Implementing Social Studies Georgia Performance Standards

Note: K-5 Georgia Performance Standards begin with students in the fall of 2008.

February 14, 2007


Dear Educators:

The new social studies Georgia Performance Standards present both challenges and opportunities for teachers and students in Georgia. Planning good units and lessons that best communicate the content and meet the needs of students is vital to academic growth.

In order to support teachers in planning for teaching the new curriculum, a committee of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies (GCSS) and the Georgia Leadership Association for Social Studies (GLASS) began working in June 2006, to produce a model course. Our goal was to develop documents for use by school districts across the state that would serve as an example of how the GPS might be organized to facilitate teacher delivery of the curriculum to students. The template developed by the Georgia Department of Education guided the work. (This Guide is solely a project of the GCSS and is not endorsed by the Georgia Department of Education.) 

There are probably as many ways to group and sequence these standards into the DOE template as there are teachers in the classroom. There are infinite numbers of "Enduring Understandings" and "Essential Questions" that could be identified for each unit. The work presented here is but one version with which the committee was comfortable and around which consensus was reached.

Individual teachers, principals, district subject area specialists, curriculum directors and others can use the documents as presented or revise them in any way they choose as we are presenting them in Word for Windows format at our website, Teachers will be able to use these units to create their own daily lesson plans.

We hope that the work found here will be a beginning point for teachers across Georgia to engage in serious discussion about the ways that social studies is most effectively taught by teachers at the middle school and secondary levels.

As executive director of the GCSS and president of GLASS for 2006-2007, I would like to thank the following outstanding educators for their commitment to a job well done: Dr. Glen Blankenship, Chair, Georgia Council on Economic Education; Michael Bergquist, Douglas County Schools; Dr. Debbie Daniell, Gwinnett County Schools; Dr. Eddie Bennett, Cobb County School District; Dr. Cathy Geis, Fayette County Schools; Peggy Caldwell, Rockdale County Schools; Dr. Patricia Guillory, Fulton County Schools; Dr. Trish Klein, Georgia College and State University; Judy Newsome, Chatham County Schools; Andrea Pritchett, Rockdale County Schools, and Rebecca Ryckeley, Henry County Schools. Other contributors include Phil Parker, Wheeler County Schools; Lynn Wilson, Thomasville City Schools; Annette Wise, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site; and JoAnn Wood, Cobb County School District.

If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me.


Eddie Bennett, Ed.D.
GCSS Executive Director


Revised GPS Social Studies Guides (MS Word)


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade (revised Aug. 2008)

Seventh Grade (revised Augd. 2008)

Eighth Grade

World Geography

World History

U.S. History

U.S. Government



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