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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

May 1996

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Social Studies Standards And Progress Indicators
Standard 6.7:
All Students Will Acquire Geographical Understanding By Studying The World In Spatial Terms

Descriptive Statement: Thinking in spatial terms is essential to knowing and applying geography. It enables students to take an active, questioning approach to the world around them and to ask what, where, when, and why questions about people, places and environments and to formulate answers to critical questions about past, present, and future patterns of spatial organization, and to anticipate the results of events in different locations. Thinking spatially, students learn to devise their own mental maps, which relationships and students' perceptions and attitudes about the area. Thinking spatially enables students to predict what might happen given specific conditions. Spatial concepts and generalizations are powerful tools for explaining the world at all levels, from local to global. They are the foundation for geographical understanding.

Cumulative Progress Indicators

By the end of Grade 4, students:


Use maps, globes, graphs, diagrams, and computer-based references and information systems to generate and interpret information.


Use mental maps to identify the locations of places within the local community and in nearby communities.


Use mental maps to identify the locations of the earth's continents and oceans in relation to each other and in relation to principal parallels and meridians.


Use mental maps to identify the locations of major physical and human characteristics in the United States and on earth.


Demonstrate understanding of the spatial concepts of location, distance, direction, scale, region, and movement.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 8, students:


Recognize the distinct characteristics of maps, globes, graphs, charts, diagrams, and other geographical representations, and evaluate the utility of each in solving geographical problems.


Translate maps into appropriate graphics to display geographical information.


Answer geographical questions regarding major physical and human characteristics.


Solve location problems using information from multiple sources.


Compare information presented at different scales.

Building upon knowledge and skills gained in the preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students:


Use and interpret maps and other graphical representations to analyze, explain, and solve geographical problems.


Use maps of physical and human characteristics of the world to answer complex geographical questions.



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