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The Hawai‘i Standards document states, "Geography is more than memorizing states and their capitals. Geographic understandings require that students learn the skills and inquiry methods of geographers to observe patterns, associations, relationships, and spatial order. Geography must be learned within the contexts of home, school, community, society, and the work world."

Below are listed the content standards as laid out for Hawai‘i Schools (Source: "Social Studies Content Standards"). At the end of each section are identified some tools or ideas for using Pacific Worlds to address these Standards. Use these ideas to apply to the specific standards listed for each category and each grade level.

Content Standards, Geography:
(taken directly from the Standards booklet)

Students use geographic representations to organize, analyze, and present information on people, places, and environments.

Grades 4 - 5:

• Collect, organize, and analyze data to interpret and construct geographic representations.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Interpret and construct geographic representations to explain human and physical distributions and patterns.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Use tools and methods of geographers to construct, interpret, and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data.

Addressing these Standards:

Geographic representation: Mapping is the predominant form of "Geographic representation." Using the lessons in the Teacher Guide, have students produce maps of their ahupua‘a based on Hawaiian place names, environmental zone names, and types of traditional land uses. Use these maps to talk about why different human activities are located where they are, within that ahupua‘a, and where past land uses would have been located.

Qualitative and Quantitative Data: Get rainfall and temperature data for the closest weather station to your ahupua‘a. These are your "quantitative" data. Discuss this data in comparison to the Hawaiian Calendar, and/or find ‘olelo no‘eau for your area, regarding land, weather, etc. These are your "qualitative" data. Now, compare and discuss how these two types of data inform each other.




Addressing the Content Standards:


Cultural Anthropology




Students understand how distinct physical and human characteristics shape places and regions.

Grades 4 - 5:

• Use physical and human characteristics to compare places and regions in Hawai‘i, the United States, and other countries.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Use physical and human characteristics to compare and analyze major world regions, countries, and cities.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Use physical and human characteristics of places and regions to evaluate how regional systems are structured, connected, and change over time.

Addressing these Standards:

Physical and Human Characteristics refers to both the layout of the environment and its systems, plus human systems such as settlements, land uses, transportation, even architecture and culture. At least for Pacific Islands, Pacific Worlds allows you to compare how different cultures interact with their environments to produce different social and cultural forms that pertain to those environments.

You can compare "urban" (settlement),land use and cultural systems on

• low islands versus high islands;

• wet-tropical islands versus more wet-dry climate islands, or wet versus dry areas within the same island or group;

• places with different levels of urbanization and "development" (roadways, transport, shops and buildings);

• understandings, values and practices associated with these differences.

One or all of these can be compared to different regions, though that information must come from other sources.



Students understand how physical processes shape Earth's surface, and create, sustain, and modify the ecosystems.

Grades 4 - 5:

• Explain how physical processes affect formation and distribution of climates, natural resources, and ecosystems.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Analyze how Earth-Sun relationships affect Earth’s physical processes, ecosystems, and distribution of global resources.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Evaluate the importance of ecosystems in the environment.

Addressing these Standards:

Physical processes such as the hydrological cycle, erosion, climate, etc. can be understood different ways. Western science offers one set of tools and models for examining these systems. Indigenous sciences and worldviews provide other tools and models. Pacific Worlds encourages teachers to use both, and to work towards understanding and studying environmental processes from both Western and indigenous perspectives.

Pacific Island cultures are rich in detailed knowledge about local environments, often in far more subtle and penetrating ways than scientific knowledge can manage.

You can have students gather ethnobotanical information (cultural knowledge of plants), as well as indigenous lore regarding weather, conditions of the sea, bird and other animal life, and so forth. Use this opportunity to foster the indigenous perspective, and avoid holding up Western science as the ultimate arbiter of truth.



Students analyze how people organize their activities on earth through their analysis of human populations, cultural mosaic, economic interdependence, settlement, and conflict and cooperation.

Grades 4 - 5:

• Compare and contrast how human events influence settlement patterns in Hawai‘i, the United States, and other parts of the world.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Analyze how demographic patterns, cultural landscapes, cultural diffusion, economic activities, territoriality, and urbanization affect places.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Evaluate how political, social, and economic factors impact settlement, development, and territorial cooperation and conflicts.

Addressing these Standards:

This standard involves both cultural and historical influences with their spatial manifestations. It addresses the fundamental geographical question, "why are things where they are?" For Hawai‘i and the Pacific, you can use Pacific Worlds to look at settlements, cultural landscapes (the "Native Place" material in particular), similarities and differences in culture across different parts of the Pacific, migrations of Pacific Islanders, and how historical influences (missionaries, merchants, colonization, etc.) changed the demographic and settlement patterns in the Pacific.



Students demonstrate stewardship of earth’s resources through the understanding of society and the physical environment.

Grades 4 - 5:

• Analyze the consequences of human modification of the physical environment in Hawai‘i, the United States, and other parts of the world, and implement a plan of action to address the consequences.

Grades 6 - 8:

• Analyze the distribution of natural resources, variations of physical systems, natural hazards, and positive and negative environmental impacts in different parts of the world, and engage in an environmental care-taking action/project.

Grades 9 - 12:

• Evaluate consequences of human activities on earth and implement a plan of action for the use and stewardship of local and global resources.

Addressing these Standards:

Stewardship of resources and the environment is a powerful theme throughout indigenous Pacific Island cultures. Explore these perspectives in the various websites, particularly "The Land" and "The Sea" sections. Focus on values regarding societies' relationships with their environments. Compare these with dominant Western approaches. You can engage in an environmental care-taking project within your own ahupua‘a.



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