Colorado State Standards for Social Studies

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Colorado's standards for social studies are covered in this article. Read to get information about what students will learn throughout their schooling and to find resources that will be beneficial to instructors and students.

Social Studies Standards in Colorado

The state of Colorado breaks down its social studies standards into four main areas:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Civics

Students will spend time studying each of these areas in every school year. Additionally, students will work on developing 21st century skills throughout their social studies classes. These skills include:

  • Information literacy
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking and reasoning
  • Self-direction
  • Invention

Elementary School Social Studies Standards

This social studies for kids course can be used by teachers and students alike. Assign different lessons as a review method for students, or use the lessons and assessments in class.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Young students will learn to understand words related to chronology and to sequence words and events. They'll consider how people live in different places and describe their surroundings. The concepts of ownership, wants, needs, spending and saving will be discussed. Kids will also learn to recognize money. The purpose of rules and examples of civic participation will be considered.

1st Grade

Kids will understand past events and the national symbols used in America. They'll focus on maps, globes, directional words and how cultures connect to their environment. Students will learn about types of businesses and jobs and financial goals. They'll learn about leaders, important places in America and flags.

2nd Grade

Historical artifacts and timelines will be discussed in this grade. Kids will learn about ways that communities change. Furthermore, they'll get information about the parts of maps and globes. Students will consider scarcity, financial decisions and both long-term and short-term goals. Civic responsibilities and the uses of power will be discussed.

3rd Grade

In this grade, students will explore the difference between factual and fictional historical accounts. They'll learn about geographic tools and consider problems that involve geography. The unique features of different regions will be studied. Kids will learn about producers, consumers, trade and borrowing. Time will be spent learning about civil discourse and the local government.

4th Grade

4th graders will study the history of Colorado and how the people who have lived in Colorado have interacted. They'll also learn about the regions of Colorado. Students will focus on economic incentive, productive resources, opportunity cost and individual decisions. State issues and the branches of state government will be discussed.

5th Grade

Students will learn about important historical documents and cultural interactions that occurred from 1491 up to the American Revolution. They'll look at different regions of the U.S. and study the factors involved in migration. Capitalist market economies and financial institutions will be focused on. Kids will learn about individual rights and the U.S. Constitution.

Middle School Social Studies Standards

Middle schoolers can check out these courses on U.S. history, world history and geography. Use the interactive assessments to gauge your students' knowledge of core concepts.

6th Grade

In 6th grade, students will learn how history is recorded in different cultures, as well as how cultures interact with one another. The regions and systems of the Western Hemisphere will be covered. Students will explore mixed economic systems, investing and emergency funds. Time will be spent studying the way the world is interconnected and various forms of government.

7th Grade

The interconnection and history of people in the Eastern Hemisphere will be covered in this grade. Students will learn about physical systems and the physical environment's relation to trade. They'll consider supply and demand, relative value and taxes. The roles of citizens and repercussions of conflicts between nations will be taught.

8th Grade

Students in 8th grade will study historical inquiry and events from the American Revolution to the Reconstruction. They'll learn about cultural patterns, population trends and the expansion of the U.S. In this grade, students will consider differences between countries, trade restrictions and debt. Students will focus on political change, the rule of law and court systems in the U.S.

High School Social Studies Standards

In high school, standards are divided by subject area instead of grade. Students can access these economics, world history, U.S. history, American government and geography courses for supplemental help as they focus on:


High schoolers will learn how to differentiate between interpretations and facts. Time will be spent studying major events in world history, in addition to important events in U.S. history from the Reconstruction to the present day. Students will examine world religions, the Industrial Revolution and Civil Rights.


In these grades, students will focus on how people deal with natural hazards, alterations to the environment and sustainability. They'll study the distribution of resources, human migration and cultural diffusion.


Studying economics gives students the chance to learn about the factors involved in making economic decisions and how the government impacts the economy. Students will consider economic policies, socialism, communism and capitalism. They'll also focus on oligopolies and monopolies. Taxes liabilities, financial plans, lending and insurance will be covered.


Students will spend time focusing on ways to ethically participate in civic activities. They'll consider the principles of democracy, the founding documents associated with the U.S. government and the justice system in the U.S. Public policy will also be studied in these grades.

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