Meeting the standards

The Northern Lights curriculum, both print and interactive eBook versions, helps teachers meet Minnesota social studies academic standards required for student graduation.

The 2013 Revised Second Edition print book and the interactive eBook, introduced in 2014, continue the curriculum’s long-standing principles of using stories to teach critical thinking skills, encourage inquiry, and explore multiple perspectives. In addition, the Northern Lights curriculum now shows students how history, civics, economics, and geography work together to tell the stories of Minnesota and its people.

Northern Lights standards

Minnesota studies standards


The Minnesota Department of Education revised its social studies standards in 2011, effective in May 2013. The 2011 standards designate a year-long Minnesota Studies course at sixth grade in all Minnesota public schools. Minnesota Studies incorporates four disciplines: history, civics, geography, and economics. While there are benchmarks for all four disciplines, history is the Minnesota Studies lead discipline.

The 2011 Social Studies Standards will be reviewed in 2020-21 and every ten years thereafter (Minn Stat. § 120B.021).

More Information about the standards: