Fourth Grade Benchmarks - Culture

Performance Indicators State

4.1.spi.1. Identify pre-Colonial Native American groups (i.e., Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Aztec, Mayans, Olmec, Mississippi Mound Builders).

Native American Groups - This site has student created reports about Native American tribes by region.

Different Tribes - Compare daily life of Native American tribes from different regions and times. (Author - Laurie Ayers)

Mississippian Moundbuilders and Their Artifacts - View pictures of flints, decorative objects, pottery, and other artifacts found in this Mississippi archaeological site

The Ancient Aztecs - a ThinkQuest entry

4.1.spi.2. Identify cultural groups who inhabited North America in the 17th century (i.e., Puritans, Quakers, Spanish, French).

375 years ago at 360 degrees - view panoramic displays of life in the early colonies

Through the Looking Glass - historical documents regarding the Mayflower families


4.1.spi.3 Determine how various groups resolve conflict (i.e., school, tribal councils, courts).  
4.1.spi.4 Examine how Native American culture changed as a result of contact with European cultures. (i.e. decreased population, spread of disease, increased conflict, loss of territory, increase of trade.) Ways Europeans Changed Native Americans - Worksheet to download or do as a whole class activity.
4.1.spi.5. Identify various racial and ethnic groups in Tennessee at the founding of statehood (i.e. Cherokee, Creek, Shawnee, English, Scottish, French, American born pioneers).

First Nations: Histories - detailed histories of the nations living in early North America including the Cherokee, Creek and Shawnee


4.1.spi.6. Read and interpret facts from a historical passage about an early American Spanish mission. The Spanish Missions of California - a ThinkQuest site


Fourth Grade Benchmarks - Economics

Performance Indicators State

4.2.spi.1. Recognize the concept of supply and demand.

Supply & Demand - This article describes these concepts in easy to understand terms.

Supply and Demand - online quiz from EconEdLink


4.2.spi.2. Interpret a chart of major agricultural produce in Tennessee. (i.e., cotton, tobacco, soy beans, rice, corn, cattle, wheat, swine, sheep).

A Look at Tennessee Agriculture - a fact sheet about Tennessee agriculture

Tennessee agriculture - Statistics that can be turned into charts using Excel

4.2.spi.3. Identify major industries of Colonial America using a map of the original 13 colonies. The 13 American Colonies: Characteristics of the Colonies - Each colony had its own unique characteristics, but historians lump them into groups based on where they were, why they were founded, and what kinds of industry they had. BEWARE - the ads even talk to you on this site!!!
4.2.spi.4. Recognize the difference between a barter system and a money system. Bartering For Goods - resources for teacher and games and activities for students from Franklin Institute
4.2.spi.5. Analyze the impact of European exploration and colonization on the economy of Tennessee.

Why Explorers Explored he World? - Thinkquest

Explorers of North America - Quia quiz

Voyage of Exploration - Thinkquest activity


Fourth Grade Benchmarks - Geography

Performance Indicators State

4.3.spi.1. Identify the routes the explorers of the Americas on a map (i.e., Columbus, Balboa, Pizarro, DeSoto).

Journeys of Christopher Columbus - Click to see a progressive map of the journey of Christopher Columbus. From BBC

Explorers of the 14th Century - maps and information from Enchanted Learning (scroll past the subscription info).

4.3.spi.2. Identify and use key geographical features on maps (i.e., mountains, rivers, plains, valleys, forests).

Puzzle Maps from - From the Physical Features section select; Gulf Region, Bay Area, Plains Region, Canyon Region, or Continents and Ocean. After selecting one you will be asked to register. Click on the green "Maybe Later," to go to the game. Each game has a "Read it to Me" button.

Land Formations Activity -identify geologic features.

What’s On a Map? - eight questions about using various parts of a map

A Map For All Reasons - students identify the function of various parts of a map

4.3.spi.3. Recognize the reasons settlements are founded on major river systems. (i.e., transportation, manmade boundaries, food and water sources).

People and Rivers - BBC site; how people and rivers interact.

Mississippi River - historical facts

History of Tennessee River - historical facts

River basics - From EduScapes - good resources for further exploration.


4.3.spi.4. Recognize river systems that impacted early American history (i.e., Mississippi, Mystic, Charles, Hudson).  
4.3.spi.5. Determine how physical processes shape the United States' features and patterns (i.e. erosion, volcanoes, plate tectonics, flooding).

Land Formation - learn how various land forms were shaped

Plate Tectonics Quizzes - Quiz 1 | Quiz 2 | Quiz 3 | Quiz 4 | Quiz 5 (good illustration with #5)
4.3.spi.6. Use latitude and longitude to identify major North American cities on a map (i.e., Boston, Mexico City, Toronto, Charleston, Savannah, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Sante Fe, Los Angeles).

Blank U. S. Map - This map could be used with a list of latitude and longitude values for U. S. Cities.

List of latitude and longitude values for U. S. and Canadian Cities - from Fact Monster

USA Latitude and Longitude Activity - from Enchanted Learning

4.3.spi.7. Determine how density, distribution, and growth rate affected United States settlement patterns.  
4.3.spi.8. Identify cause and effect relationships between population distribution and environmental issues (i.e., water supply, air quality, solid waste).  


Fourth Grade Benchmarks - Governance & Civics

Performance Indicators State

4.4.spi.1. Identify the 3 branches of federal and state governments.

Branches of Gov't - online scavenger hunt

The Branches of U.S. Government - from Ben's Guide to U.S. Government (3-5)

4.4.spi.2. Identify the rights outlined by the Bill of Rights (i.e., Amendments 1,5,6,8). Bill of Rights - amendments 1 through 10
4.4.spi.3. Examine how the Mayflower Compact is a symbol of the first United States government. Self-Government - A site showing how the Mayflower Compact was the 1st agreement for self-government created and enforced in the US.
4.4.spi.4. Using a chart showing checks and balances, explain how one branch of government can limit the power of others

Checks and Balances - this site (from the Social Studies Help Center) has a very good chart halfway down the page

How the Government Affects Me - this Democracy Project set of pages deals with checks and balances


Fourth Grade Benchmarks - History

Performance Indicators State

4.5.spi.1. Identify Native American groups in Tennessee before European explorations (i.e., Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw). Tennessee Indian Tribes - Information and history on various tribes
4.5.spi.2. Identify major Tennessee political leaders (i.e., Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, James Polk, Sequoyia, David Crockett, Nancy Ward).

Native American Biographies - Includes many important Native Americans, including Sequoyah.

Sam Houston Defends the Alamo - short article

Nancy Ward - From TN History for Kids - A leader and peace keeper within the Cherokee nation

James K Polk - From TN History for Kids - short history

Davy Crockett - short history

Sequoyah - biography

President Andrew Jackson - short history

4.5.spi.3. Interpret a time line that depicts major historical pre-Civil War events.  
4.5.spi.4. Determine the hardships faced by early Tennessee settlers in the late 1700's (i.e., security, isolated communities, lack of access to goods, natural geography).  
4.5.spi.5. Determine the reasons for colonial settlement (i.e., religious, economic, individual freedom).  
4.5.spi.6. Examine the events that contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolution (i.e. taxation, judicial process, lack of representations, quartering of troops).

Liberty and Justice - Students discover reasons Americans went to war to win independence from England . (Author - Julie Thompson)

United We Stand - Students take a look at how the thirteen original colonies joined to form the United States of America . (Author - Julie Thompson)

4.5.spi.7. Determine why the United States Constitution was necessary (i.e., no single currency, no judicial branch, no enforcement of laws, small and large states having unequal representation).  
4.5.spi.8. Interpret a time line that depicts slave and indentured servants coming from Europe to life in North America.  
4.5.spi.9. Determine the influence Lewis and Clark's expedition had on westward expansion.

Fill-in-the-blank activity from Enchanted Learning on Lewis and Clark - scroll past the subscription info.

The Lewis and Clark Adventure - Interactive site on this exploration from

4.5.spi.10. Recognize the accomplishments of John Sevier contributed to Tennessee history (i.e., State of Franklin's one and only governor, Tennessee's first governor, United States Congressman, soldier).

John Sevier - This slide show gives a brief history of John Sevier and includes a writing assignment.

John Sevier - from the TN encyclopedia website; article.

4.5.spi.11. Interpret a visual contrasting life before and after the American Revolution (i.e., education, family size, transportation, politics).

Daily Life in Ohio up to 1903 - article with pictures

Turns of the Century Exhibit - interactive exhibit ;explore the theme and era it represents.

4.5.spi.12. Read and interpret a passage about the Trail of Tears.

Trail of Tears - lesson plan based on the book The Trail on Which They Wept with worksheets and handouts

Trail of Tears - History of the event

4.5.spi.13. Analyze how the Louisiana Purchase influenced the growth of the United States (i.e., increased size, encouraged expansion, increased natural resources.) Louisiana Purchase -from - facts, reading exercise with quiz.


Fourth Grade Benchmarks - Individuals, Groups, & Interactions

Performance Indicators State

4.6.spi.1. Recognize how groups work cooperatively to accomplish goals and encourage change (i.e., American. Revolution, founding of Tennessee, the failure of the Articles of Confederation, colonies).  
4.6.spi.2. Determine how the issue of slavery caused political and economic tensions between government policy and people's beliefs (i.e., abolitionists, plantation owners, state's rights, central government, Loyalists).

Slavery in America - interactive slavery environment - Audio with pictures walks you through Melrose in Natchez, Mississippi in this time period. Be sure to click on the interactive map and use the arrows to walk your way through the mansion.

Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: Slavery Unit - lessons in this unit view slavery from the perspective of the former slave, the fomer slaveholder, and from the legal perspective

Emancipation Proclamation - Lincoln orders freedom for slaves

4.6.spi.3. Read and interpret a passage about a political or economic issue which individuals may respond to with contrasting views (i.e., state taxes, federal taxes, slavery, Bill of Rights).

Elections and the American Way - interactive site

Understanding Our Rights and Responsibilities - Unit plan with handouts and activities from Scholastic