New York

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Skills available for New York fourth-grade social studies standards

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Geography of New York State

  • 4.1 New York State has a diverse geography. Various maps can be used to represent and examine the geography of New York State.

    • 4.1a Physical and thematic maps can be used to explore New York State's diverse geography.

      • Students will be able to identify and map New York State's major physical features, including mountains, plateaus, rivers, lakes, and large bodies of water, such as the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound.

      • Students will examine New York State climate and vegetation maps in relation to a New York State physical map, exploring the relationship between physical features and vegetation grown, and between physical features and climate.

    • 4.1b New York State can be represented using a political map that shows cities, capitals, and boundaries.

Native American Groups and the Environment

  • 4.2 Native American groups, chiefly the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Algonquian-speaking groups, inhabited the region that became New York State. Native American Indians interacted with the environment and developed unique cultures.

    • 4.2a Geographic factors often influenced locations of early settlements. People made use of the resources and the lands around them to meet their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.

      • Students will examine the locations of early Native American groups in relation to geographic features, noting how certain physical features are more likely to support settlement and larger populations.

      • Students will investigate how Native Americans such as the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and the Algonquian-speaking peoples adapted to and modified their environment to meet their needs and wants.

    • 4.2b Native American groups developed specific patterns of organization and governance to manage their societies.

      • Students will compare and contrast the patterns of organization and governance of Native American groups such as the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Lenape, including matrilineal clan structure, decision-making processes, and record keeping, with a focus on local Native American groups.

    • 4.2c Each Native American group developed a unique way of life with a shared set of customs, beliefs, and values.

      • Students will examine Native American traditions; job specialization the roles of men, women, and children in their society; transportation systems; and technology.

      • Students will examine contributions of Native Americans that are evident today.

Colonial and Revolutionary Period in New York


  • 4.4 There are different levels of government within the United States and New York State. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens and to promote the common good. The government of New York State establishes rights, freedoms, and responsibilities for its citizens.

    • 4.4a After the Revolution, the United States of America established a federal government; colonies established state governments.

    • 4.4b The New York State Constitution establishes the basic structure of government for the state. The government of New York creates laws to protect the people and interests of the state.

      • Students will examine the elements of the New York State Seal adopted in 1777 and the New York State flag and explain the symbols used.

      • Students will use a graphic organizer to show the different branches of state government and the roles and responsibilities of each. The present governor, the local senator, and the local assembly-person should be identified.

      • Students will investigate the steps necessary for a bill to become a law in New York State.

    • 4.4c Government in New York State is organized into counties, cities, towns, and villages.

      • Students will identify the county in which they live, noting where their city, town or village is within that county.

      • Students will identify the borough of New York City in which they live, and in which county the borough is located.

      • Students will examine the structure of their local government and its relationship to state government. Students will be able to identify the elected leaders of their community.

    • 4.4d New Yorkers have rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the United States Constitution, in the New York State Constitution, and by state laws.

    • 4.4e Citizens of the State of New York have responsibilities that help their nation, their state, and their local communities function. Some responsibilities are stated in laws.

      • Students will learn their responsibilities as citizens, such as obeying rules and laws (e.g., traffic safety, see something–say something, anti-bullying).

      • Students will discuss active citizenship and adults' responsibility to vote, to understand important issues, and to serve on a jury.

In Search of Freedom and a Call for Change

  • 4.5 Different groups of people did not have equal rights and freedoms. People worked to bring about change. The struggle for rights and freedoms was one factor in the division of the United States that resulted in the Civil War.

    • 4.5a There were slaves in New York State. People worked to fight against slavery and for change.

      • Students will examine life as a slave in New York State.

      • Students will investigate people who took action to abolish slavery, including Samuel Cornish, Fredrick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Tubman.

    • 4.5b Women have not always had the same rights as men in the United States and New York State. They sought to expand their rights and bring about change.

      • Students will examine the rights denied to women during the 1800s.

      • Students will investigate people who took action to bring about change, such as Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Blackwell. Students will explore what happened at the convention of women in Seneca Falls.

    • 4.5c The United States became divided over several issues, including slavery, resulting in the Civil War. New York State supported the Union and played an important role in this war.

Westward Movement and Industrialization

  • 4.6 New York State played an important role in the growth of the United States. During the 1800s, people traveled west looking for opportunities. Economic activities in New York State are varied and have changed over time, with improvements in transportation and technology.

    • 4.6a After the Revolution, New Yorkers began to move and settle farther west, using roads many of which had begun as Native American trails.

      • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.

    • 4.6b In order to connect the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, the Erie Canal was built. Existing towns expanded and new towns grew along the canal. New York City became the busiest port in the country.

      • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.

    • 4.6c Improved technology such, as the steam engine and the telegraph made transportation and communication faster and easier. Later developments in transportation and communication technology had an effect on communities, the State, and the world.

      • Students will investigate which early means of transportation were used in their local community and to which communities they were linked, noting why they were linked to those communities.

      • Students will trace developments in transportation and communication technology from the 1800s to the present, noting the effects that these changes had on their communities, the State, and the world.

    • 4.6d Farming, mining, lumbering, and finance are important economic activities associated with New York State.

      • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.

    • 4.6e Entrepreneurs and inventors associated with New York State have made important contributions to business and technology.

      • Students will research several people who made important contributions to business, technology, and New York State communities. Some people to consider include Thomas Jennings, Thomas Edison, Henry Steinway, John Jacob Bausch, Henry Lomb, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Lewis H. Latimer, Jacob Schoellkopf, Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse, George Eastman, Amory Houghton, Willis Carrier, John D. Rockefeller, Edward H. Harriman, J.P. Morgan, Hetty Green, Emily Roebling, and Elisha Otis, and others, as locally appropriate.

    • 4.6f Between 1865 and 1915, rapid industrialization occurred in New York State. Over time, industries and manufacturing continued to grow.

      • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.

    • 4.6g As manufacturing moved out of New York State, service industries and high-technology industries have grown.

      • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.

Immigration and Migration from the Early 1800s to the Present

  • 4.7 Many people have immigrated and migrated to New York State contributing to its cultural growth and development.

    • Skills covering this topic are not currently available on IXL.