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Inquiry Anchor Standard

Constructing Compelling Questions

SS.9-12.1. Create compelling questions representing key ideas within the disciplines.

Constructing Supporting Questions

SS.9-12.2. Develop supporting questions that contribute to an inquiry and demonstrate how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

SS.9-12.3. Gather relevant information from multiple sources representing a wide range of views while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

SS.9-12.4. Evaluate the credibility of a source by examining how experts value the source.

Developing Claims and Using Evidence

SS.9-12.5. Identify evidence that draws information directly and substantively from multiple sources to detect inconsistencies in evidence in order to revise or strengthen claims.

SS.9-12.6. Refine claims and counterclaims attending to precision, significance, and knowledge conveyed through the claim while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.

Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions

SS.9-12.7. Construct arguments using precise and knowledgeable claims, with evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging counterclaims and evidentiary weaknesses.

SS.9-12.8. Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with significant and pertinent information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations given its purpose.

SS.9-12.9. Present adaptations of arguments and explanations that feature evocative ideas and perspectives on issues and topics to reach a range of audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies and digital technologies.

SS.9-12.10. Critique the use of claims and evidence in arguments for credibility.

Taking Informed Action

SS.9-12.11. Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.

SS.9-12.12. Apply a range of deliberative and democratic strategies and procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms, schools, and out-of-school contexts.

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Content Anchor Standard

Behavioral Sciences

The behavioral sciences standards are laid out into two strands- psychology and sociology, giving districts flexibility to choose to focus on one or both strands. The goal is to encourage students to see, think, and act, in ways that reflect the paradigm of behavioral scientists. In addition, these standards provide a rigorous framework to prepare students for work in the behavioral sciences.

Recognize the Interaction and Influence Between Individuals and Various Groups

Psychology Strand

SS-Psy.9-12.13. Explain how social, cultural, gender, and economic factors influence behavior and human interactions in societies around the world.

SS-Psy.9-12.14. Examine how an individual’s involvement in a collective group can influence their individual thoughts and behaviors.

SS-Psy.9-12.15. Analyze the influence different individual members of a group can have on the collective thought and behavior of the group as a whole.

Sociology Strand

SS-Soc.9-12.13. Explain the formation of groups and the creation and development of societal norms and values.

SS-Soc.9-12.14. Identify characteristics of groups, and the influences that groups and individuals have on each other.

SS-Soc.9-12.15. Distinguish patterns and causes of stratification that lead to social inequalities, and their impact on both individuals and groups.

SS-Soc.9-12.16. Examine and evaluate reactions to social inequalities, including conflict, and propose alternative responses.

Examine Factors that Led to Continuity and Change in Human and Group Behavioral

Psychology Strand

SS-Psy.9-12.16. Investigate human behavior from biological, cognitive, behavioral, and sociocultural perspectives.

SS-Psy.9-12.17. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the scientific methods that are at the core of psychology.

SS-Psy.9-12.18. Evaluate and utilize theories and methodologies, necessary to plan, conduct, and especially interpret research results.

SS-Psy.9-12.19. Adhere to and consider the impact of American Psychological Association and federal guidelines for the ethical treatment of human and nonhuman research participants.

SS-Psy.9-12.20. Collect and analyze data designed to answer a psychological question using basic descriptive and inferential statistics.

Sociology Strand

SS-Soc.9-12.17. Analyze the development of sociological perspectives over the course of time, and how those perspectives are used today.

SS-Soc.9-12.18. Utilize various scientific methods to interpret behavior and events through the lens of a sociologist.

SS-Soc.9-12.19. Determine ethical issues and necessary guidelines for conducting and analyzing behavioral science research.

SS-Soc.9-12.20. Apply appropriate research methods to collect and analyze data designed to answer a sociological question.

Apply Appropriate Research Procedures and Skills of a Behavioral Scientist

Psychology Strand

SS-Psy.9-12.21. Explain how the validity and reliability of observations and measurements relate to data analysis.

SS-Psy.9-12.22. Apply the major theoretical approaches and perspectives in behavioral science to our daily lives and civic engagement.

SS-Psy.9-12.23. Assess issues and problems within our society using behavioral science knowledge, and develop ethical solutions to address those issues.

Sociology Strand

SS-Soc.9-12.21. Explain how the validity and reliability of observations and measurements relate to data analysis.

SS-Soc.9-12.22. Apply the major theoretical approaches and perspectives in behavioral science to our daily lives and civic engagement.

SS-Soc.9-12.23. Assess issues and problems within our society using behavioral science knowledge, and develop ethical solutions to address those issues.

Civics and Government

The civics and government standards promote knowledge of the historical foundations and principles of American democracy and emphasize productive civic engagement. Additionally, the standards focus on understanding the unique processes of local, state, and national institutions.

Analyze Civic and Political Institutions

SS-Gov.9-12.13. Evaluate the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions, how they interact and the role of government in maintaining order.

SS-Gov.9-12.14. Analyze the role of citizens in the U.S. political system, with attention to the definition of who is a citizen, expansion of that definition over time, and changes in participation over time.

SS-Gov.9-12.15. Analyze the origins of government with attention to the purpose(s) of government, various theories of democracy, rule of law, and alternative models from other nations and groups.

SS-Gov.9-12.16. Evaluate how the U.S. Constitution establishes the Rule of Law, governmental powers and responsibilities, as well as limits to a government.

SS-Gov.9-12.17. Evaluate and explain the relationships among the branches of government, including federalism, separation of powers, the supremacy clause, the necessary and proper clause, judicial review, executive privilege, pocket veto, executive orders, quorum, filibuster, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.18. Critique the influence of intermediary institutions on government and policy such as, interest groups, political parties, the mass media, campaigns, caucuses, elections, PACs, and local, state, tribal, and international organizations.

Apply Civic Virtues and Democratic Principles

SS-Gov.9-12.19. Evaluate the effectiveness of political action in changing government and policy, such as voting, debate, contacting officials, campaign contributions, protest, civil disobedience, and any alternative methods to participation.

SS-Gov.9-12.20. Explain the significance of civic values to a well-functioning democracy including concepts such as conviction vs. compromise, majority rule vs. minority rights, state interests vs. individual interests, rights vs. responsibilities, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.21. Explain the mechanisms of political socialization in American democracy such as the effects of the family, school, community, and media in influencing one’s political decisions.

SS-Gov.9-12.22. Identify and evaluate the contributions of Iowans who have played a role in promoting civic and democratic principles.

Interpret Processes, Rules and Laws

SS-Gov.9-12.23. Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels.

SS-Gov.9-12.24. Analyze how people use and challenge public policies through formal and informal means with attention to important judicial processes and landmark court cases.

SS-Gov.9-12.25. Evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of the implementation of public policy, specifically looking at the bureaucracy, citizen feedback, public opinion polls, interest groups, media coverage, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.26. Analyze the historical, contemporary, and emerging patterns of political action and activism including voter demographics, party trends over time, polling data, campaign strategies and trends, and alternative means of participating.

Iowa History

SS-Gov.9-12.27. Compare and contrast the institutions and systems of Iowa government and politics that are unique to the state including but not limited to Iowa’s unique role in presidential selection and in the special status of Meskwaki lands as non-reservation lands.

SS-Gov.9-12.28. Identify local and state issues in Iowa and evaluate formal or informal courses of action used to affect policy.


The economics standards promote the concepts and tools necessary for economic decision making in order to help understand the interaction between buyers and sellers in markets, workings of the national economy, and interactions within the global marketplace.

Engage in Economic Decision Making

SS-Econ.9-12.13. Apply the concept of scarcity when making economic decisions.

SS-Econ.9-12.14. Use cost-benefit analysis to argue for or against an economic decision.

Critique Exchange and Markets

SS-Econ.9-12.15. Analyze what goes into determining, and who determines, what is produced and distributed in a market system.

SS-Econ.9-12.16. Describe how changes in the level of competition can affect price and output levels in specific markets.

SS-Econ.9-12.17. Explain how changes in supply and demand cause changes of goods and services, labor, credit, and foreign currencies.

SS-Econ.9-12.18. Evaluate the effectiveness of government policies altering market outcomes.

SS-Econ.9-12.19. Describe the roles of institutions such as clearly defined property rights and the rule of law in a market economy.

Evaluate the National Economy

SS-Econ.9-12.20. Use economic indicators to evaluate economic conditions.

SS-Econ.9-12.21. Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.

Assess the Global Economy

SS-Econ.9-12.22. Explain the role of specialization in trade.

SS-Econ.9-12.23. Explain how globalization has impacted various aspects of economic growth, labor markets, and rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.

Iowa History

SS-Econ.9-12.24. Analyze how national and global economic issues and systems impact Iowa’s economy.

Financial Literacy

The financial literacy standards promote the goal of financial capability. The standards focus on setting goals, saving and spending, credit and debt, investing, and measuring financial risk.

Develop Financial and Career Goals

SS-FL.9-12.13. Develop short- and long-term financial goals.

SS-FL.9-12.14. Evaluate entrepreneurship, career choices and the effect on the standard of living.

Create a Saving and Spending Plan

SS-FL.9-12.15. Evaluate the effect of taxes and other factors on income.

SS-FL.9-12.16. Develop a saving and spending plan using a financial recordkeeping tool.

SS-FL.9-12.17. Apply consumer skills to saving and spending decisions.

Analyze Credit and Debt Levels

SS-FL.9-12.18. Analyze the cost and benefits of different types of credit and debt.

SS-FL.9-12.19. Summarize a borrower's rights and responsibilities.

SS-FL.9-12.20. Investigate strategies to avoid and manage debt effectively.

Evaluate Savings and Long Term Investments

SS-FL.9-12.21. Evaluate short-term savings tools.

SS-FL.9-12.22. Apply investment tools to meet financial goals.

Measure Risk Management Tools

SS-FL.9-12.23. Justify reasons to use various forms of insurance.

SS-FL.9-12.24. Establish strategies for protection of personal identity and other forms of fraud.


The geography standards emphasize the human and physical characteristics of geography. The standards promote the use of multiple geographic tools in order to frame issues and solve problems in both a local and global context.

Create Geographic Representations

SS-Geo.9-12.13. Employ maps to display and explain the spatial patterns of human and environmental characteristics.

SS-Geo.9-12.14. Integrate multiple geographic representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.

SS-Geo.9-12.15. Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of human and/or environmental characteristics at multiple scales.

Evaluate Human Environment Interaction

SS-Geo.9-12.16. Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences.

SS-Geo.9-12.17. Analyze how environmental and cultural characteristics of various places and regions influence political and economic decisions.

SS-Geo.9-12.18. Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.

Analyze Human Population Movement and Patterns

SS-Geo.9-12.19. Analyze the reciprocal relationship between historical events and the spatial diffusion of ideas, technologies, cultural practices and the distribution of human population.

SS-Geo.9-12.20. Assess the impact of economic activities and political decisions on urban, suburban, and rural regions.

Analyze Global Interconnections

SS-Geo.9-12.21. Analyze how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.

SS-Geo.9-12.22. Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.

SS-Geo.9-12.23. Analyze the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.

Iowa History

SS-Geo.9-12.24. Identify and evaluate Iowans or groups of Iowans who have influenced Iowa’s environmental or cultural geography.

United States History

The U.S. history standards promote both historical content and historical thinking skills to prepare students with a strong foundation in significant historical content and with the skills necessary to apply historical thinking to any historical context. These are the skills required not only for college and career success, but for effective democratic citizenship.

Examine Factors that Led to Continuity and Change in Human and Group Behavior

SS-US.9-12.13. Analyze how diverse ideologies impacted political and social institutions during eras such as Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, and the Civil Rights movement.

Recognize the Interaction Between Individuals and Various Groups

SS-US.9-12.14. Evaluate the impact of gender roles on economic, political, and social life in the U.S.

Apply Civic Virtues and Democratic Principles

SS-US.9-12.15. Assess the impact of individuals and reform movements on changes to civil rights and liberties. (21st century skills)

Evaluate the National Economy

SS-US.9-12.16. Examine labor and governmental efforts to reform and/or maintain a capitalistic economic system in the Great Depression.

Analyze Human Population Movement and Patterns

SS-US.9-12.17. Explain the patterns of and responses to immigration on the development of American culture and law.

SS-US.9-12.18. Analyze the effects of urbanization, segregation, and voluntary and forced migration within regions of the U.S. on social, political, and economic structures.

Analyze Global Interconnections

SS-US.9-12.19. Examine how imperialism changed the role of the United States on the world stage prior to World War I.

SS-US.9-12.20. Analyze the growth of and challenges to U.S. involvement in the world in the post-World War II era.

Analyze Change, Continuity, and Context

SS-US.9-12.21. Analyze change, continuity and context across eras and places of study from civil war to modern America.

SS-US.9-12.22. Evaluate the impact of inventions and technological innovations on the American society and culture.

Critique Historical Sources and Evidence

SS-US.9-12.23. Analyze the relationship between historical sources and the secondary interpretations made from them.

SS-US.9-12.24. Critique primary and secondary sources of information with attention to the source of the document, its context, accuracy, and usefulness such as the Reconstruction amendments, Emancipation Proclamation, Treaty of Fort Laramie, Chinese Exclusion Act, Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, Wilson’s Fourteen Points, New Deal Program Acts, Roosevelt’s Declaration of War, Executive Order 9066, Truman Doctrine, Eisenhower’s Farewell Speech, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Test Ban Treaty of 1963, Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and the Voting Act of 1965.

Compare Perspectives

SS-US.9-12.25. Analyze how regional, racial, ethnic and gender perspectives influenced American history and culture.

Justify Causation and Argumentation

SS-US.9-12.26. Determine multiple and complex causes and effects of historical events in American history including, but not limited to, the Civil War, World War I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Iowa History

SS-US.9-12.27. Evaluate Iowans or groups of Iowans who have influenced U.S. History.

World History

The world history standards promote an emphasis on both historical content and historical thinking skills to prepare students with a strong foundation in significant history content, and with the skills necessary to apply historical thinking to any historical context. These are the skills required not only for college and career success, but for effective global citizenship.

Recognize the Interaction Between Individuals and Various Groups

SS-WH.9-12.13. Describe the impact of culture and institutions on societies.

Analyze Civic and Political Institutions

SS-WH.9-12.14. Compare various systems of government, such as monarchies, democracies/republics, empires, and dictatorships, and their methods of maintaining order and/or control. (21st century skills)

Assess the Global Economy

SS-WH.9-12.15. Compare and contrast various economic and labor systems within and across societies.

SS-WH.9-12.16. Examine the ways in which trade, commerce, and industrialization affected societies.

Analyze Global Interconnections

SS-WH.9-12.17. Evaluate the consequences of human made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.

SS-WH.9-12.18. Assess impact of conflict and diplomacy on international relations.

Analyze Human Population Movement and Patterns

SS-WH.9-12.19. Explain the influence of human migrations on patterns of settlement and culture.

Analyze Change, Continuity, and Context

SS-WH.9-12.20. Evaluate methods used to change or expand systems of power and/or authority.

SS-WH.9-12.21. Investigate cultural advancements within societies with attention to belief systems, ideologies, the arts, science and technology.

SS-WH.9-12.22. Analyze the influence of social, political and economic developments on gender roles and social status.

Critique Historical Sources and Evidence

SS-WH.9-12.23. Critique primary and secondary sources of information with attention to the source of the document, its context, accuracy, and usefulness of sources throughout world history.

Compare Perspectives

SS-WH.9-12.24. Examine and explain how the perspectives of individuals and societies impact world history.

Justify Causation and Argumentation

SS-WH.9-12.25. Determine multiple and complex causes and effects of historical events within world history.

Iowa History

SS-WH.9-12.26. Assess Iowans or groups of Iowans who have influenced world history.

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Iowa Social Studies Standards Document

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