Sub-domain: Social Studies

The Social Studies sub-domain covers goals forty-four and forty-five of the Idaho Early Learning Guidelines. 

Using this guide

Scroll down to see the age group you are most interested in. Click on the goal to learn more about the goal's:

  • developmental growth
  • child indicators
  • caregiver strategies

There is an option to download the information at the end of each goal. When you click the link you will be brought to a new page where you can download the goal as a PDF.  

Group of kids running at a playground

0 - 8 Months

Goal 44: Children differentiate between people, places, activities, and events in the past and present that relate to self, group identity, and a sense of their community.

Developmental Growth: Demonstrate a sense of comfort with the familiar.

Child Indicators: Recognizes and responds to familiar people, places, activities, and events (smiles when dad enters the room). Begins to anticipate a familiar setting, group, or routines with trusted primary caregivers. Responds to a familiar sequence of events in daily routines. Begins to demonstrate awareness and response to familiar activities (songs, stories, lullaby) from the home culture. Shows trust in a relationship dependent on wants and needs satisfied by caregivers. Looks to where things are located in the environment. Begins to recognize that people move in and out of their immediate environment. Shows preferences for one adult over another. Responds to others emotions (happy, sad, angry, excited, tense).

Caregiver Strategies: Build a sense of community by respecting and reflecting child’s home environment. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Provide opportunities to begin exploring awareness of self, family, and others through touch, photographs, mirrors, and video and sound recordings. Point to and describe physical similarities and differences among familiar children and adults during daily activities and routines. Share books with photos and illustrations of children and adults from different regions, cultures, or countries. Provide ongoing opportunities for child to observe other children and interact with caregivers in familiar settings. Arrange the room, space, and materials/toys so that two or more children (including those with special health concerns/needs) can play alongside each other. Provide space, time, and materials from the home culture for each child to use and explore as they imitate or attempt to reproduce actions. Demonstrate, describe, and play pretend play (pretending to eat or drink). Provide labeled space with child’s printed name and current photo where child’s possessions are kept. Demonstrate finger-plays and sing songs from the child’s home language or culture. Display and talk with child about family photos (point to members and describe what is happening in the picture).

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Goal 45: Children demonstrate awareness and understanding of individual fairness, group rights, and responsibilities (democratic ideals) for membership and participation in group activities (successful citizenship).

Developmental Growth: Show awareness of emotions

Child Indicators: Indicates the need for assistance (crying, vocalizing, gesturing) to adults and caregivers. Comforts self by sucking, stroking, or hugging familiar objects (blankets or toys). Responds to emotions expressed by others (crying when others cry). Follows simple directions or requests made by caregivers.Looks to caregivers for assistance and guidance, when needed. Begins to become aware of boundaries for people, objects, activities, and settings (must sit in stroller; dog walks on a leash). May show interest in self-help skills like feeding and dressing themselves. May show interest in helping with household and classroom chores like clearing their spot, feeding the dog, sweeping, and cleaning dishes.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide a consistent, predictable, caring, responsive environment Talk to and listen respectfully to all children by giving them your undivided attention, eye contact, and wait time to model the give and take in conversation. Model respect for diversity. Respond promptly to needs. Encourage expression of emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Set, discuss, remind, and follow through on simple rules and limits. Play turn-taking games (rolling a ball) individually or in small groups. Play turn-taking games or activities (putting objects in a container; going down the slide) individually or in small groups. Provide materials (photographs, books, posters, games, puzzles, foods, dolls) that reflect home, family, community, and the world.Provide child-sized household items for child to play and work with (cleaning cloths, brooms, kitchens items, garden tools).

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6 - 18 Months

Goal 44: Children differentiate between people, places, activities, and events in the past and present that relate to self, group identity, and a sense of their community.

Developmental Growth: Engage and respond to familiar people, places, activities, and events within their family, program, community, and culture.

Child Indicators: Recognizes and responds to familiar people, places, activities, and events (runs to mother for comfort; reaches out for favorite toy). Demonstrates awareness of self and body image (enjoys mirror image and movement). Anticipates, demonstrates, and begins to express enjoyment in response to a familiar setting, group, or routines with trusted primary caregivers. Demonstrates expectations for familiar sequence of events in daily routines.emonstrates awareness and responds to familiar activities (songs and stories) from the home culture. Develops and maintains trusting relationships with primary caregivers and family members. Begins to engage in cooperative pretend play with peers around familiar activities and routines (cooking, cleaning, yard work). Increases awareness of where things are located in the environment.Recognizes that people move in and out of their immediate environment. Begins to explore familiar environments (within home, child care, familiar spaces). Pays attention to adult use of common technological devices and begins to imitate the use of devices (computer, cell phone). May show interest in daily community routines (lawn mowers, road construction, garbage trucks, trains, plains).

 Caregiver Strategies: Find ways to build a sense of community through activities that respect and reflect each child’s home environment. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Continue to provide opportunities to begin exploring awareness of self and familiar others through touch, photographs, mirrors, and video and sound recordings. Encourage child to point as an adult describes physical similarities and differences among familiar children and adults during daily activities and routines. Show books and encourage child to point to photos and illustrations of children and adults from different regions, cultures, or countries. Provide ongoing opportunities for child to observe and interact with other children and caregivers in familiar settings. Arrange the room, space, and materials/toys so that two or more children (including those with special health concerns/needs) can play alongside each other and begin to interact and share the toys/materials. Provide space, time, and materials from the home culture for each child to use in imitating actions, simple roles, and in pretend play. Describe and encourage child to play pretend play (pretending to eat or drink). Provide labeled space with child’s printed name and current photo where child’s possessions are kept and demonstrate how child can retrieve and store personal items. Demonstrate and encourage child to participate in finger-plays and sing songs from the child’s home language or culture. Display child’s family photos and encourage child to point to and name family members.            

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Goal 45: Children demonstrate awareness and understanding of individual fairness, group rights, and responsibilities (democratic ideals) for membership and participation in group activities (successful citizenship).

Developmental Growth: Show awareness of emotions

Child Indicators: Indicates the need for assistance (crying, vocalizing, gesturing) to adults and caregivers. Comforts self by sucking, stroking, or hugging familiar objects (blankets or toys). Responds to emotions expressed by others (crying when others cry). Follows simple directions or requests made by caregivers.Looks to caregivers for assistance and guidance, when needed. Begins to become aware of boundaries for people, objects, activities, and settings (must sit in stroller; dog walks on a leash). May show interest in self-help skills like feeding and dressing themselves. May show interest in helping with household and classroom chores like clearing their spot, feeding the dog, sweeping, and cleaning dishes.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide a consistent, predictable, caring, responsive environment.Talk to and listen respectfully to all children by giving them your undivided attention, eye contact, and wait time to model the give and take in conversation. Model respect for diversity. Respond promptly to needs. Encourage expression of emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Set, discuss, remind, and follow through on simple rules and limits. Play turn-taking games (rolling a ball) individually or in small groups. Play turn-taking games or activities (putting objects in a container; going down the slide) individually or in small groups. Provide materials (photographs, books, posters, games, puzzles, foods, dolls) that reflect home, family, community, and the world.Provide child-sized household items for child to play and work with (cleaning cloths, brooms, kitchens items, garden tools).

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Developing knowledge of social studies allows children to understand how people interact with and relate to the people in the world around them.

16 - 38 Months

Goal 44: Children differentiate between people, places, activities, and events in the past and present that relate to self, group identity, and a sense of their community.

Developmental Growth: Actively select and participate in daily activities and routines reflecting cultural traditions, values, and beliefs with adults and peers to develop awareness of group membership.

Child Indicators: Begins to recognize and associate different environments, activities, and routines with different people needed to develop awareness of group membership. Points to, identifies, and describes self and others’ mirror images. Begins to make predictions about what may happen and connects new experiences to past experiences (understands that a parent goes to work and later returns home). Shows recognition of simple sequence in events (naptime is after lunch). Actively selects and participates in activities and routines with peers and adults. Increases understanding of where things are located in the environment (outdoor shoes are kept in cubbies; dishes are stored in the kitchen). Maintains trusting relationships with caregivers and begins developing trusting relationships with peers. Actively selects and engages in pretend play with familiar activities and routines (cooking, cleaning, yard work). Demonstrates an awareness of daily routines (gets coat because it is cold outside). Begins to recognize the beginning and end of an event and may recall information about the immediate past. Begins to identify items in the store that they want. Begins to develop sense of self in relation to the environment (recognizes house as “my home;” building as “my school”). Begins to role-play with simple objects and toys (pushing doll stroller, feeding doll with toy bottle, pretends to talk on the phone).

Caregiver Strategies: Find ways to build a sense of community through activities that respect and reflect each child’s home environment. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Provide opportunities to explore, identify, and discuss self and familiar others using photos, mirrors, video and sound recordings. Encourage child to recognize and discuss similarities and differences among children and adults (hair color, gender). Encourage child to identify and describe photos and illustrations of children and adults from different regions, countries, or cultures. Read books and encourage child to point to and describe photos and illustrations of children and adults from different regions, cultures, or countries. Arrange the room, space, and materials/toys so that two or more children (including those with special health concerns/needs) can play alongside each other and interact through play.Provide space, time, and materials from the home culture for each child to select and use in imitating actions, simple roles, and in pretend play. Provide opportunities for each child to play and interact with others during pretend play (washing baby dolls). Provide labeled space with child’s printed name and current photo where child’s possessions are kept and encourage child to actively retrieve and store personal items. Demonstrate and encourage child to actively select and participate in finger-plays and sing songs from the child’s home language or culture. Display or make a class book of children’s family photos and encourage children to point to and name family members. Make a class book of students’ photos for children to name and describe.

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Goal 45: Children demonstrate awareness and understanding of individual fairness, group rights, and responsibilities (democratic ideals) for membership and participation in group activities (successful citizenship).

Developmental Growth: Regulate their behavior, with adult assistance, to participate in organized, culturally acceptable ways with familiar people, objects, and events.

Child Indicators: Actively seeks assistance by approaching adults and using words to express emotions. Comforts self, as needed, using familiar objects. Responds to others’ expressed emotions in more complex ways (comforting another child). Begins to participate as a group member of a family or classroom community (helps clean up, helps prepare snack). Increases awareness of physical/spatial boundaries (must stay in nursery room; sit at table to eat snack). Helps with family, school, and community routines, with adult encouragement and assistance. May engage in pretend “house” play helping with cleaning, cooking, mowing, painting. May show interest in community or neighborhood routines (garbage truck, mail truck, lawn mowing, street sweeper).

Caregiver Strategies: Provide a consistent, predictable, caring, responsive environment. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Respond promptly to requests for assistance. Encourage expression, recognition, and response to others’ emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Establish, discuss, remind, and follow through on simple rules and limits. Encourage conflict resolution through active listening. Help to ensure that child’s messages are understood by others. Provide materials (photographs, books, posters, games, puzzles, foods, dolls) that reflect home, family, community, and the world. Provide opportunities for child to assist and help with daily routines (clearing their spot, pouring their milk, wiping the table, sweeping the floor).

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36 - 60 Months

Goal 44: Children differentiate between people, places, activities, and events in the past and present that relate to self, group identity, and a sense of their community.

Developmental Growth:  Demonstrate awareness of group membership across family, community, program, and culture as they recognize physical characteristics of self and others within daily activities and routines.

Child Indicators: Begins to demonstrate awareness of group membership according to different environments, activities, and routines (farmers grow food on the farm; identifies family members to include mom, dad, siblings, aunts, uncles). Recognizes physical characteristics of self and others around them (two eyes, one nose, black hair, child who is deaf uses sign language). Observes, describes, and predicts events around them as they connect new experiences to past experiences (when we go to the park; Sunday, yesterday, we went to church). Begins to recognize familiar community helpers and their association with activities, routines, and locations (firefighters, fire truck, fire station; doctor, clinic; policeman, police car). Develops and maintains trusting relationships with familiar and unfamiliar peers and adults across settings, routines, and activities. Begins to understand own life experience and the different roles of family members. Understands knowledge and mental relationships used during role-play based on home and family themes (playing house, using tools, caring for those who are sick). Begins to use play money for items in role-play situations (play store). Uses the term “buy.” Recognizes that people rely on others for goods and services (mail delivery, health care, market). Recognizes and uses spatial concepts concerning the beginning and end of an event.Recalls information about the immediate past. Uses vocabulary associated with time and sequence (now, today, later) during daily routines and activities. Constructs geographic concepts and meanings in relation to self and community (the library book is returned to the library a block from home; uses blocks to construct buildings on Main Street).

Caregiver Strategies: Find ways to build a sense of community through activities that respect and reflect each child’s home environment.Provide opportunities to draw pictures or paint to depict child’s own family and identify members.Talk to and listen respectfully to all children.Model respect for diversity. Encourage child to observe and discuss common physical attributes (such as eyes, ears, and hair).Explore how individuals have similarities and differences. Explore how each person is special and unique within the classroom (children who are taller, shorter, wear glasses or hearing aids).Ask children about different cultural words or expressions (Chinese or Spanish) used to describe stories or events. Discuss food preferences and sample different cultural foods during snack or lunch.Provide a variety of materials and toys for pretend role-play (pretending to nurture the doll by feeding and talking to it) in the dramatic play area. Provide community props (community worker dolls or puppets) for children to explore and pretend play. Encourage children to talk about family routines during circle time or sharing. Encourage child to bring family photos; identifying members and describing special events. Provide picture books illustrating community workers or activities (someone shopping at a shoe store; visiting the dentist office). Take walks around the neighborhood or field trips to experience places and community.Create opportunities for child with physical impairments to participate in floor activities with peers by providing floor puzzles of maps and children from around the world.

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Goal 45: Children demonstrate awareness and understanding of individual fairness, group rights, and responsibilities (democratic ideals) for membership and participation in group activities (successful citizenship).

Developmental Growth: Follow simple rules and limits.  Begin to participate cooperatively in organized, culturally acceptable ways with familiar people, objects, settings, and events.

Child Indicators: Shows increased ability to recognize own feelings, control behavior, and follow simple rules and limits. Shows increasing ability to choose acceptable behaviors in group situations. Shows increased capacity to monitor own behavior; following and contributing to classroom procedures. Uses most materials safely and purposefully in different contexts and settings. Manages most transitions and changes in routines. Recognizes their roles as part of a group. Shows awareness of group rules and the ability to follow rules. Begins to understand reasons or logic assigned to different rules. Begins to demonstrate respect for rules at home, school, and community. Observes that people have needs and wants. Begins to initiate sharing with the support of adults. Begins to identify individuals who are helpful to people in their everyday lives (principal, police officer). Begins to take own initiative to be helpful to family, school, and community. Demonstrates an understanding of the need for leadership in the family, school, and community. Begins to demonstrate respect for the opinions, feelings, and actions of others. Demonstrates the ability to make choices and take responsibility for own actions.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide a consistent, predictable, caring, responsive environment for child. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Encourage child to verbally express and respond to others’ emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways.Provide non-verbal child with pre-recorded messages on voice output devices, or pictures/photos to express their feelings and respond to the feelings and actions of others.Encourage child to actively discuss, establish, and remind others to follow through on simple rules and limits within the learning community. Model empathy, understanding, and self-control. Give child appropriate words to express emotions. Introduce sharing. Encourage conflict resolution through active listening and simple questioning. Help to ensure that child’s messages are understood by others through discussion and questioning. Conduct group meetings, modeling listening and turn-taking skills within discussions related to justice, fairness, community welfare, and individual rights based on real-life contexts (taking away toys or materials without permission; knocking over block structure). Create meaningful community jobs that foster respect and responsibility. Provide opportunities to be “the leader” or “helper.”Provide materials (photographs, books, posters, games, puzzles, foods, dolls) that reflect home, family, community, and the world.

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Children learn about government/civics through personal experiences as a family member, as a classroom member, and as a member of the community in which they live.

60 Months - Kindergarten

Goal 44: Children differentiate between people, places, activities, and events in the past and present that relate to self, group identity, and a sense of their community.

Developmental Growth: Construct mental relationships about group membership across family, community, school, and culture as they recognize and generalize shared and different characteristics of self and others during daily activities and routines

Child Indicators: Constructs mental relationships about group membership between people, places, activities, and events (identifies teammates, recognizes classmates). Recognizes and generalizes shared and different characteristics in relation to others (everyone has hair but with different colors, textures, length; some children run fast; some children have trouble running). Makes inferences, predictions, and generalizations about people, activities, and events based on observations and participation in past and present activities and routines (Joey’s birthday; David celebrates Hanukah). Demonstrates an understanding of own personal history as part of family, school, and community. Explains roles and jobs of community workers within systems of service (mail delivery system, waste disposal system). Recognizes and associates different relatives with different locations.  Shares and discusses similarities and differences in family travel with peers and adults.Expands on and maintains trusting relationships with familiar and unfamiliar peers and adults across settings, routines, and activities. Examines and explores various family roles in other families to see how they differ from or are the same as their own. Engages in sophisticated role-play with themes and plots (police, firemen, teachers, doctors). Negotiates role-play activity and responsibilities according to logic and perspective taking (e.g., “I’ll be mommy because I’m a girl; you be daddy because you’re a boy.”). Expresses increased understanding of different people, places, and regions as experienced through books, videos, and television. Expands use of vocabulary associated with time (“now”, “then”, “before”, “after”, “today”, “yesterday”, and “tomorrow”). Identifies current events in the community and in other areas or regions. Uses common technological devices (cell phone, gears, hinges, microwave, computers) for designed purposes (uses a calculator in a play store or lemonade stand). Describes and explains how machines, inventions, and technology are used in the home (toaster, vacuum, can opener). Records and discusses calendar and historical events (yesterday, last week, month, or year). Recognizes that people meet their needs by sharing, trading, and using money to buy goods and services. Identifies different means of transportation used today to travel from place to place (airplanes, boats).

Caregiver Strategies: Find ways to build a sense of community through activities that respect and reflect each child’s home environment.Talk to and listen respectfully to all children.Model respect for diversity. Encourage child to explore and discuss physical commonalities and differences (everyone has two eyes but in different colors, shapes, and seeing ability or limitations).Provide opportunities to explore how each person is special and unique within the classroom.Explore and record different heights of students on a chart and different advantages or disadvantages of being tall or short.bserve and discuss how different children walk or run and explore the use of canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Prepare, sample, and discuss different cultural foods and relationship to holidays and special occasions.Explore and discuss different family structures (size and type of members) using family photos.Share stories, pictures, and music of one’s own personal life, family, and culture. Describe and explore through dramatic play families’ varied habits, celebrations, and lifestyles experienced in their homes.Continue to provide a variety of literature, field trips, visitors, daily schedule, and calendar activities.rovide stories and books that reflect the cultural heritage of the United States - present, past, real, and fiction.Invite older family members (parents or grandparents) to describe and discuss historical lifestyles or events (what it was like when grandpa was in grade school).Identify various community workers (sales clerk, mail carrier) and ask questions regarding how these jobs are performed and the tools they use.Use various art forms (dramatic play, blocks, sand, painting, or music) to express different roles and tools needed.Explore simple machines in guided learning centers (toaster, microwave, eggbeater, or turkey baster). Make a collage of machines used at school and at home. Provide children opportunities to describe what they see and pass on their way to school. Use flannel board or building blocks to show location of items in a room or show how the playground looks.Make and use a map of a familiar area such as child’s neighborhood, school, or classroom. Identify the globe as a model of the earth.Graph ways that child or others have traveled.

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Goal 45: Children demonstrate awareness and understanding of individual fairness, group rights, and responsibilities (democratic ideals) for membership and participation in group activities (successful citizenship).

Developmental Growth: Monitor and regulate behavior, emotions, and actions required to successfully and cooperatively participate with familiar and unfamiliar people, objects, settings, and events in varying group arrangements.

Child Indicators: Actively monitors and regulates own behavior, emotions, and actions needed to successfully participate cooperatively in a variety of activities. States own feelings, needs, and opinions; and can also recognize others’ feelings, needs, and opinions (perspective taking).Uses perspective taking to resolve conflict without harming self, others, or property. Demonstrates respect and appreciation for the opinions and recognizes others’ feelings and actions. Names rules and the reasons for them. Discusses how groups make decisions and solve problems. Identifies ways to be helpful to family and school. Participates cooperatively with self-direction in classroom events that promote community interdependence. Manages transitions and changes in routines throughout the day. Demonstrates ways to be helpful to the environment and the community; and understands why it is important. Demonstrates understanding of how people in the community help each other and encourage others to help. Takes initiative to be helpful and encourages others’ cooperation within the family, school, and community. Names rules and demonstrates that child understands the reasons for rules and the need to follow them in relation to self and others.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide a consistent, predictable, caring, responsive environment for child. Talk to and listen respectfully to all children. Model respect for diversity. Take the lead when identifying, explaining, and discussing group procedures used within the learning community; elaborating on their own thoughts, feelings, reactions, and ideas. Consistently model empathy, understanding, and self-control. Emphasize socially and culturally appropriate ways to express emotions. Encourage child to coach active conflict resolution with peers, modeling empathy and understanding. Conduct group meetings, encouraging active selection of topics and participation in discussions related to justice, fairness, community welfare, and individual rights within real-life contexts that allow for leadership experiences. Create, discuss, and negotiate meaningful community jobs that foster respect and responsibility. Create community projects (cleanup playground, recycling). Provide materials (photographs, books, posters, games, puzzles, foods, dolls) that reflect home, family, community, and the world. Observe and discuss real-world rules and regulations (traffic signs, public library lending rules). Identify and discuss community leaders and responsibilities (mayor, police captain, librarian, fire station captain).

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