality in American public life (e.g., union movements, government programs such as Head Start, civil rights legislation and enforcement)

Civics Standard 15. Understands how the United States Constitution grants and distributes power and responsibilities to national and state government and how it seeks to prevent the abuse of power
Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands ways in which federalism is designed to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property and how it has at times made it possible for states to deny the rights of certain groups, (e.g. states' rights and slavery [plus the battle for Civil Rights in the 60s], denial of suffrage to women and minority groups)

Civics Standard 16. Understands the major responsibilities of the national government for domestic and foreign policy, and understands how government is financed through taxation
Level III (Grades 6-8)

  1. Understands how and why domestic policies affect American citizens' lives, and knows historical and contemporary examples of important domestic policies (e.g., Pure Food and Drug Act, Environmental Protection Act, civil rights laws, minimum wage laws, Social Security)

Civics Standard 17. Understands issues concerning the relationship between state and local governments and the national government and issues pertaining to representation at all three levels of government
Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Knows the limits the United States Constitution places on the powers of the states (e.g., prohibitions against impairing interstate commerce, restrictions imposed by the Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights through the process of incorporation) and the limits the Constitution places on the powers of the national government over state governments (e.g., the national government cannot abolish a state, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reserves certain powers to the states)
  2. Understands that the two kinds of power most commonly associated with state governments are reserved powers, which are powers not delegated to the national government or prohibited to states by the United States Constitution (e.g., legislation regarding public safety, marriage, and divorce; education; the conduct of elections; chartering regional and local governments; licensing drivers, businesses, and professions) and concurrent powers, which are powers jointly held with the national government (e.g., legislating taxation, regulating trade and industry, borrowing money, maintaining courts, protecting the environment)
  3. Understands criteria for evaluating how the relationship between state and local governments and the national government has changed over time

Civics Standard 19. Understands what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media
Level III (Grades 6-8)

  1. Understands the importance of freedom of the press to informed participation in the political system; and understands the influence of television, radio, the press, newsletters, and emerging means of electronic communication on American politics
  2. Knows how Congress, the president, the Supreme Court, and state and local public officials use the media to communicate with the citizenry
  3. Understands how citizens can evaluate information and arguments received from various sources so that they can make reasonable choices on public issues and among candidates for political office
  4. Understands the opportunities that the media provides for individuals to monitor the actions of their government (e.g., televised broadcasts of proceedings of governmental agencies such as Congress and the courts, public officials' press conferences) and communicate their concerns and positions on current issues (e.g., letters to the editor, talk shows, "op-ed pages," public opinion polls)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands the influence that public opinion has on public policy and the behavior of public officials
  2. Understands the ways in which television, radio, the press, newsletters, and emerging means of communication influence American politics; and understands the extent to which various traditional forms of political persuasion have been replaced by electronic media
  3. Knows how to use criteria such as logical validity, factual accuracy, emotional appeal, distorted evidence, and appeals to bias or prejudice in order to evaluate various forms of historical and contemporary political communication (e.g., Lincoln's "House Divided," Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?," Chief Joseph's "I Shall Fight No More Forever," Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," campaign advertisements, political cartoons)

Civics Standard 22. Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states, how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy
Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands the significance of principal foreign policies and events in the United States' relations with the world (e.g., Monroe Doctrine, World Wars I and II, formation of the United Nations, Marshall Plan, NATO, Korean and Vietnam Wars, end of the Cold War)

Civics Standard 23. Understands the impact of significant political and nonpolitical developments on the United States and other nations
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Understands how specific provisions of the United States Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) limit the powers of government in order to protect the rights of individuals (e.g., habeas corpus; trial by jury; ex post facto; freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly; equal protection of the law; due process of law; right to counsel) …

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Knows some of the principal economic, technological, and cultural effects the United States has had on the world (assembly line manufacturing, research and development in computer technology, popular music, fashion, film, television)
  2. Understands the principal effects that economic conditions, technological developments, and cultural developments in other nations have had on American society and the lives of American citizens (e.g., economic conditions such as multinational corporations, migration of labor; technological developments such as fax machines, personal computers, television; cultural developments such as religious movements, resurgence of ethnic consciousness)

Visual Arts

Standard 4. Understands the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Level III (Grades 5-8)

  1. Understands similarities and differences among the characteristics of artworks from various eras and cultures (e.g., materials; visual, spatial, and temporal structures)
  2. Understands the historical and cultural contexts of a variety of art objects
  3. Understands how factors of time and place (e.g., climate, resources, ideas, technology) influence visual, spatial, or temporal characteristics that give meaning or function to a work of art

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Knows a variety of historical and cultural contexts regarding characteristics and purposes of works of art
  2. Knows the function and meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times, and places
  3. Understands relationships among works of art in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture


Standard 6. Understands the context in which theatre, film, television, and electronic media are performed today as well as in the past
Level III (Grades 5-8) …

  1. Understands the emotional and social impact of dramatic performances in one's own life, in the community, and in other cultures
  2. Knows ways in which theatre reflects a culture
  3. Knows how culture affects the content and production values of dramatic performances

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Understands how similar themes are treated in drama from various cultures and historical periods …
  2. Knows cultural and historical influences on American theatre and musical theatre
  3. Understands ways in which personal and cultural experiences can affect an artist's dramatic work


Standard 7. Understands the relationship between music and history and culture
Level II (Grades 3-5)

  1. Identifies (by genre or style) music from various historical periods and cultures

Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Understands characteristics that cause various musical works (e.g., from different genres, styles, historical periods, composers) to be considered exemplary
  2. Understands the functions music serves, roles of musicians (e.g., lead guitarist in a rock band, composer of jingles for commercials, singer in Peking opera), and conditions under which music is typically performed in various cultures of the world

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Classifies unfamiliar but representative aural examples of music (e.g., by genre, style, historical period, culture)
  2. Knows sources of American music genres (e.g., swing, Broadway musical, blues), the evolution of these genres, and musicians associated with them
  3. Knows various roles that musicians perform (e.g., entertainer, teacher, transmitter of cultural tradition) and representative individuals who have functioned in these roles

Art Connections

Standard 1. Understands connections among the various art forms and other disciplines
Level III (Grades 5-8) …

  1. Understands characteristics of works in various art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Knows how characteristics of the arts vary within a particular historical period or style and how these characteristics relate to ideas, issues, or themes in other disciplines
  2. Understands how elements, materials, technologies, artistic processes (e.g., imagination, craftsmanship), and organizational principles (e.g., unity and variety, repetition and contrast) are used in similar and distinctive ways in the various art forms

Language Arts

Language Arts Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes
Level III (Grades 6-8)

  1. Gathers data for research topics from interviews (e.g., prepares and asks relevant questions, makes notes of responses, compiles responses) …
  2. Uses a variety of resource materials to gather information for research topics (e.g., magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, schedules, journals, phone directories, globes, atlases, almanacs, technological sources)
  3. Determines the appropriateness of an information source for a research topic
  4. Organizes information and ideas from multiple sources in systematic ways (e.g., time lines, outlines, notes, graphic representations)
  5. Writes research papers (e.g., asks research questions, defines a topic, organizes information into major components and examines relationships among these components, addresses different perspectives on a topic, achieves balance between research information and original ideas, integrates a variety of information into a whole, draws conclusions)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Uses a variety of print and electronic sources to gather information for research topics (e.g., news sources such as magazines, radio, television, newspapers; government publications; microfiche; telephone information services; databases; field studies; speeches; technical documents; periodicals; Internet)
  2. Uses a variety of primary sources to gather information for research topics
  3. Uses a variety of criteria to evaluate the validity and reliability of primary and secondary source information (e.g., the motives, credibility, and perspectives of the author; date of publication; use of logic, propaganda, bias, and language; comprehensiveness of evidence)
  4. Synthesizes information from multiple research studies to draw conclusions that go beyond those found in any of the individual studies …
  5. Writes research papers (e.g., includes a thesis statement; synthesizes information into a logical sequence; paraphrases ideas and connects them to other sources and related topics; identifies complexities and discrepancies in information; addresses different perspectives; organizes and converts information into different forms such as charts, graphs, and drawings; integrates quotations and citations into flow of paper; adapts researched material for presentation to different audiences and for different purposes)

Language Arts Standard 9. Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Knows typical genre of different visual media (e.g., in television: sitcoms, talk shows, news broadcasts, interviews, children's programs; in film: westerns, musicals, horror, gangster)
  2. Understands the use of stereotypes and biases in visual media (e.g., distorted representations of society; imagery and stereotyping in advertising; elements of stereotypes such as physical characteristics, manner of speech, beliefs and attitudes)

Level IV (Grades 9-12)

  1. Uses a range of strategies to interpret visual media (e.g., draws conclusions, makes generalizations, synthesizes materials viewed, refers to images or information in visual media to support point of view, deconstructs media to determine the main idea)
  2. Uses a variety of criteria (e.g., clarity, accuracy, effectiveness, bias, relevance of facts) to evaluate informational media (e.g., web sites, documentaries, news programs)
  3. Understands the conventions of visual media genres (e.g., a talk show contains an opening monologue, humorous discussion between host and "sidekick", guest interview, interaction with the audience, and special performances; news programs present the events of the day as stories with setting, character, conflict, and resolution)

Language Arts Standard 10. Understands the characteristics and components of the media
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Understands influences on the construction of media messages and images (e.g., the historical period or place in which they were made; laws that govern mass media, such as truth in advertising; the socio-cultural background of the target audience; financial factors such as sponsorship; cause-and-effect relationships between mass media coverage and public opinion trends)

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Understands the influence of media on society as a whole (e.g., influence in shaping various governmental, social, and cultural norms; influence on the democratic process; influence on beliefs, lifestyles, and understanding of relationships and culture; how it shapes viewer's perceptions of reality; the various consequences in society of ideas and images in media)
  2. Understands legal and ethical responsibilities involved in media use (e.g., censorship; copyright laws; FCC regulations; protection of the rights of authors and media owners; standards for quality programming; regulations for broadcast repeats; forms of media self-control; governmental, social, and cultural agencies that regulate media content and products)
  3. Understands the role of the media in addressing social and cultural issues (e.g., creating or promoting causes: U.N. military action, election of political parties; use of media to achieve governmental, societal, and cultural goals)


Standard 3. Understands the relationships among science, technology, society and the individual
Level III (Grades 6-8) …

  1. Knows ways in which technology has influenced the course of history (e.g., revolutions in agriculture, manufacturing, sanitation, medicine, warfare, transportation, information processing, communication)
  2. Knows ways in which technology and society influence one another (e.g., new products and processes for society are developed through technology; technological changes are often accompanied by social, political, and economic changes; technology is influenced by social needs, attitudes, values, and limitations, and cultural backgrounds and beliefs)

Level IV (Grades 9-12) …

  1. Knows ways in which social and economic forces influence which technologies will be developed and used (e.g., cultural and personal values, consumer acceptance, patent laws, availability of risk capital, the federal budget, local and national regulations, media attention, economic competition, tax incentives)