Social Studies

Social Studies Course of Study Standards for 5th Grade:

1.) Locate physical features that impacted the exploration and settlement of the Americas.

Examples: ocean currents, prevailing winds, large forests, major rivers, significant mountain ranges

• Locating states, capitals, and important geographic features east of the Mississippi River

• Identifying major ports in the United States

Examples: Mobile, Boston, New York, New Orleans, Savannah

2.) Identify causes and effects of prehistoric migration and settlement in North America.

3.) Compare major Native American cultures in respect to geographic region, natural resources, government, economy, and religion.

Examples: Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Plains

• Locating Native American groups by geographic region

4.) Explain effects of European exploration during the Age of Discovery upon European society and Native Americans, including the economic and cultural impact.

• Identifying significant early European patrons and explorers and early settlements


– patrons-King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Prince Henry the Navigator;

– explorers-Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Juan Ponce de León, Hernando de Soto, Francisco Pizarro;

– early settlements-Roanoke (the Lost Colony), Jamestown, Plymouth

• Locating the countries of origin of early European patrons and explorers including Prince Henry the Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Juan Ponce de León, Hernando de Soto, and Francisco Pizarro

5.) Describe the early colonization of North America and reasons for settlement in the Northern, Middle, and Southern colonies.

Examples: colonization of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island for religious freedom, establishment of Georgia as a prison colony, immigration of Europeans in pursuit of greater civil rights and wealth

• Identifying major leaders, economic impact, and social changes in colonial society


– major leaders-John Winthrop, Roger Williams, John Smith, James Oglethorpe, William Penn, Anne Hutchinson, John Rolfe;

– economic impact-tobacco and cotton crops as mainstays of economy;

– social changes-effects of establishment of House of Burgesses on colonial society

• Identifying reasons for the French and Indian War

• Describing the impact of the French and Indian War on the settlement of the colonies

• Identifying geographic features, landforms, and differences in climates among the colonies

• Describing emerging colonial governments

Examples: representative government, town meetings, role of laws

• Describing the development of the emerging labor force in the colonies

Examples: slaves, indentured servants

• Identifying on a map changes in North American boundaries as a result of the French and Indian War

6.) Identify the impact of trade routes on emerging colonies in the Americas.

Examples: spread of Christianity, increase in trading of cotton and indigo

• Tracing the result of slave trading in the Americas

Example: establishment of the Triangular Trade Route

• Locating centers of slave trade in the Western Hemisphere

7.) Identify events leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party.

8.) Identify major events of the American Revolution, including the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of Saratoga, and the Battle of Yorktown.

• Describing the social and political impact of the Declaration of Independence

• Explaining contributions of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, George Washington, and ordinary citizens

• Describing efforts to mobilize support for the American Revolution by the Minutemen, Committees of Correspondence, First Continental Congress, Sons of Liberty, boycotts, and the Second Continental Congress

• Locating on a map major battle sites of the American Revolution

9.) List steps involved in the development of the Constitution of the United States, including inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation and struggles over the ratification of the Constitution.

• Listing powers granted to Congress, the President, and those reserved for states or for the people

• Discussing major ideas and concepts of the Constitution of the United States, including duties and powers of the three branches of government

• Identifying main principles in the Bill of Rights

• Describing the process by which territories achieve statehood under the Constitution

10.) Describe political, social, and economic events between 1803 and 1860 that led to the expansion of the territory of the United States.

Examples: Louisiana Purchase, Indian Removal Act, Texas-Mexican Wars, Mexican-American War, Gold Rush of 1849

• Tracing expeditions of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the American West, including the role of Sacagawea

• Identifying the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine

11.) Explain causes of and major events occurring during the War of 1812.


– causes-impressment, territorial disputes;

– events-burning of Washington, D.C.; creation of War Hawks; composition of “Star-Spangled Banner”; Battle of Horseshoe Bend; Battle of New Orleans

• Locating on a map major areas of conflict in the War of 1812, including Washington, D.C.

12.) Identify causes of the Civil War from the northern and southern viewpoints.

Examples: states’ rights, slave versus free states

• Describing the importance of the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, John Brown’s Rebellion, and the Emancipation Proclamation

• Describing the impact of the Civil War on the social, economic, and political life of the United States

• Identifying on a map locations important to the Civil War

Examples: Mason-Dixon Line, Fort Sumter, Appomattox, Confederate states, Union states, Confederate capitals

13.) Identify social, political, and economic changes that occurred during Reconstruction.

• Describing the effects of Reconstruction on women and African Americans

Examples: voting rights for African-American males, women as heads of households, stabilization of the African-American family, role of self-help and mutual aid

• Identifying the impact of Reconstruction on education in the United States

Example: education of African-American children


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