Fifth Grade » VA Studies

VA Studies


The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by a) analyzing and interpreting artifacts and primary and secondary sources to understand events in Virginia history; b) analyzing the impact of geographic features on people, places, and events to support an understanding of events in Virginia history; c) interpreting charts, graphs, and pictures to determine characteristics of people, places, or events in Virginia history; d) recognizing points of view and historical perspectives; e) comparing and contrasting ideas and cultural perspectives in Virginia history; f) determining relationships with multiple causes or effects in Virginia history; g) explaining connections across time and place; h) using a decision-making model to identify costs and benefits of a specific choice made; i) practicing good citizenship skills and respect for rules and laws while collaborating, compromising, and participating in classroom activities; and j) investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing.



The student will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between physical geography and the lives of the native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by a) locating Virginia and its bordering states on maps of the United States; b) locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau; c) locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, and Lake Drummond and the Dismal Swamp); d) locating three American Indian language groups (the Algonquian, the Siouan, and the Iroquoian) on a map of Virginia; e) describing how American Indians related to the climate and their environment to secure food, clothing, and shelter; f) describing how archaeologists have recovered new material evidence at sites including Werowocomoco and Jamestown; and g) describing the lives of American Indians in Virginia today.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the first permanent English settlement in America by a) explaining the reasons for English colonization; b) describing the economic and geographic influences on the decision to settle at Jamestown; c) describing the importance of the charters of the Virginia Company of London in establishing the Jamestown settlement; d) identifying the importance of the General Assembly (1619) as the first representative legislative body in English America; e) identifying the impact of the arrival of Africans and English women to the Jamestown settlement; f) describing the hardships faced by settlers at Jamestown and the changes that took place to ensure survival; and g) describing the interactions between the English settlers and the native peoples, including the role of the Powhatan in the survival of the settlers.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of life in the Virginia colony by a) explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery; b) describing how the culture of colonial Virginia reflected the origins of American Indians, European (English, Scots-Irish, German) immigrants, and Africans; c) explaining the reasons for the relocation of Virginia’s capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg; d) describing how money, barter, and credit were used; and e) describing everyday life in colonial Virginia.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by a) identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with Great Britain, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence; b) identifying the various roles of American Indians, whites, enslaved African Americans, and free African Americans in the Revolutionary War era, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, the Marquis de Lafayette, and James Lafayette; c) identifying the importance of the American victory at Yorktown; and d) examining the reasons for the relocation of Virginia’s capital from Williamsburg to Richmond.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by a) explaining why George Washington is called the “Father of our Country” and James Madison is called the “Father of the Constitution”; b) identifying the ideas of George Mason, as expressed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and Thomas Jefferson, as expressed in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom; and c) explaining the influence of geography and technological advances on the migration of Virginians into other states and western territories in the first half of the 1800s.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by a) explaining the major events and the differences between northern and southern states that divided Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia; b) describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia; and c) describing the roles of American Indians, whites, enslaved African Americans, and free African Americans.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by a) identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia; b) identifying the effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia for American Indians, whites, and African Americans; and c) describing the importance of railroads, new industries, and the growth of cities to Virginia’s economic development.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of Virginia during the twentieth century and beyond by a) describing the economic and social transition from a rural, agricultural society to a more urban, industrialized society; b) describing how national events, including women’s suffrage and the Great Depression, affected Virginia and its citizens; c) describing the social and political events in Virginia linked to desegregation and Massive Resistance and their relationship to national history; and d) describing the political, social, or economic impact made by Maggie L. Walker; Harry F. Byrd, Sr.; Oliver W. Hill, Sr.; Arthur R. Ashe, Jr.; A. Linwood Holton, Jr.; and L. Douglas Wilder.


SOL VS.9a Rural to Urban Virginia Game


The student will demonstrate an understanding of Virginia government, geography, and economics by a) identifying the three branches of Virginia government and the function of each; b) describing the major products and industries important to Virginia’s economy; c) explaining how advances in transportation, communications, and technology have contributed to Virginia’s prosperity and role in the global economy.