Oklahoma State Standards for Social Studies

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

Examine Oklahoma's standards for social studies standards and find out what students in Oklahoma will be learning throughout their K-12 education. Get info on additional resources students can use to improve their knowledge of social studies.

Social Studies Standards in Oklahoma

There are four overarching strands for social studies in Oklahoma that are studied in each grade level:

  • Citizenship
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History

Through the study of these strands, the following skills are also incorporated and mastered:

  • Reading literacy
  • Writing literacy
  • Speaking, listening, and oral presentation skills

Lower Elementary School

The first few years of elementary school in Oklahoma each focus on a particular theme, with attention being given to each of the four strands listed above.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

The themes of the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten years are 'Our America' and 'Symbols of America,' respectively. Students focus on American icons, holidays, and traditions. They are taught a basic overview of citizenship, as it pertains to the rules of the classroom. Students are presented with basic knowledge of the economy, that people work different jobs in order to earn money. Finally, students are introduced to rudimentary geography, both social and natural.

First Grade

In the first grade, Oklahoma students focus on civics as it applies to 'American Heroes'. They will study notable people throughout American history who have exemplified the virtues of good citizenship. They will also study simple geographic facts and continue to build an understanding of elementary economic principles.

Second Grade

During the second grade, students are introduced to 'Our Democratic Heritage' which completes their primer on citizenship in the United States. They will focus on specific Americans in history who have been instrumental in establishing and safeguarding our rights. Second grade students will continue to foster their knowledge of America's physical geography and political characteristics. Finally, they will learn about taxes, community services and economic interdependence.

Third Grade

The third grade in Oklahoma is reserved for 'Oklahoma Studies'. This year, students will focus on important people from various cultures in Oklahoma history. They will gain an understanding of the geographical characteristics of the state, including its environmental reserves and how these resources have helped Oklahomans develop a thriving economy. Through an analysis of local and state politics, student will continue to explore the concept of citizenship.

Upper Elementary School

In the second half of elementary school, the breadth of social studies is more narrowed and detailed than in previous years. Topics covered in these years are the focus of Study.com's course on Social Studies for Kids. The engaging and brief video lessons in this course can be used to supplement classroom teaching or could work as a stand-alone course.

Fourth Grade

In the fourth grade, Oklahoma students will study the history, geography, economy, and government of each of the regions of the United States. They will also investigate the various Native American tribes throughout the history of these regions and the result of European contact and colonizing within these regions.

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade students trace the course of American history from the 1607 settlement of Jamestown, Virginia to the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and the subsequent discoveries made by Lewis and Clark. Students will learn about the very early government under British rule, the causes and consequences of the American Revolution, and the democracy that followed. The terms of the first presidents will also be studied as part of the understanding of early democratic government.

Middle School

In Oklahoma, the middle school years are reserved for an intense study of world geography, as well as a continuation of American history. Both of these topics are covered in our US History for Middle School and Geography for Middle School courses.

Sixth Grade

In the sixth grade, students begin a two-year study of world geography by examining physical features of the Western hemisphere, including the North American and South America continents, as well as the Caribbean. They will explore how landmasses form and change over time. In addition, they will learn about human systems in this region and understand the interactions between humans and the environment and the effects of such interactions over time.

Seventh Grade

Seventh graders in Oklahoma will continue their study of world geography and its implications on history and current events. They will examine the Eastern hemisphere this year, including the contents of Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia. Curriculum will emphasize physical and cultural patterns and their evolution through history.

Eight Grade

In the eighth grade, Oklahoma students return to their study of American history focusing on the time period from the American Revolution through the post-Civil War era, roughly 1754 to 1877. Students will examine the contributing reasons for the American Revolution, as well as study notable figures from this time period. They will have a deepening understanding of the ideals and principles that shaped the United States. Following this, students will trace the early history of the nation, through exploration and expansion westward, and will finish with an in-depth study of the causes and results of the Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction Era.

High School

During the high school years, curriculum is divided by subject, rather than by grade. These courses represent a continuation of the four social studies strands with more intense focus and a greater breadth of coverage.


High school students will gain an understanding of the economy and financial reasoning and be able to apply that knowledge to actual circumstances in their own lives. They will investigate the free-market system and compare it to other international economic systems. The function of the Federal Reserve will also be studied. Study.com's course on Economics was designed specifically for high school students and covers all of the economics topics required to meet Oklahoma state standards.

Oklahoma History and Government

Students in this class will focus on the history and growth of the state of Oklahoma including notable contributors who have helped shape the culture of Oklahoma. Along with important people throughout Oklahoma's history, significant sociopolitical movements will be studied, along with their impact on Oklahoma and the nation at large.


The study of the brain and its functions, along with how humans develop socially and environmentally, is the theme of this course. Students will learn about disorders of the psyche, how to foster good mental health, and how humanity affects one's psychological well-being. Our course on Psychology can help your students learn more about this topic using a fun and flexible video format that they can view at home or on the go with a mobile device.


Students in this high school course will study human behavior in group settings and social structures and institutions along with cultural patterns and their effect on individuals. Also a part of this is an in-depth study of different cultural and religious mores throughout many regions. Our Intro to Sociology course would provide you or your student with a thorough understanding of these concepts in an interesting and flexible way.

United States Government

High school students will gain a thorough understanding of the American government system and its many procedures, checks and balances, in an effort to become knowledgeable and involved participants in our democracy. Curriculum will focus on freedoms and responsibilities and how society plays a role in maintaining the common good. Our American Government course will help you or your student master the many topics presented in this class.

United States History

This high school course traces the history of the United States from the Reconstruction Era to the present. Students will follow the development of the United States from post-Civil War reconstruction to becoming a world superpower in the 21st century. Students will be able to discuss significant circumstances and incidents of both World Wars, as well as describe the causes and effects of the Great Depression. Finally, students will also gain an understanding of recent events, such the September 11, 2001 attacks and the war on terrorism. To enhance your learning experience, we offer U.S. History for high school learners.

World History

In high school, Oklahoma students will study world history in depth, beginning with an overview of the ancient and classical time periods. Curriculum will focus on various movements and events in history including the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution and the international consequences of the World Wars. This study will culminate in an analysis of recent world events and how past occurrences have led us to where we are now. Your students can check out the interactive, engaging lessons presented in World History to help navigate the high school world history curriculum.

World Human Geography

Students in this course will examine the patterns of human movement throughout the world. They will understand the concept of human migration with regards to environmental and historical changes. They will also research potential future problems with regard to population and its impact on the earth. Our Human Geography course can enhance your student's learning and retention.