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


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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