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6 Changes to the Revised 2019 Kentucky Social Studies Standards You Need to Know

6 Changes to the Revised 2019 Kentucky Social Studies Standards You Need to Know

As of July 2019, the  Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) for Social Studies have been revised, and the handy KY Standards website offers a social studies at a glance two-page document that lists all of the changes.

Here, we’ll go over the highlights, illustrated with visuals of how the standards document has been reorganized.

K3 Content Standards Added

The KAS for Social Studies now contain grade-level standards for grades K–3 to promote foundational learning. As an example, here’s what those standards look like for kindergarten:

Source: KAS for Social Studies

You’ll notice that concepts and practices are marked with different colors. The image below explains what each color means:

Source: KAS for Social Studies

Students will now engage in inquiry-based practices, which involve questioning, investigating, using evidence, and communicating conclusions. The goal is to get all Kentucky students (starting at early grade levels) to think critically about key social studies concepts through the lens of four main disciplines: civics, economics, geography, and history.

Grade-Level Overviews and Theme Changes

You’ll notice that expanded grade-level overviews were added for grades K–8. Because each of these grade levels received theme revisions, the overviews are meant to contain helpful information to guide Kentucky social studies educators through what the standards mean and how to effectively apply them in their classrooms. Also note that, while all grade levels received theme revisions, grades 4, 6, and 7 received the largest theme shifts. 

Additions to the overviews include:

  • Expanded Introductions: Additional information for grade-level themes
  • Suggestive Vocabulary: Suggested essential terms identified by the writing committee
  • Progression Snapshots: Clear connections between the previous and following grades
  • Applicability: What these standards would look like in practice
  • Cross-Discipline Opportunities: Connections between social studies standards and reading and writing standards

Disciplinary Clarifications and Instructional Support

For grades K–8, educators will find disciplinary clarifications and instructional support per grade level. Below is an example from grade 7:

Source: KAS for Social Studies

These clarifications are sectioned by each of the major disciplinary strands (civics, economics, geography, and history). Educators can use this section to better understand the expectations of the standards and find sample ideas to teach each concept.

Kentucky Studies

For grades K–12, discipline-specific Kentucky studies are now included where applicable to ensure that Kentucky students learn about their state throughout their social studies education.

Grade-Band Overviews

Grade-band overviews for elementary, middle, and high school have been added to provide guidance to educators on what social studies education in each grade band is meant to look like. Below is the high school overview section:

Source: KAS for Social Studies

K12 Progressions

To aid districts in curriculum development, Appendix A on the KAS for Social Studies now has K–12 grade progressions organized by grade level, inquiry practice, discipline, and concepts and practices. Below is the geography progression for “Human Environment Interaction” as an example:

Source: KAS for Social Studies

As Kentucky teacher-writers were working on the development of revising the KAS for Social Studies, they were committed to incorporating a healthy mix of content and skills into the standards. The goal of achieving this balance was to better equip educators with tools to encourage their students to critically think about social studies from the time they first enter school until the time that they successfully graduate. 

Interested in learning how Edmentum can enrich your social studies curriculum? Read more about how our programs can help social studies learners in elementary school, middle school, and high school grade levels!