A Sample of K-2 Standards Suggestions

I received a copy of this letter that was sent to the individual tasked with writing the K-2 social studies standards. I know this person received at least 50 letters with suggestions to do various things such as lighten up on the diversity emphasis, incorporate more of the constitution (which the letter below is excellent for and would have been very easy to incorporate), implementation of notions of natural law, great people in American history, and of course teaching what a Republic is.

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[name of state standards writer],

It was good to meet you last week at the Springville meeting.  I’ve been studying your document.  I’m amazed at all the hard work you have put into it.  It will make it very easy to incorporate.

I have have few suggestions.  The U.S. Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence are the foundation of our moral code in the United States.   It seems that the goal of the Social Studies Core is help children become citizens that respect the rights of other regardless of race, religion, culture and so forth.  To teach that requires a foundation based on rule of law. In our country the Declaration of Independence teaches us we are created equal, no matter what race, religion, culture and so forth.  The Constitution is the rule of law that protects our rights and teaches us to treat all people with respect.  I believe it would strengthen the Elementary Core Curriculum to include some easy to understand foundational principles from those documents.  I suggest the addition of the following sentences:

Kindergarten

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 1 (Culture):  Objective 1   e. Explain that the Declaration of Independence teaches us all people should be treated with respect because they are equal.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 2 (Citizenship):  Objective 1 f. Explain that the U.S. Constitution teaches us to respect the rights of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (FInancial Literacy) e. Explain that the U.S. Constitution authorized the Congress to coin our money and set the value of it.

First Grade

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy) Objective 1: e. Explain that the U.S. Constitution protects our right to earn money and buy the goods and services we want.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Citizenship) Objective 2 g. Explain that the U. S. Constitution helps us to be responsible citizens by teaching us to respect the rights of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Citizenship) Objective 2 h. Explain that the U. S. Constitution helps us to be responsible citizens by teaching us to take responsibility for our own actions.

Second Grade

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 1 (Culture):  Objective 1 d. Explain how the Bill of Rights teaches us to respect the traditions and and customs of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 2 (Citizenship):  Objective 2 e Explain how the U.S. Constitution protects our right to vote for whom we want.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy):  Objective 2 f. Explain how the U.S. Constitution limits what services the government can provide.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy):  Objective 2 g. Explain how the U.S. Constitution protects us so we can offer the goods and services we choose to.

Sincerely,

[name removed]

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Now look at what the Core Knowledge program by E.D. Hirsche promotes for K-2 social studies (used by homeschoolers and many of Utah’s Charter Schools) and then compare it to the newly approved Utah social studies standards. Note in particular the American history content at each grade level. No contest.

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