New York

New York flag
Skills available for New York 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:


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.

    • Students will create a map of the political features of New York State that includes the capital city and the five most populous cities, as well as their own community.

    • Students will examine the location of the capital of New York State and the major cities of New York State in relation to their home community, using directionality, and latitude and longitude coordinates.

    • Students will use maps of a variety of scales including a map of the United States and the world to identify and locate the country and states that border New York State.

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.

4.3 European exploration led to the colonization of the region that became New York State. Beginning in the early 1600s, colonial New York was home to people from many different countries. Colonial New York was important during the Revolutionary Period.

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.

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.

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.

    • Students will examine why people began to move west in New York State.

    • Students will examine the difficulties of traveling west at this time and methods used to improve travel on roads, including corduroy roads and turnpikes.

  • 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.

    • Students will examine the physical features of New York State and determine where it might be easiest to build a canal, and form a hypothesis about the best location. Students will compare their hypothesis with the actual location of the Erie Canal.

    • Students will examine how the development the canal affected the Haudenosaunee nations.

    • Students will locate and name at least five towns and four cities along the canal and identify major products shipped using the canal.

  • 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.

    • Students will examine New York State's key agricultural products during the 1800s and compare these to the key agricultural products of today.

    • Students will explore which resources were extracted in New York State over time, the location of those resources, and the economic activities associated with those resources.

    • Students will examine the importance of New York City to the development of banking and finance in New York State and the United States.

  • 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.

    • Students will trace manufacturing and industrial development in New York State and in their local community in terms of what major products were produced, who produced them, and for whom they were produced from the 1800s to today.

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

    • Students will examine how the economic activities in their local community have changed over the last 50 years.

    • Students will investigate major economic activities in regions of New York State and create a map showing the major economic activities in Long Island, New York City, Lower Hudson Valley, Mid- Hudson Valley, Capital District, Adirondacks/North Country, Mohawk Valley/Central New York, Mid-West/Finger Lakes, Catskills, Southern Tier, and Western New York.

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

  • 4.7a Immigrants came to New York State for a variety of reasons. Many immigrants arriving in New York City were greeted by the sight of the Statue of Liberty and were processed through Ellis Island.

    • Students will trace the arrival of various immigrant groups to New York State in the mid-1800s, 1890s, 1920s, mid-1900s, 1990s, and today; examining why they came and where they settled, noting the role of the Irish potato famine.

    • Students will explore the experiences of immigrants being processed at Ellis Island and what challenges immigrants faced.

    • Students will investigate factory conditions experienced by immigrants by examining sweatshops, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the use child labor, and the formation of labor unions.

    • Students will investigate the requirements for becoming a United States citizen.

    • Students will research an immigrant group in their local community or nearest city in terms of where that group settled, what types of jobs they held, and what services were available to them, such as ethnic social clubs and fraternal support organizations.

  • 4.7b Beginning in the 1890s, large numbers of African Americans migrated to New York City and other northern cities to work in factories.

    • Students will investigate the reasons that African Americans moved into northern cities

    • Students will investigate artists, writers, and musicians associated with the Harlem Renaissance.