4th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Vocabulary
Bay – A body of water partially surrounded by land but open to the sea.
Border – A line that separates political regions, such as states or countries.
Boycott – A kind of protest in which people refuse to do business with a person or company.
Cape – A point of land that sticks out into the water.
Capital – A city where a state or country’s government is located.
Civil rights – The rights that every citizen has by law.
Climate – The usual weather conditions in an area over a long period of time.
Coast – The land that borders an ocean.
Coastal plain – The flat, level land along a coast.
Command economy – A system in which the government decides what to make, who will make it, and who will get it.
Compass rose – A symbol on a map that shows direction.
Consumer – Someone who buys or uses goods and services.
Continent – A large mass of land.
Cost of Living – The money that people pay for food, clothing, transportation, and housing.
Crops – Plants that people grow and gather.
Delta – A triangle – shaped area at a mouth of a river.
Democracy – A system in which the people hold the power of government.
Discrimination – The act of treating a person or group unfairly.
Economy – The way the people of an area choose to use the area’s resources.
Enslaved – A word used to describe someone who works for no pay and can be sold as property.
Entrepreneur – A person who uses the factors of production to start a new business.
Fact – A statement that can be proven true.
Factors of Production – People and materials needed to make goods or provide services.
Factory – A building or groups of buildings in which goods are made.
Fertile – Filled with the materials that plants need to grow.
Flow Resources – Energy sources that constantly move through the environment such as water, wind and sunlight.
Fossil Fuels – An energy source formed by the remains of things that lived long ago.
Free Enterprise – A system that lets people control their business and decide what goods to buy and sell.
Globe – A model of the Earth.
Goods – Things that people buy and sell, including both manufactured and agricultural products.
Government – A system of making and carrying out rules and laws.
Governor – The chief executive of the state.
Hub – A major center of activity.
Human Resources – The services, knowledge, skills, and intelligence, that workers provide.
Immigration – The movement of people from one nation to another.
Import – A product brought in from another country.
Industry – A business that makes goods in a factory.
Interior – A place away from the coast or border.
Irrigation – Supplying land with water.
Landform – A physical feature of Earth’s surface.
Latitude – Distance north or south of the equator, measured by lines that circle the globe parallel to the equator.
Levee – A high river bank that stops the river from overflowing.
Livestock – Animals that people raise on farms, especially animals raised to sell.
Longitude – Distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured by lines that run between the North and South poles.
Lumber – Wood cut into boards.
Manufacturing – Making goods from other materials.
Market Economy – A system in which people are free to decide what, how, and for whom to make products.
Mining – Taking minerals from the Earth.
Natural Resources – Things from the natural environment that people use.
Nonrenewable resources – Things that nature cannot replace after they are used.
Opportunity Cost – What someone gives up to get something else.
Peninsula – A piece of land surrounded by water on three sides.
Plains – Large areas of flat lands.
Plantation – A big farm that grows mostly one crop.
Plateau – A high, flat area of land.
Population – The people living in an area.
Port – A place along the shore of a lake or an ocean where ships can dock.
Precipitation – Water that falls to the earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
Primary Source – An account written by someone who saw the event.
Prime Meridian – A line at 0 degrees longitude that divides Earth into Eastern and Western hemispheres.
Private ownership – A system in which individual people, not the government, own the factors of production.
Producer – Someone who makes or sells goods or services for customers.
Product – Something that is made from natural resources.
Profit – In a market economy, the money left over after a business pays its expenses.
Ranch – A farm where people raise animals, such as cattle, sheep, or horses.
Raw Materials – Natural resources before they are made into products.
Region – An area that is defined by certain features.
Renewable resources – Things that the environment can replace after we use them.
Rural – In a country area with few people.
Scale – A ruler that shows distances on a map.
Scarcity – A situation in which there are not enough resources to provide a product or service that people want.
Secondary source – An account written by someone who did not witness the event.
Service – Something a person or company does for someone else.
Slavery – An unjust system in which one person owns another.
Suburb – A community that grows outside of a larger city.
Suburban – In a smaller town near a city.
Supply – How much of a product producers will make at different prices.
Tax – A fee paid to the government.
Temperate – Without extremes, such as the very cold weather in the Arctic or the very hot weather near the equator.
Textile – Cloth.
Trade – The exchange, purchase, or sale of goods and services.
Transportation – The business of moving people or goods from one place to another.
Treaty – An official document that defines an agreement between nations.
Urban – In a city.
Wages – The payments people receive for work.