Nebraska State Standards for Social Studies

Instructor: A Ray Tatum

A. Ray has taught junior high, high school and college English and has a master's degree in curriculum.

Learn which subjects are covered under Nebraska's social studies standards for grades K-12 and find out what's expected of students at each grade level. You'll also discover resources to supplement your social studies instruction or help your students complete their homework assignments.

Social Studies Standards for Nebraska

Nebraska's social studies standards cover four main subject areas - history, geography, civics and economics. The scope of instruction in these subjects is determined by a theme or area of focus for each grade level.

As students progress from kindergarten through 3rd grade, they'll use social studies topics to explore the self, family, neighborhood and community. Instruction for 4th graders is centered around the state of Nebraska, while 5th graders focus on the United States. Middle and high school students, on the other hand, examine social studies topics as they relate to the United States and the world.


Throughout their years within the Nebraska school system, students learn to understand the importance of historical inquiry and narrative. Students in grades K-5 begin learning about significant historical events and people as well as the contributions of various groups, such as Native Americans, to Nebraska's culture.

During the middle school years, students shift their focus to developments in ancient and early civilizations up to 1000 CE. They also study key events in US history from colonial times up through the Progressive Era, including America's westward expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

High school students further analyze world and US history topics, such as US urbanization, the two World Wars, and globalization, to find the significance of modern events.

Consider using the video lessons and quizzes found in the following courses to supplement history instruction for your students: Social Studies for Kids, Middle School US History, Middle School World History, High School US History, and High School World History.


The spatial patterns that make up the planet's physical and human geography are the focus of these standards. In grades K-5, students learn the spatial terms used to describe the physical characteristics and locations of places as well as the environmental conditions that impact human settlement patterns.

Middle school students focus on some of the tools and technologies that can be used to study these patterns in addition to the natural phenomena that changes a region's landscape. How humans adapt to these changes are also discussed.

High school students take an in-depth look at topics like plate tectonics and interactions between the Earth's four spheres. They also study some of the human behaviors, such as migration, that cause regions and societies to change over time. Climate change and its long-term effects are also studied.

Students can get help with these areas using the following courses: Geography for Kids, Middle School Geography, and High School Geography.


Students are expected to use their knowledge of the foundations and form of American federalism, our representative democracy, and American politics to become effective citizens. Instruction in elementary school stresses civic duty, from respect and courtesy in kindergarten to freedom of speech and voting rights in 5th grade.

Middle schoolers explore democratic principles and the purposes of government. They should also be able to describe the forms of civic service, such as voting, participation in political campaigns, and volunteering, and compare them with those in other countries.

High school students should understand the history and function of government as well as the impacts of civic engagement on foreign and domestic policy formation. Check out this Civics Study Guide to find interesting video lessons, quizzes, and practice chapter exams for high school students.


Students should be able to make sound economic choices after completing this coursework. In elementary school, students begin by investigating basic economics concepts, such as scarcity and opportunity cost. From there, elementary students learn what an economic market is along with some of the decisions involved in the processes of buying and selling.

Students in grades 6-8 examine the difference between consumers and producers, the concepts of supply and demand, and the types of economic institutions. The characteristics of various economic systems and the role of government in the economy are also covered.

High school students learn how economic measures, such as gross domestic product and inflation rates, affect decisions about the use of labor and capital. Students are also able to understand the economic factors affecting price, the impacts of international trade, and the influences of government fiscal policy. Students can further their understanding of these topics with this course in High School Economics.

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