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Essential Questions by Strand and Grade Level

Essential questions for social studies visual

Essential Questions Tied to Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Social Studies

The visual outlines the essential questions that best reflect the benchmark performance standards in each strand.  They are color- and icon-coded, and each strand has 3-4 questions that are intended to work K-12. 

Below are the essential questions for each strand, and links to documents for each benchmark grade level, showing how the essential questions support the WMAS/SS specific performance standards.

Standard A: Geography

Map icon
  • How do maps, globes, and other geographic representation tools reflect history, culture, politics, and economics?
  • How does where I live influence how I live?
  • How do geography, climate, and natural resources affect the way people live and work?
  • What are the cultural factors of civilizations, and what functions do they serve?

Standard B: History

Brain icon
  • What should we do if primary sources disagree?
  • How does the past influence the present?
  • What are the historical factors of civilizations, and what functions do they serve?
  • How do competing interests influence how power is gained, distributed, and exercised?

Standard C:  Political Science

Gavel icon
  • What knowledge and skills are needed to participate effectively in our political system?
  • How are governments created, structured, maintained, and changed?
  • What is the role of the citizen in the community, nation, and world?



Standard D: Economics

Supply chart icon
  • How do scarcity and competition influence decision-making at the personal, business, and government levels?
  • What causes change in the US economy?
  • How do different economic systems and trade policies impact a person's way of life/standard of living?
  • What role should government play in regulation of an economy?

Standard E: Behavioral Sciences

Collaboration icon
  • How do others, the media, and society influence our identity and the choices we make?
  • What are the characteristics, benefits, and challenges of a diverse society?
  • How and why do we gather, interpret, and use research about the behavioral sciences?
For questions about this information, contact Kristen McDaniel (608) 266-2207