Vermont's Ninth Grade Standards
(Note: By the completion of tenth grade, Vermont students are expected to master the following standards.)
Vermont Academic Content Standards: History and Social Sciences
H&SS9-10:1—Social and Historical Questioning
Students initiate an inquiry by:
- Asking focusing, probing, and significant research questions that incorporate ideas and concepts of personal, community, or global relevance (e.g., How will recent changes in the global economy affect my community and me?).
Students develop a hypothesis, thesis, or research statement by:
- Predicting results, proposing a choice about a possible action, or interpreting relationships between facts and/or concepts.
Students design research by:
- Establishing criteria for the quality and quantity of information needed, including primary and secondary sources.
- Identifying tools and procedures needed for collecting, managing, and analyzing information, including a plan for citing sources (e.g., establishing a time line or schedule for research, independently identifying places to find sources).
- Determining the best ways to present their data (e.g., Power-Point, hypercard, report, graph, etc.).
Students conduct research by:
- Referring to and following a detailed plan for a complex inquiry (e.g., conduct an inquiry into the several causes of WWI).
- Locating relevant materials such as print, electronic, and human resources.
- Applying criteria from the plan to analyze the quality and quantity of and corroborate the information gathered (e.g., citing multiple sources to verify evidence).
- Describing evidence and recording observations using notecards, videotape, tape recorders, journals, or databases.
- Revising the research plan and locating additional materials and/or information, as needed.
- Citing sources.
Students develop reasonable explanations that support the research statement by:
- Organizing and displaying information in a manner appropriate to the research statement through maps, graphs, charts, tables, narratives, timelines, models, simulations, or dramatizations (e.g., creating a line graph from tabular data in order to convey economic trends).
- Determining the validity and reliability of the document or information in relation to an analysis of the hypothesis (e.g., “How good is my hypothesis based on the reliable information I’ve gathered?”).
- Choosing and using appropriate methods for interpreting information, such as comparing and contrasting, summarizing, illustrating, generalizing, sequencing, synthesizing, analyzing, inferring, deducing, and/or justifying.
- Revising explanation as necessary based on personal reflection, peer critique, expert opinion, etc.
Students make connections to research by:
- Predicting and/or recommending how conclusions can be applied to other civic, economic or social issues.
- Using research results to support or refute the original research statement.
- Proposing solutions to problems based on findings, and asking additional questions.
- Identifying problems or flaws with the research process and suggesting improvements (e.g., evaluating the limitations of some sources).
- Proposing further investigations.
Students communicate their findings by:
- Developing and giving oral, written, or visual presentations for various audiences.
- Soliciting and responding to feedback.
- Pointing out possibilities for continued or further research.
Students connect the past with the present by:
- Explaining historical origins of key ideas and concepts (e.g., Enlightenment, Manifest Destiny, religious and governmental philosophies) and how they are reinterpreted over time.
- Assessing how lifestyles and values have undergone dramatic changes in the U.S. and world (e.g., comparing life in China under the early imperial dynasties to present -day life, and assessing the degree of similarity and difference).
- Hypothesizing how critical events could have had different outcomes.
- Predicting possible outcomes of current world events, and supporting these predictions.
Students show understanding of how humans interpret history by:
- Locating appropriate primary and secondary sources in order to find evidence to support his or her hypothesis.
- Reading and interpreting historic maps, and evaluating bias in these maps (e.g., size of African on European-made maps).
- Evaluating the credibility of differing accounts of the same event(s), and recognizing any existing bias in their own writing about historical events (e.g., comparing accounts of an event in history textbook written in the early 1900s to the same account described in a more recent history text).
- Recognizing media bias in the interpretation of world events, past and present (e.g., World War II propaganda).
- Using technology to interpret history (e.g., using technology to access and interpret historical data ).
Students show understanding of past, present, and future time by:
- Creating a historical narrative.
- Locating relevant data for constructing a time line, and constructing time lines of significant historical developments in the nation and world, designating appropriate equidistant intervals of time and recording events according to the order in which they occurred.
- Identifying how different cultures organize time according to key historical events (e.g., independence days, commemoration of past).
- Interpreting data presented in time lines.
- Measuring and calculating calendar time by days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and millennia.
- Understanding a variety of calendars (e.g., Islamic, Jewish, Chinese) and reasons for their organizational structures (e.g., political, historic, religious).
- Making predictions, decisions, or taking a public stand on a defensible position based on an understanding of the past and present.
- Explaining why certain key events remain the historic consciousness and others do not (e.g., the role of Pilgrims in 1628).
- Explaining transitions between eras that occurred over time as well as those that occurred as a result of a pivotal event, and evaluating the effects of these transitions (e.g., What factors led to various democratic revolutions? What have been the long-term effects of these revolutions?).
- Identifying why certain events are considered pivotal and how they cause us to reorder time (e.g., Muhammad’s call to prophecy, the collapse of the Soviet Union).
Physical and Cultural Geography
Students interpret geography and solve geographic problems by:
- Identifying characteristics of states, countries, and continents; synthesizing and evaluating characteristics of various areas in relation to a particular variable (e.g., quality of life, economic opportunity, desirability).
- Observing, comparing, and analyzing patterns of national, and global land use over time (e.g., agriculture, forestry, industry) to understand why particular locations are used for certain human activities; speculating as to which areas might be used in the future and the impact of that usage.
- Locating the physical, political, and cultural regions the United States and the world; hypothesizing the effects of current trends on these regions (e.g., the dominance of English as an international language).
- Predicting areas of the world that will increase in future importance and giving reasons to support this prediction.
- Analyzing how technological and environmental changes impact settlement patterns over time (e.g., using tables and maps to show the distribution of refugees from areas affected by natural disasters).
- Interpreting and analyzing a variety of effective representations of the earth such as maps, globes, and photographs and project future changes (e.g., analyzing maps to determine how population density has changed and will change).
- Identifying, utilizing, and evaluating appropriate maps for specific purposes (e.g., choosing resource allocation maps in order to investigate oil distribution).
- Using a variety of grid systems to locate places on maps and globes (e.g., UTM or Public Land Survey Systems).
- Analyzing and synthesizing similar and dissimilar spatial patterns using geographic resources (e.g., examining levels of AIDS infection in relation to population density and literacy).
Students show understanding of human interaction with the environment over time by:
- Describing and analyzing how human activity and technology currently impact the environment in the U.S. and world, and speculating the impact in the future if current trends continue.
- Generating information related to the impact of human activities on the physical environment in the local, state, national, or global community in order to draw conclusions and recommend actions (e.g., using charts and graphs to analyze the effects of overfishing along the coast of North America or the Philippine archipelago).
- Analyzing different viewpoints regarding resource use in the U.S. and world; expressing and supporting one’s personal viewpoint (e.g., after debating the causes and/or existence of global warming, expressing one’s opinion).
- Analyzing multiple factors in the interaction of humans and the environment (e.g., analyzing mediating factors that influence the relationship between population distribution and environmental change).
- Using information to analyze and evaluate the impact of current voluntary and involuntary migration patterns in the U.S. and world (ex: census data).
Students analyze how and why cultures continue and change over time by:
- Analyzing and evaluating the impact of expressions of culture in Vermont, the U.S., and the world through analysis of various modes of expression such as poems, songs, dances, stories, paintings, and photographs (e.g., analyzing the influence of black slave culture on subsequent generations of African Americans).
- Analyzing the contributions of various cultural groups to the world, both past and present, including immigrants and native peoples; hypothesizing about the impact of the globalization of culture.
- Analyzing how location and spatial patterns influence the spread of cultural traits (e.g., comparing clothing, food, religion/ values, government, and art across four ancient cultures in relation to location); analyzing the means by which various cultural groups try to retain their cultural identity.
- Analyzing and evaluating ways in which culture in the United States and the world has changed and may change in the future (e.g., how might the spread of Islam change American culture in the future?).
Civics, Government and Society
Students act as citizens by:
- Analyzing and evaluating changes in the interpretation of rights and responsibilities of citizenship over time (e.g., changes in voting age, changes in voting rights for women and African Americans).
- Analyzing and evaluating the issues related to and criteria for U.S. citizenship, past and present (e.g., analyzing the issues surrounding Japanese citizens during WWII).
- Discussing why people want to become citizens of the U.S. and/or another country (e.g., Why did Americans emigrate to the Soviet Union during the Depression?).
- Analyzing impacts of people’s actions as members of a global community (e.g., the Kyoto Agreement).
- Demonstrating positive interaction with group members (e.g., working with a group to draft legislation).
- Identifying problems, proposing solutions, considering the effects of and implementing a course of action in the local community, state, nation, or world.
- Explaining and defending one’s own point of view on issues that affect themselves and society, using information gained from reputable sources (e.g. stem cell research, health care issues, federal budget allocations).
- Explaining, critically evaluating, and defending views that are not one’s own.
- Analyzing ways in which political parties, campaigns, and elections encourage and discourage citizens to participate in the political process (e.g., voter registration drives, use of the Internet, negative campaign ads).
- Illustrating how individuals and groups have brought about change locally, nationally, or internationally (e.g., research the far-reaching effects of Mohandas Ghandi’s beliefs and actions).
- Analyzing how identity stems from beliefs in and allegiance to shared political values and principles, and how these are similar and different to other peoples (e.g. nation building in regions with disparate cultures).
- Establishing rules and/or policies for a group, school, or community, and defending them (e.g., senior privileges, curfews).
Students show understanding of various forms of government by:
- Evaluating how and why rules and laws are created, interpreted, and changed (e.g., evaluating recent decisions by the U.N.).
- Analyzing the principles in key U.S. and international documents and how they apply to their own lives (e.g., Patriot Act, Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
- Describing how government decisions impact citizens locally, nationally, and internationally.
- Comparing and evaluating the basic functions, structures and purposes of governments, both past and present (e.g., democracy vs. dictatorship, internal and external protection).
- Identifying and debating issues surrounding the basic principles of American democracy (e.g., individual rights vs. common good, majority rule vs. protection of minority rights).
- Defining and analyzing the process for selecting leaders at state, national and international levels (e.g., analyzing pros and cons of the primary process; debating the necessity of the electoral college).
Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by:
- Analyzing the impact of a current or historic issue related to human rights, and explaining how the values of the time or place influenced the issue (e.g. Guantanamo, land mines, invasion of Iraq).
- Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can create or maintain a subculture and/or counterculture (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan, Goths, Hippies).
- Evaluating the significance of governmental and nongovernmental international organizations (e.g., World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, International Atomic Energy Agency, IMF).
- After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g., gay rights, environmental protection, privatization of government).
- Evaluating the impact of differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits (e.g., affirmative action).
- Describing how diversity contributes to change over time (e.g., how population shifts impact politics, whites becoming a minority in the U.S., interracial marriage).
- Analyzing the impact of interdependence among states and nations (e.g., OPEC, NAFTA).
- Analyzing the effectiveness of behaviors that are intended to foster global cooperation among groups and governments (e.g., League of Nations, nation building, coalition to fight terrorism).
- Explaining conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict within and among individuals, communities, and nations (e.g., economic conditions, religious beliefs, political repression).
- Proposing and defending ways to ease tensions and/or peacefully resolve conflicts (e.g., assimilation/ separatism; affirmative action; diplomacy).
Students examine how access to various institutions affects justice, reward, and power by:
- Analyzing and evaluating why groups of people or individuals have accessed or were denied justice. (e.g., utilizing contemporary and current primary and secondary sources to determine how perspectives on the Nisei have changed).
- Analyzing points of conflict between different political ideologies (e.g., creation of party platforms).
Students show an understanding of the interaction/interdependence between humans, the environment, and the economy by:
- Explaining patterns and networks of economic interdependence that exist nationally and globally (e.g., currency, stock market, world trade).
- Examining how producers in the U.S. and/or world have used natural, human, and capital resources to produce goods and services and comparing and contrasting the findings (e.g., compare the use of the labor supply in different countries).
- Drawing conclusions about how choices within various economic systems affect the environment in the state, nation, and/or world (e.g., mixed, command, and market economies).
Students show understanding of the interconnectedness between government and the economy by:
- Identifying and comparing goods and services provided by local, state, national, and international governmental and/ or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., researching and debating socialized medicine vs. private healthcare; investigating the role of the International Monetary Fund).
- Evaluating and debating the ideological underpinnings of government and economic programs (e.g., how much welfare should governments provide, and on what bases do various governments make these decisions?).
- Explaining the global relationship between taxation and governmental goods and services (e.g., exploring the benefits and tradeoffs of foreign aid).
- Recognizing that regional economic unions around the world create their own currency for use as money (e.g., the switch from multiple currencies to the Euro).
- Recognizing that world events and the strength of currencies affects services and prices (e.g., September 11, 2001 and its effect on the stock market).
Students make economic decisions as a consumer, producer, saver, investor, and citizen by:
- Using economic terms to analyze and interpret global economic issues and problems (e.g., Should there be debt relief for economically unstable countries?).
- Examining the causes and long term effects of people’s needs and/or wants exceeding their available resources, and proposing possible solutions (e.g., distribution and use of fresh water).
- Developing strategies for earning and spending utilizing a system of accounting (e.g., creating a budget).
- Analyzing the impact of media, time, and place on buying and saving (e.g., advertising, current events).
- Demonstrating understanding of patterns and interdependence locally, nationally, and globally that are involved in the production of a product or service (e.g., supply and demand).
(Note: By the completion of twelfth grade, Vermont students are expected to master the following standards.)