Kentucky flag
Skills available for Kentucky fourth-grade social studies standards

Standards are in black and IXL social studies skills are in dark green. Hold your mouse over the name of a skill to view a sample question. Click on the name of a skill to practice that skill.

Show alignments for:


The study of government and civics equips students to understand the nature of government and the unique characteristics of representative democracy in the United States, including its fundamental principles, structure and the role of citizens. Understanding the historical development of structures of power, authority and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U.S. society and other parts of the world is essential for developing civic competence. An understanding of civic ideals and practices of citizenship is critical to full participation in society and is a central purpose of the social studies.

  • Formation of Governments

    • SS-04-1.1.1 Students will describe the basic purposes of Kentucky government (to establish order, provide security and accomplish common goals); give examples of the services that state governments provide (e.g., state police, state highways, state parks, public schools) and identify how the government of Kentucky pays for these services (e.g., sales taxes, state income taxes).

    • SS-04-1.1.2 Students will explain how state governments function (by making, enacting and enforcing laws) to protect the rights and property of citizens.

  • Constitutional Principles

    • SS-04-1.2.1 Students will identify the three branches of Kentucky government, explain the basic duties of each branch (executive-enforce the laws, legislative-make the laws, judicial-interpret the laws) and identify important state offices/leaders, (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, General Assembly, Senate, House, representatives, senators, Kentucky Supreme Court, judges) associated with each branch.

    • SS-04-1.2.2 Students will explain how power is shared among the different branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of state government.

  • Rights and Responsibilities

    • SS-04-1.3.1 Students will identify the basic principles of democracy (e.g., justice, equality, responsibility, freedom) found in Kentucky's Constitution and explain why they are important to citizens today.

    • SS-04-1.3.2 Students will describe specific rights and responsibilities individuals have as citizens of Kentucky (e.g., voting in statewide elections, participating in state service projects, obeying state laws) and explain why civic engagement is necessary to preserve a democratic society.

Culture is the way of life shared by a group of people, including their ideas and traditions. Cultures reflect the values and beliefs of groups in different ways (e.g., art, music, literature, religion); however, there are universals (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, communication) connecting all cultures. Culture influences viewpoints, rules and institutions in a global society. Students should understand that people form cultural groups throughout the United States and the World, and that issues and challenges unite and divide them.

  • Elements of Culture

    • SS-04-2.1.1 Students will identify early cultures (Native American, Appalachian, pioneers) in Kentucky and explain their similarities and differences.

  • Social Institutions

    • SS-04-2.2.1 Students will describe social institutions (government, economy, education, religion, family) in Kentucky and how they respond to the needs of the people.

  • Interactions Among Individuals and Groups

    • SS-04-2.3.1 Students will describe various forms of interactions (compromise, cooperation, conflict) that occurred during the early settlement of Kentucky between diverse groups (Native Americans, early settlers).

    • SS-04-2.3.2 Students will give examples of conflicts between individuals or groups today and describe appropriate conflict resolution strategies (e.g., compromise, cooperation, communication) to use.

Economics includes the study of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Students need to understand how their economic decisions affect them, others, the nation and the world. The purpose of economic education is to enable individuals to function effectively both in their own personal lives and as citizens and participants in an increasingly connected world economy. Students need to understand the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence among people, societies and governments.

  • Scarcity

    • SS-04-3.1.1 Students will describe scarcity and explain how scarcity requires people in Kentucky to make economic choices (e.g., use of productive resources - natural, human, capital) and incur opportunity costs.

  • Economic Systems and Institutions

    • SS-04-3.2.1 Students will explain how profit motivates individuals/businesses to take risks in producing goods and services.

  • Markets

  • Production, Distribution, and Consumption

    • SS-04-3.4.1 Students will describe production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in regions of Kentucky and the U.S.

    • SS-04-3.4.2 Students will describe how new knowledge, technology/tools and specialization increases productivity and promotes trade between regions of Kentucky and the United States (e.g., Midwest – corn, South - citrus).

    • SS-04-3.4.3 Students will define interdependence and give examples of how people in our communities, states, nation and world depend on each other for goods and services.

Geography includes the study of the five fundamental themes of location, place, regions, movement and human/environmental interaction. Students need geographic knowledge to analyze issues and problems to better understand how humans have interacted with their environment over time, how geography has impacted settlement and population, and how geographic factors influence climate, culture, the economy and world events. A geographic perspective also enables students to better understand the past and present and to prepare for the future.

  • The Use of Geographic Tools

    • SS-04-4.1.1 Students will use geographic tools (e.g., maps, charts, graphs) to identify and describe natural resources and other physical characteristics (e.g., major landforms, major bodies of water, weather, climate, roads, bridges) in regions of Kentucky and the United States.

    • SS-04-4.1.2 Students will use geographic tools to locate major landforms, bodies of water, places and objects in Kentucky by their absolute and relative locations.

    • SS-04-4.1.3 Students will describe how different factors (e.g. rivers, mountains) influence where human activities were/are located in Kentucky.

  • Regions

    • SS-04-4.2.1 Students will compare regions in Kentucky and the United States by their human characteristics (e.g., language, settlement patterns, beliefs) and physical characteristics (e.g., climate, landforms, bodies of water).

  • Patterns

    • SS-04-4.3.1 Students will describe patterns of human settlement in regions of Kentucky and explain how these patterns were/are influenced by physical characteristics (e.g., climate, landforms, bodies of water).

    • SS-04-4.3.2 Students will describe how advances in technology (e.g., dams, reservoirs, roads, irrigation) allow people to settle in places previously inaccessible in Kentucky.

  • Human-Environment Interaction

    • SS-04-4.4.1 Students will explain and give examples of how people adapted to/modified the physical environment (e.g., natural resources, physical geography, natural disasters) to meet their needs during the history of Kentucky and explain its impact on the environment today.

    • SS-04-4.4.2 Students will describe how the physical environment (e.g., mountains as barriers for protection, rivers as barriers of transportation) both promoted and restricted human activities during the early settlement of Kentucky.

History is an account of events, people, ideas and their interaction over time that can be interpreted through multiple perspectives. In order for students to understand the present and plan for the future, they must understand the past. Studying history engages students in the lives, aspirations, struggles, accomplishments and failures of real people. Students need to think in an historical context in order to understand significant ideas, beliefs, themes, patterns and events, and how individuals and societies have changed over time in Kentucky, the United States and the World.

  • The Factual and Interpretive Nature of History

    • SS-04-5.1.1 Students will use a variety of primary and secondary sources (e.g., artifacts, diaries, timelines) to describe significant events in the history of Kentucky and interpret different perspectives.

  • The History of the United States

    • SS-04-5.2.1 Students will identify significant historical documents, symbols, songs and selected readings (e.g., state flag, United We Stand, Divided We Fall, My Old Kentucky Home,) specific to Kentucky and explain their historical significance.

    • SS-04-5.2.2 Students will identify and compare the cultures of diverse groups and explain why people explored and settled in Kentucky.

    • SS-04-5.2.3 Students will compare change over time in communication, technology, transportation and education in Kentucky.