K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

  1. Introduction
    1. Preamble
    2. Meeting the needs of all students in the 21st century
  2. Grades K–8
    1. Kindergarten
    2. Grade 1
    3. Grade 2
    4. Grade 3
    5. Grade 4
    6. Grade 5
    7. Grade 6
    8. Grade 7
    9. Grade 8
  3. High School Courses
    1. World History
    2. United States History I
    3. United States History II
    4. Civics and Economics
  4. Electives
    1. The Cold War
    2. Twentieth Century Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
    3. Turning Points in American History
    4. Psychology
    5. Sociology
    6. 21st Century Global Geography
    7. World Humanities
    8. American Humanities

In third grade, students draw upon knowledge learned in previous grades to develop more sophisticated understandings of how communities may be linked to form larger political units, and how there are cultural, geographic, and economic connections. Through their study of various patterns of community living, the students begin to understand that people’s activities are influenced not only by their geographic location, but also by how they use the earth’s materials, the physical environment, and how they express their diversity through culture. Students will understand the importance of being a citizen and identify the contributions of selected individuals in the local community. Students will recognize that Americans are comprised of people who have diverse ethnic origins and traditions who all contribute to American life. By looking at communities from a geographic perspective, students become aware of some of the cultural, political, geographic, historic, environmental and economic factors that help bind communities together through both time and space. Building upon experiences that demonstrate chronological thinking, students begin to expand their ability to think like a historian by asking questions that historians ask. Using both primary and secondary sources, students understand the significant role of the individual in shaping history and explore changes in communities and regions over time. Through the study of historical narratives, students are introduced to the concept of perspective by asking them to explain why people can describe the same event differently. This serves as a building block for more sophisticated analyses in subsequent grades.


  1. 3.H.1 Understand how events, individuals and ideas have influenced the history of local and regional communities.
    1. 3.H.1.1 Explain key historical events that occurred in the local community and regions over time.
    2. 3.H.1.2 Analyze the impact of contributions made by diverse historical figures in local communities and regions over time.
    3. 3.H.1.3 Exemplify the ideas that were significant in the development of local communities and regions.
  2. 3.H.2 Use historical thinking skills to understand the context of events, people and places.
    1. 3.H.2.1 Explain change over time through historical narratives (events, people and places).
    2. 3.H.2.2 Explain how multiple perspectives are portrayed through historical narratives.

Geography and Environmental Literacy

  1. 3.G.1 Understand the earth’s patterns by using the 5 themes of geography: (location, place, human-environment interaction, movement and regions).
    1. 3.G.1.1 Find absolute and relative locations of places within the local community and region.
    2. 3.G.1.2 Compare the human and physical characteristics of places.
    3. 3.G.1.3 Exemplify how people adapt to, change and protect the environment to meet their needs.
    4. 3.G.1.4 Explain how the movement of goods, people and ideas impact the community.
    5. 3.G.1.5 Summarize the elements (cultural, demographic, economic and geographic) that define regions (community, state, nation and world). Compare various regions according to their characteristics.

Economics and Financial Literacy

  1. 3.E.1 Understand how the location of regions affects activity in a market economy.
    1. 3.E.1.1 Explain how location impacts supply and demand.
    2. 3.E.1.2 Explain how locations of regions and natural resources influence economic development (industries developed around natural resources, rivers and coastal towns).
  2. 3.E.2 Understand entrepreneurship in a market economy.
    1. 3.E.2.1 Explain why people become entrepreneurs.
    2. 3.E.2.2 Give examples of entrepreneurship in various regions of our state.

Civics and Governance

  1. 3.C&G.1 Understand the development, structure and function of local government.
    1. 3.C&G.1.1 Summarize the historical development of local governments.
    2. 3.C&G.1.2 Describe the structure of local government and how it functions to serve citizens.
    3. 3.C&G.1.3 Understand the three branches of government, with an emphasis on local government.
  2. 3.C&G.2 Understand how citizens participate in their communities.
    1. 3.C&G.2.1 Exemplify how citizens contribute politically, socially and economically to their community.
    2. 3.C&G.2.2 Exemplify how citizens contribute to the well-being of the community’s natural environment.
    3. 3.C&G.2.3 Apply skills in civic engagement and public discourse (school, community).


  1. 3.C.1 Understand how diverse cultures are visible in local and regional communities.
    1. 3.C.1.1 Compare languages, foods and traditions of various groups living in local and regional communities.
    2. 3.C.1.2 Exemplify how various groups show artistic expression within the local and regional communities.
    3. 3.C.1.3 Use non-fiction texts to explore how cultures borrow and share from each other (foods, languages, rules, traditions and behaviors).