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Social Studies

Social studies are essential to understanding the complexity of the world. It provides the context and understanding of how humans interact with each other and with the environment over time. It offers the crucial knowledge needed to create a framework for understanding the systems of society.

Preparing students for the 21st century cannot be accomplished without a strong and sustaining emphasis on social studies. The social studies provide cornerstone skills that are the key to opening doors for a more diverse, competitive workforce and responsible citizenry. Students use critical thinking, self-assessment, reasoning, problem-solving, collaboration, research, and investigation to make connections in new and innovative ways as they progress through social studies education. These standards outline the knowledge and skills needed to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

Colorado Academic Standards in the social studies are organized by 4 unique standards throughout a student’s K-12 education. Differing grade level expectations within the 4 standards focus on different ideas and areas depending on the student’s grade.

Please see the following link to investigate any of the grade-level expectations.


Standards are the topical organization of an academic content area. The four standards of social studies are:

  1. History - History develops moral understanding, defines identity and creates an appreciation of how things change while building skills in judgment and decision-making. History enhances the ability to read varied sources and develop the skills to analyze, interpret and communicate. 
  2. Geography - Geography provides students with an understanding of spatial perspectives and technologies for spatial analysis, awareness of the interdependence of world regions and resources and how places are connected at local, national and global scales.
  3. Economics - Economics teaches how society manages its scarce resources, how people make decisions, how people interact in the domestic and international markets, and how forces and trends affect the economy as a whole. Personal financial literacy applies the economic way of thinking to help individuals understand how to manage their scarce resources using a logical decision-making process of prioritization based on analysis of the costs and benefits of every choice.
  4. Civics - Civics teaches the complexity of the origins, structure, and functions of governments; the rights, roles, and responsibilities of ethical citizenship; the importance of law; and the skills necessary to participate in all levels of government.  

In addition to our state standards, Poudre School District has a Humanities course requirement for graduation that emphasizes the study of literature, history, philosophy, and comparative religion, visual and performing arts and culture.

PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.