Standard 8: Contemporary Florida into the 21st Century

General Information
Number: SS.4.A.8
Title: Contemporary Florida into the 21st Century
Type: Standard
Subject: Social Studies
Grade: 4
Strand: American History

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.


Recognize Florida’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, such as the Tallahassee Bus Boycotts and efforts of Governor Collins to integrate African Americans into government.
Identify how immigration impacts Florida today.
Recognize ways that Florida has changed due to the space program, such as new technologies and population growth.
Recognize that tourism brings people, money, and jobs to Florida.


Recognize that Florida played a role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Recognize how immigration impacts Florida today.
Recognize a way Florida has changed due to the space program, such as new technologies or population growth.
Recognize that tourism brings people and money to Florida.


Recognize that people have rights.
Recognize that people move into Florida today.
Recognize an aspect of Florida’s space program.
Recognize a characteristic of tourism in Florida, such as people.

Related Resources

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Lesson Plans

NASA and the Space Program Change Florida: The Space Program Changes the Economy and Culture of Florida:

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite, into space in 1957. Americans watched the Soviet satellite beeping and blinking across the American night sky. Sputnik I weighed only 184 pounds and could do little more than beep, but many people worried that this meant the United States was losing the race to develop space technology.

Pressure exploded from United States politicians and the American public demanding that the country catch up and increase investment in rocket technology and aeronautics. In this lesson students will analyze the film Florida: Moonport USA to describe the effect of the United States space program on Florida's economy, growth and culture.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Civil Rights Movement in Florida: Tallahassee Bus Boycott :

African-Americans in Tallahassee boycotted the bus system for nearly seven months after the arrest of two Florida A&M University (FAMU) students for sitting beside a white woman. During the boycott, African-Americans in Tallahassee used car pools to get to and from work and for other necessary transportation. Twenty-one members of the Inter Civic Council were convicted on charges of operating an illegal transportation system for arranging the car pool without a franchise. In this lesson students analyze primary source images to write journal responses focused on what they learned about the Tallahassee Bus Boycott.

Type: Lesson Plan

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Ruby Bridges: A Simple Act of Courage:

In this unit, students will learn about the Civil Rights Movement through the perspective of Ruby Bridges, a young girl caught in the struggle for equality during this time. Vocabulary strategies, slideshows, graphic organizers, and text-based questions are all included to help students compare/contrast Ruby's world with their own.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence


Portraits in Patriotism - Luis Martínez Fernández: Elementary:

Luis Martínez-Fernández was born at the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. Dr. Martínez-Fernández immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 2 years old after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. His family moved to Lima, Peru after his father was offered employment there. Dr. Martínez-Fernández’s family left Peru after the President of Peru was ousted from power. The new government in Peru concerned Dr. Martínez-Fernández’s father and the family moved to Puerto Rico where they become U.S. Citizens. Dr. Martínez-Fernández moved to the U.S. after graduation from The University of Puerto Rico. He is a Professor of History, an author, and is civically engaged through his nationally syndicated column.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Portraits in Patriotism - Mel Martinez: Elementary School:

Former U.S Senator and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martínez shares his journey to freedom in the United States. Mr. Martínez was part of Operation Pedro Pan in which unaccompanied Cuban children were sent to the United States to escape the newly formed communist regime of Fidel Castro. Before leaving Cuba, he spent time with his father who shared life lessons with his son. Mr. Martínez distinctly remembers the pilot announcing that they were in America. After moving around the state of Florida in settlement camps, Mr. Martínez was placed in foster care. After four years he and his family were reunited. Mr. Martínez helped his father become a veterinarian in the U.S and as a family they were highly active in the community. His family’s spirit of activism was the foundation of Mr. Martínez’s career as a public servant. He graduated from Florida State University Law School in 1973 and began his political career. He was appointed the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2001 and became a United States Senator in 2005.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Portraits in Patriotism - Alejandro Brice: Elementary - Middle:

Alejandro Brice and his family immigrated from Cuba at the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. His father was jailed as a counter-revolutionary sympathizer and upon release, the family fled the country. Dr. Brice shares his memories of his “freedom wings”, the culture shock of growing up in Ohio as immigrants, learning English in elementary school, watching his family start over, and becoming a U.S. Citizen. Dr. Brice is a college professor specializing in the education of immigrant children and English language learners.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

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