|The attached is a vocabulary list of content-specific words appropriate for K-3 social studies instruction and assessment. Teachers are encouraged to use the correct terminology when presenting concepts and to reinforce this vocabulary whenever appropriate during instructional and assessment activities.|
Teacher suggestions to help students retain content specific vocabulary include:
- model the use of the terminology in meaningful context as often as possible
- encourage student use of vocabulary by
- praising students who use content vocabulary when giving responses
- challenging students to find appropriate uses of content vocabulary in oral and written composition
- recycle previously used words to keep them in the students' memory bank
- post content vocabulary words with a diagram to denote meaning on a bulletin board or wall so students will have a ready reference for words they might need to read and comprehend.
- Adapt - to change in order to fit new environmental conditions.
- Bodies of water - all the different sizes and shapes of water naturally found on the Earth's surface. Oceans, seas, bays, lakes, rivers, and ponds are examples of bodies of water.
- Communication - ways people send and receive messages.
- Environment - the geographic characteristics that surround and affect the way people live.
- Geographic characteristics - traits that distinguish one place from another. These are divided into two groups. Physical characteristics describe the natural environment of the place. They include physical features (natural landforms and bodies of water), weather and climate, soil, plants, and animal life. Human characteristics describe the people of the place past or present, their human-made features (buildings, etc), languages, religions, economic activities, and political systems.
- Globe - a model of the earth.
- Human-made features - changes people have made to the land. These changes include buildings, bridges, tunnels, railroad tracks, dams, monuments, piers, farm fields.
- Landforms - the different shapes of Earth's surface. Mountains, hills, plateaus, plains, valleys, peninsulas, and islands are examples of landforms.
- Map - a model of the earth or a part of the earth that is drawn on a flat surface.
- Map elements - the parts of a map that make it easy to use
- author - the person or company that made the map
- border - the frame around the map
- cardinal directions - north, south, east, and west
- compass rose - the set of arrows that show where north, south, east, and west are on a map or globe
- date - the year in which the map was made
- legend/key - explains the meaning of the symbols on the map
- simple grid system - the pattern of lines that help locate places on a map or globe
- symbols - the pictures, shapes, or colors on a map that stand for objects, places, or people
- title - a heading that identifies the subject of a map.
- Modify - to change the surrounding environment.
- Natural environment - the physical setting of a place including the land, air, water, plants, and animals.
- Physical features - landforms and bodies of water.
- Region - an area that has one or more geographic characteristics in common, such as a desert region or a dairy-producing region.
- Relative distance - the approximate distance of a place in relationship to other places (i.e., near and far)
- Transportation - ways goods and people move from place to place.
- Capital resources - Goods made by people and used to produce other goods and services. Examples include tools, roads, bridges, factories, machinery, glue, lumber, chalk, rope, textbooks, and workbooks.
- Community services - Services provided in the community. Community services may be provided by the government or by businesses.
- Consumers - People who buy and use goods and services to satisfy economic wants.
- Economic decision - A choice to produce or consume a good or a service. Because we cannot have everything we want, we have to decide what we will choose and what we will give up.
- Economic wants - Goods and services people would like to have. Examples include food, clothing, a place to live, a bicycle, a toy, a trip to an amusement park, and a birthday party.
- Goods - Things that people make or grow that satisfy economic wants. Examples include a house, a car, a toy, and an apple.
- Human resources - People doing physical or mental work to produce goods or services. Examples include teachers, cooks, bus drivers, and carpenters.
- Limited resources - Not having enough resources to produce all the goods and services that people want.
- Money - Something that is used to buy and sell resources, goods, and services. Money is not a capital resource because it is not used to produce goods or services.
- Natural resources - Gifts of nature that can be used to produce goods and services. Examples include trees, sunshine, soil, water, plants, animals, oil, coal, and metals.
- Opportunity cost - The next best (second-best) choice that is given up when a decision (choice) is made. Example: Pedro is buying lunch in the cafeteria. The choices are pizza, tacos, or a hot dog. Pedro likes all three choices, but he can only have one. He chooses pizza. His opportunity cost is his next best (second-best) choice, which is tacos.
- Product - A good or service made with resources.
- Production - The process of making a product, either a good or a service.
- Resources - Things that can be used to produce a good or a service.
- Services - Actions (jobs) that people do for each other. A service is something that you cannot touch or hold. A service is consumed at the instant it is produced. Some services, such as firefighter, mayor, police officer, and teacher are provided by the government. Other services, such as plumber, dentist, and hair cutter are provided by businesses.
- Specialized work - A job or a part of a job. Examples include reading teacher, farmer, bricklayer, police officer, taxi driver, and worker on an assembly line.
- Taxes - Money paid to the government so it can provide some goods and services.
- Technology - Tools, machines, methods, and other things used to perform activities. Examples include computers, televisions, telephones, boats, airplanes, bridges, dams, roads, tractors, axes, shovels, assembly lines and methods of farming. Technology changes over time and affects the way we live, work, and play.
- Authority - the right to use power to control the behavior of others.
- Citizen - a person who is a member of a community or country.
- Community improvement - working to make the community better.
- Conflict - when people do not share the same view.
- Government - a group of people who work together to bring order to a community, state, or nation.
- Justice/fairness - the act of being fair and honest; of doing what is right.
- Landmark - 1) a familiar object at a place that people easily know as a part of that community; 2) an important object that reminds people of an important event or person.
- Maintain order - to keep the community clean, safe, and organized for the good of all citizens.
- Participate - to take part in an activity.
- Participation - taking part in or sharing in the activities of a group or organization.
- Patriotism - love of one's country.
- Political process - The system of citizens electing representatives or leaders to make decisions for people. The political process can also refer to steps of forming policy or making, enforcing, and interpreting laws.
- Political system - a set of democratic principles and ideas that citizens follow.
- Principles - the ideas in American government including justice/fairness, authority/leadership, privacy, and responsibilities/rights of others
- Privacy - being let alone or keeping secret.
- Respect - to be thoughtful of and caring of another person.
- Rights and responsibilities - Rights are freedoms granted to American citizens that allow them to make their own choices. For example, Americans have the right to an education, to express ideas, and to vote for leaders. Responsibilities are duties that citizens have.
- Rule - something you must or must not do.
- Symbol - a drawing or object that stands for something else. A square is a symbol for a store on a map. The American flag is a symbol of patriotism.
- Community - all the people who live in a particular area.
- Conflict - a fight or strong disagreement.
- Culture - the language, traditions, beliefs, clothing, and activities of a group of people.
- Custom - something that has been done for a long time and is widely accepted.
- Interaction - the act of doing something with others or having influence with others.
- Tradition - a custom or belief that is handed down from generation to generation.