Social Studies

  • Regents Adopt Social Studies Framework:
    New Guidelines Will Prepare Students for Citizenship and Civic Engagement

    The Board of Regents adopted the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework to provide schools and teachers with information they need to consider modifications to local social studies curriculum for students in grades K-12.

    The Social Studies Framework has drawn support from social studies teachers, professional organizations, and other state and national education organizations. It includes key ideas and concepts for each grade level and incorporates Common Core skills in literacy, writing, speaking and listening, as well as social studies practices.

    The five existing standards in Social Studies remain unchanged: (1) history of the United States and New York, (2) world history, (3) geography, (4) economics, and (5) civics, citizenship and government. The Framework also retains the current order of courses, from Kindergarten through grade 12.

    What is new?

    The Framework integrates information from the existing New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies (1996); the New York State Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects; and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Social Studies State Standards from National Council for the Social Studies.

    The social studies practices identify discipline-related skills needed in the social studies. The C3 Framework clearly lays out economics’ integral role in social studies education and so we support New York State’s effort to draw from this important national document. As the New York State Framework continues to evolve and grow, we look forward to seeing even greater integration of economics into the history, government and other courses that make up the high school social studies curriculum.

    To learn more about the NYS K-12 Social Studies Framework, log on to the, site or go to

    Next Steps:

    The Field Guide

    NYSED will provide a Field Guide that will begin with an overview of the purpose of the social studies and will introduce the shifts in social studies instruction.

    The first section of the Guide will provide guidance on how to the leverage the Framework to promote conceptual understanding (including the development of questions to drive inquiry) and how to integrate social studies content, practices, and the CCLS in curriculum, assessment, and instruction. This section will address how to formulate the essential questions that drive inquiry in the classroom and align to the C3 Framework.

    The second section will address how to create performance tasks that integrate the key concepts articulated in the Framework with the Common Core skills and social studies practices to promote evidence-based argumentation. The third section will provide guidance in how to create meaningful lesson sequences to implement the integration of content and skills.

    Grade K: Self and Others

    In kindergarten, students study “Self and Others”. The course is organized into five units of study

    These units represent five of the unifying themes of social studies and may be presented in any order. Each unit helps students study themselves in the context of their immediate surroundings.

    Students will learn about similarities and differences between children, families and communities and about holidays, symbols and traditions that unite us as Americans. Students learn about respect for others, and rights and responsibilities of individuals.

    Kindergarten Units of Study:

    1. Individual Development and Cultural Identity

    2. Civic Ideals and Practices

    3. Geography, Humans, and the Environment

    4. Time, Continuity, and Change

    5. Economic Systems