California school standards differ from each other based on the grade. Thus, the standard for K-3, as developed by the California Department of Education, requires students to match simple descriptions of work that people do with the names of related jobs at school or in the chosen community.
The Social Science Standard for K-6 for Arts as developed by the California Department of Education requires students to engage in complex understanding of history events, people and places. For instance, one can educate children about the basis for common holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, Labor day and the Veterans day, to name but a few.
K-6 Social Science Standard is required for students to understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives and professions changed over time. One would analyze how simple technology developed and what importance it had on the human development (Schwartz, 2003). The K-6 Standard is more complex and requires students to use special thinking and analysis.
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From K-3 to K-6 levels students learn about the continuity and changes. People differentiate between landforms and landscapes, the changes in families and societies. Their education should be made more formal in later school years while more interesting and interactive in early school years.
A state standard for grades K-3 does not focus so much on factual knowledge but on the students’ thinking and development (Frasier, 2002).
A second state standard from grade 6 requires students to engage in a more profound analysis of a situation and exercise proper judgment of things.
One of the books for K-3 I would speak about is Simple and Complex Machines Used in Agriculture, written by Tonya Cargill and Pamela Emery. This book allows students to learn more about sciences, environment, language arts, and visual/performance arts. The book presents basic mathematic and science concepts and allows students to learn about farm machinery and its application in the modern society. One learns how levers, pulleys, and planes work. The book is helpful in understanding the standard simply because it had been created for a specific level and assigns the homework for students based on the accepted standard.
Another K-3 book worth noting is titled Where’d You Get Those Genes?, written by Beth Brookhart and Pam Schallock. It suffices the needs of science, language, reading art and math subjects. Students are introduced to the basic principles of heredity and how it is represented by the agricultural industry. Students can learn about horses and their genes. Different activities allow students to learn about recessive and dominant genes. The biographies of famous biologists can also be learnt. This book once again had been developed with necessary Social Science Standards for K-3 in mind. Students are clearly pointed to the things that they need to know and understand and are given clear instructions in accordance with the standard regarding what needs to be learnt.
Speaking about the K-6 book I would note From Genes to Jeans written by John Vogt and Mary Yale. It is intended to further the science, language art and visual performing art. Students learn genetics and related agricultural technologies and can broaden their horizons in these areas of science. Students are introduced to basic genetic engineering, sciences, agriculture and society.
Pricilla Naworski wrote Fruits and Vegetables for Health, another book intended for furthering reading arts and science skills for K-6 levels. Students learn about production, distribution and nutritional value of California fresh produce. One learns a lot about language, art, science, and nutrition.
In conclusion, one should note that the Social Science Standards are developed by the California Department of Education and are different for K-3 and K-6. The essay briefly commented on the differences between the two and pointed out two books that were created for different grades using the two standards. The reader was able to get a snapshot into the Social Science Standard and see how it strived to direct students in the selected grades towards the academic excellence.
Huck, C. S., Kiefer, B. Z., Hepler, S., & Hickman, J. (2004). Children’s literature in the elementary school (8th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Cargill, Tonya, Emery, Pamela, (2004). Simple and Complex Machines Used in Agriculture, McGraw Hill, pp. 90-91.
Vogt, John, Yale, Mary, (2003). From Genes to Jeans, Prentice hall, pp. 332-334.
Naworski, Pricilla (2003). Fruits and Vegetables for Health, NY Random House, pp. 67-68.
Brookhart, Beth, Schallock, Pam, (2003). Where’d You Get Those Genes?, Barrons books, pp. 108-110.
Schwartz, Susan (2003). All Write: A Teacher’s Guide to Writing, Grades K to 6 (Curriculum Series, No 55), Wiley and sons press, pp. 50-51.
Frasier, Debra (2002). On the Day You Were Born Elementary Creative Arts Curriculum, K-6, Prentice Hall, pp. 127-129.
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