1. Culture
  2. Time, Continuity, and Change
  3. People, Places, and Environments
  4. Individual Development and Identity
  5. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
  6. Power, Authority, and Governance
  7. Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  8. Science, Technology, and Society
  9. Global Connections
  10. Civic Ideals and Practices

Standards Coding

The standards have been coded so that educators can easily refer to them in their curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. The coding system that precedes each standard uses the following system of abbreviations:

  • All are identified with SS-Social Studies (SS.K-4.C.1).
  • The second part of the code refers to the grade level (SS.K-4.C.1).
  • The third part of the code refers to the particular Social Studies domain (SS.K-4.C.1), with C standing for Culture.
  • The fourth part of the code refers to a particular skill within the social studies domain (SS.K-4.C.1).
  • Following the standard is the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS) correlation.
  • Where no code exists, there is no corresponding national standard.

Elementary Social Studies Standards

ONE: Culture  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: What role does culture play in God’s plan for our relationships with others?

Big Idea: Human beings should create, learn about, share, and adapt to cultural diversity and perspectives in an interconnected world within God’s plan.

TWO: Time, Continuity, and Change  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: What role does God play in the development of communities, nations, and the world?

Big Idea: God is active in history and ultimately His unfolding plan will triumph.

THREE: People, Places, and Environments  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: How does God respond to man-made changes in the environment and their impact on human life?

Big Idea: The damage that sin has done to the earth causes God pain and injures humans; however, God, who created and sustains the world, has promised to restore the Earth and humans to their original harmony.

FOUR: Individual Development and Identity  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: What role does choice play in the development of individual identity?

Big Idea: God created humans with the power of choice and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we make choices that shape our development.

FIVE: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: What is the role of the Seventh-day Adventist church?

Big Idea: The church is God’s agent to reach individuals, groups, and institutions with the good news of the gospel.

SIX: Power, Authority, and Governance  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: What is the foundation of the sovereignty of God and how does it compare to the sovereignty of human government?

Big Idea: Unlike human government, God’s power, authority, and governance are absolute and rooted in His everlasting love.

SEVEN: Production, Distribution, and Consumption  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: How does God expect us to use the resources He has provided?

Big Idea: God supplies all of our needs and allows us to choose to be responsible stewards.

EIGHT: Technology and Society  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: How has God enabled humans to develop science and technology to improve society?

Big Idea: God designed humans with wisdom, inquiring minds, and varied talents to discover ways to enrich life.

NINE: Global Connections  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: How do global issues and connections impact the gospel commission?

Big Idea: God expects us to use global connections to address world issues through service to others, while sharing the good news of His love and His imminent return.

TEN: Civic Ideals and Practices  [ PDF ]

Essential Question: According to the Scriptures, what are the civic responsibilities of a Christian to the government of God and the governments of man?

Big Idea: Followers of Jesus have a dual citizenship with responsibility first to God and then to civil authorities.


The following resources were referenced in developing Elementary Social Studies Standards for Seventh-day Adventist Schools: National Curriculum STANDARDS for Social Studies – A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (NCSS), NAD Curriculum Guide for Social Studies K-8, and The Core of Adventist Education Curriculum.

Development Committee Members

Veronique L. Anderson - Washington Adventist University

Ileana Santa Cruz-Espinosa - Columbia Union Conference Associate Director

Randy Gilliam - Southwestern Union VP for Education

Shiela Mercado - Hinsdale Adventist Academy

Mark Mirek - Piqua S.D.A. Christian School

Dennis Ramsarran - Southwest Junior Academy

Patti Revolinski - North Pacific Union Director of Elementary Education

Social Studies Standards

Standards in Adventist Education

Standards, what learners should know (content) and be able to do (skills), serve as the framework for curriculum development. Standards in NAD Seventh-day Adventist schools reflect the Adventist worldview across the K-12 curricula as well as the integration of national and provincial/state standards. The Adventist worldview accepts the Bible as the standard by which everything else is measured. Four key concepts emerge from a biblical worldview that can be used as a lens for curriculum development, as well as informing the essential questions and big ideas of any content area: Creation (What is God’s intention?), Fall (How has God’s purpose been distorted?), Redemption (How does God help us to respond?), and Re-creation (How can we be restored in the image of God?).

The Core of Adventist Curriculum

Social Studies Standards Folder  [ PDF ]

View a single PDF file of all elementary Social Studies standards.

Correlation of Adventist Standards with McGraw Hill Textbooks  [ PDF ]

View a PDF file of each elementary Social Studies standard correlated to the corresponding textbook content.