Civics & Social Studies

The Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations (GSEs) for Social Studies have been developed as a means to identify the content knowledge and skills expected of all students (grades K-high school).

 General George Washington visits with students
General George Washington visits with students at Nathanael Greene Elementary School


If you would like free updates on professional development, resources, events, grant opportunities, and awards, you are welcome to join the RI-SOCST listserv.  Email Kamlyn Keith with a request to join.  Please include your name, school, and district.

2014 RI Social Studies Summer Institute

May 31, 2014
Location: TBA

Save the Date and Call for Proposals

RIDE and the RI State Panel on Civic Education (SPCE) will host the 2014 RI Social Studies Summer Institute on May 31, 2014. Members of the State Panel include: the RI Social Studies Association, the RI Historical Society, and K-12 and higher education educators.

The theme of this FREE conference is the impact of civic action and civic education on Rhode Island’s history and future. This conference will include workshops on integrating social studies content with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), instruction and assessment strategies and resources, the RI Social Studies GSEs (SS GSEs), and topics in Rhode Island History and civic education.

The conference aims to provide teachers with opportunities to hear first-hand from their peers about successful strategies and resources for teaching the SS GSEs and integrating the CCSS, to learn more about resources supporting instruction in Rhode Island history and civic education, and to create partnerships between K-12 institutions and higher education to further student engagement. Students have been invited to present their civics and history projects during a special session in the afternoon.

We are soliciting proposals from educators for workshop sessions until April 28, 2014. RIDE and members of the SPCE’s Institute Planning Committee will review the proposals and will notify successful proposals by May 2. There are up to 12 workshop session slots available.

2014 Presentation Proposal Application and Submission Directions [DOC, 47KB]

An Institute location, agenda, and overview will be posted soon.

Questions about the Institute may be directed to Kamlyn Keith.

We look forward to receiving educators' proposals and to seeing you at the conference!

ALL Strands Social Studies GSES

(C&G, HP 1-3 - APPROVED DEC. 2008 ~ HP 4-5, G, E - APPROVED NOV. 2012)
DOC [395KB]  |  PDF [173KB] 

Civics & Government Strand

DOC [110KB]  |  PDF [81KB]

Historical Perspectives / Rhode Island History Strand

(HP 1-3 APPROVED DEC. 2008 ~ HP 4-5 APPROVED NOV. 2012)
DOC [110KB]  |  PDF [81KB]

Geography Strand

DOC [158KB]  |  PDF [91KB]

Economics Strand

DOC [106KB]  |  PDF [60KB]

Grade Span Specific Documents

These documents contain the Civics GSEs for each grade span, essential questions generated from the GSEs, and suggested topics or resources for lessons. The newly adopted strands have been added to these documents.

RI Social Studies GSEs: Grade K-4

DOC[141KB]   |   PDF[59KB]

RI Social Studies GSEs: Grade 5-8

DOC [182KB]  |  PDF [71KB] 

RI Social Studies GSEs: Grade 9-12

DOC [203KB]  | PDF [77KB]

Appendices for the Civics GSES

Appendix A: Glossary

PDF [52KB]

Appendix B: Suggested Resources

PDF [38KB]

Supporting Documents for the Civics GSES

Civics GSEs Informational PowerPoint

PDF [297KB]

Preliminary Depth of Knowledge Levels

DOC [59KB]

Review of Resources and Readings

DOC [50KB]

Developing Curriculum & Units of Study Using RI's CSEs

DOC [46KB]

The Social Studies GSEs were drafted in accordance with a Rhode Island statute mandating the implementation of civics education standards statewide in K-12 education.

The first two strands of the Social Studies GSEs (Civics & Government and Historical Perspectives / R.I. History) were developed in the summer of 2006 by a team composed of educators from all grade spans, specialists from the Rhode Island Department of Education and the National Center for Assessment, and other professionals in the field (see the supporting materials below for further details, including a guide for resource alignment to the Social Studies GSEs). 

In addition to revisions based on review feedback, the Social Studies GSEs now have a glossary of terms and an appendix of suggested online resources for teachers and students.

The Social Studies GSEs were given final approval by the Board of Regents on December 10, 2008. In 2012, the Civics GSEs were expanded to include strands in economics and geography, as well as two additional "big ideas" added to the Historical Perspectives (HP) / R.I. History strand. The HP extension and the new strands were given final approval by the Board of Regents on November 1, 2012.

Read more about the expansion process.

Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel