Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills

These skills are to be assessed in conjunction with the content standards in kindergarten through grade five.

History–Social Science Content Standards

Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills
Kindergarten Through Grade Five

The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for kindergarten through grade five. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in kindergarten through grade five.
In addition to the standards for kindergarten through grade five, students demonstrate the following intellectual, reasoning, reflection, and research skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking
  1. Students place key events and people of the historical era they are studying in a chronological sequence and within a spatial context; they interpret time lines.
  2. Students correctly apply terms related to time, including past, present, future, decade, century, and generation.
  3. Students explain how the present is connected to the past, identifying both similarities and differences between the two, and how some things change over time and some things stay the same.
  4. Students use map and globe skills to determine the absolute locations of places and interpret information available through a map's or globe's legend, scale, and symbolic representations.
  5. Students judge the significance of the relative location of a place (e.g., proximity to a harbor, on trade routes) and analyze how relative advantages or disadvantages can change over time.
Research, Evidence, and Point of View
  1. Students differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
  2. Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.
  3. Students distinguish fact from fiction by comparing documentary sources on historical figures and events with fictionalized characters and events.
Historical Interpretation
  1. Students summarize the key events of the era they are studying and explain the historical contexts of those events.
  2. Students identify the human and physical characteristics of the places they are studying and explain how those features form the unique character of those places.
  3. Students identify and interpret the multiple causes and effects of historical events.
  4. Students conduct cost-benefit analyses of historical and current events.

Grades Six Through Eight

The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for grades six through eight. They are to be assessed with the content standards in grades six through eight.
In addition to the standards for grades six through eight, students demonstrate the following intellectual reasoning, reflection, and research skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking
  1. Students explain how major events are related to one another in time.
  2. Students construct various time lines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era they are studying.
  3. Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems.
Research, Evidence, and Point of View
  1. Students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research.
  2. Students distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories.
  3. Students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories.
  4. Students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them.
  5. Students detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author's perspectives).
Historical Interpretation
  1. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.
  2. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long-and short-term causal relations.
  3. Students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns.
  4. Students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history.
  5. Students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is uncovered.
  6. Students interpret basic indicators of economic performance and conduct cost-benefit analyses of economic and political issues.

Grades Nine Through Twelve

The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for grades nine through twelve. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in grades nine through twelve.
In addition to the standards for grades nine through twelve, students demonstrate the following intellectual, reasoning, reflection, and research skills.

Chronological and Spatial Thinking
  1. Students compare the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and decisions and determining the lessons that were learned.
  2. Students analyze how change happens at different rates at different times; understand that some aspects can change while others remain the same; and understand that change is complicated and affects not only technology and politics but also values and beliefs.
  3. Students use a variety of maps and documents to interpret human movement, including major patterns of domestic and international migration, changing environmental preferences and settlement patterns, the frictions that develop between population groups, and the diffusion of ideas, technological innovations, and goods.
  4. Students relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.
Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
  1. Students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations.
  2. Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
  3. Students evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past, including an analysis of authors' use of evidence and the distinctions between sound generalizations and misleading oversimplifications.
  4. Students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate, and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations.
Historical Interpretation
  1. Students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments.
  2. Students recognize the complexity of historical causes and effects, including the limitations on determining cause and effect.
  3. Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms and values.
  4. Students understand the meaning, implication, and impact of historical events and recognize that events could have taken other directions.
  5. Students analyze human modifications of landscapes and examine the resulting environmental policy issues.
  6. Students conduct cost-benefit analyses and apply basic economic indicators to analyze the aggregate economic behavior of the U.S. economy.


Questions: Curriculum Framework | CFIRD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Recently Posted in Waivers, Standards & Frameworks
No items posted in the last 60 days.