New Mexico

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Skills available for New Mexico eighth-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.

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  • II Students understand how physical, natural, and cultural processes influence where people live, the ways in which people live, and how societies interact with one another and their environments.

    • 2-A analyze and evaluate the characteristics and purposes of geographic tools, knowledge, skills and perspectives and apply them to explain the past, present and future in terms of patterns, events and issues:

      • 1 describe patterns and processes of migration and diffusion; and

      • 2 provide a historic overview of patterns of population expansion into the west by the many diverse groups of people (e.g., Native Americans, European Americans and others) to include movement into the southwest along established settlement, trade and rail routes.

    • 2-B explain the physical and human characteristics of places and use this knowledge to define regions, their relationships with other regions, and their patterns of change:

      • 1 describe how individual and cultural characteristics affect perceptions of locales and regions; and

      • 2 describe political, population and economic regions that result from patterns of human activity, using New Mexico as an example.

    • 2-C understand how human behavior impacts man-made and natural environments, recognize past and present results and predict potential changes:

      • 1 explain and evaluate how changing perceptions of place and the natural environment have affected human behavior.

    • 2-D explain how physical processes shape the earth's surface patterns and biosystems:

      • 1 explain how human activities and physical processes influence change in ecosystems.

    • 2-E explain how economic, political, cultural and social processes interact to shape patterns of human populations and their interdependence, cooperation and conflict:

    • 2-F understand the effects of interactions between human and natural systems in terms of changes in meaning, use, distribution and relative importance of resources

      • 1 describe the differing viewpoints that individuals and groups have with respect to the use of resources.

Civics and Government

  • III Students understand the ideals, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship and understand the content and history of the founding documents of the United States with particular emphasis on the United States and New Mexico constitutions and how governments function at local, state, tribal, and national levels.

    • 3-A demonstrate understanding of the structure, functions and powers of government (local, state, tribal and national):

      • 1 explain the structure and functions of the national government as expressed in the United States constitution, and explain the powers granted to the three branches of government and those reserved to the people, states and tribes, to include:

        • a the federal system (dividing sovereignty between the states and the federal government and their supporting bureaucracies);

        • b the sovereignty of Native American tribes in relation to state and federal governments (and government to government relationships); bill of rights, amendments to constitution;

        • c the primacy of individual liberty;

        • d constitution designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government;

        • e struggles over the creation of the bill of rights and its ratification;

        • f separation of powers through the development of differing branches;

        • g John Marshall's role in judicial review, including Marbury v. Madison;

      • 2 identify and describe a citizen's fundamental constitutional rights, to include:

      • 3 describe the contributions of Native Americans in providing a model that was utilized in forming the United States government (Iroquois league); and

      • 4 explain and describe how water rights and energy issues cross state and national boundaries.

    • 3-B explain the significance of symbols, icons, songs, traditions and leaders of New Mexico and the United States that exemplify ideals and provide continuity and a sense of unity:

      • 1 explain how the development of symbols, songs, traditions and concepts of leadership reflect American beliefs and principles; and

      • 2 explain the importance of point of view and its relationship to freedom of speech and press.

    • 3-C compare political philosophies and concepts of government that became the foundation for the American revolution and the United States government:

    • 3-D explain how individuals have rights and responsibilities as members of social groups, families, schools, communities, states, tribes and countries:

      • 1 explain basic law-making processes and how the design of the United States constitution provides numerous opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and to monitor and influence government (e.g., elections, political parties, interest groups); and

      • 2 understand the multiplicity and complexity of human rights issues.


  • IV Students understand basic economic principles and use economic reasoning skills to analyze the impact of economic systems (including the market economy) on individuals, families, businesses, communities, and governments.

    • 4-A explain and describe how individuals, households, businesses, governments and societies make decisions, are influenced by incentives (economic as well as intrinsic) and the availability and use of scarce resources, and that their choices involve costs and varying ways of allocating:

      • 1 explain and provide examples of economic goals;

      • 2 analyze the full costs and benefits of alternative uses of resources that will lead to productive use of resources today and in the future; and

      • 3 explain that tension between individuals, groups and countries is often based upon differential access to resources.

    • 4-B explain how economic systems impact the way individuals, households, businesses, governments and societies make decisions about resources and the production and distribution of goods and services:

      • 1 describe the relationships among supply, demand and price and their roles in the United States market system;

      • 2 identify how fundamental characteristics of the United States' economic system influence economic decision making (e.g., private property, profits, competition) at local, state, tribal and national levels;

      • 3 explain changing economic activities in the United States and New Mexico and the role of technology in those changes;

      • 4 identify situations in which price and value diverge; and

      • 5 describe the use of money over time (e.g., college funds beginning in elementary years, saving accounts, 401K accounts).

    • 4-C describe the patterns of trade and exchange in early societies and civilizations and explore the extent of their continuation in today's world:

      • 1 explain how specialization leads to interdependence and describe ways most Americans depend on people in other households, communities and nations for some of the goods they consume;

      • 2 understand the interdependencies between the economies of New Mexico, the United States and the world;

      • 3 understand the factors that currently limit New Mexico from becoming an urban state, including: the availability and allocation of water, and the extent to which New Mexico relies upon traditional economic forms (e.g., the acequia systems, localized agricultural markets);

      • 4 describe the relationship between New Mexico, tribal and United States economic systems; and

      • 5 compare and contrast New Mexico commerce with that of other states' commerce.