Elementary Social Studies Grade 5

1 Credit
36 weeks

In Social Studies Grade 5, students focus on American history through 1850 from Native Americans through exploration, colonization, and early-American history. Students develop a firm understanding of important concepts and skills related to history, geography, economics, and citizenship.

Please view the Elementary Parents Guide for Grades 3-5 with guidance on helping your student transition to online learning and thrive at VLACS.


Early North American Civilizations

I can identify geographic regions using coordinates. I can compare cultural aspects of ancient American civilizations. I can identify Native American tribes from different geographic regions. I can explain the role of trade in pre-Columbian times.

European Exploration and Impact

I can explain the reasons for European exploration. I can describe technological developments related to European exploration. I can compare European explorations to North America. I can describe interactions between Native Americans and settlers from different nations. I can explain the role of trade in North America during the 16th century.

Colonizing North America

I can identify the original thirteen colonies on a map of North America. I can explain the political, economic, and socio-cultural reasons for colonial settlement. I can describe the political, economic, and social characteristics of the New England colonies. I can describe the contributions of individuals to the political, economic, and social characteristics of the development of the colonies. I can differentiate slavery of the Southern colonies. I can explain the reason for Triangular Trade and the role of trade in economic growth in North America.

American Revolution

I can explain the causes and effects of events leading up to the American Revolution. I can describe the roles of Patriots, Loyalists, and women in the American Revolution. I can compare battles and military campaigns of the American Revolution. I can explain the impact of foreign allies on the outcome of the American Revolution. I can explain political concepts addressed in the Declaration of Independence. I can explain the military, political, and economic factors that helped end the war.

Creating and Developing A United Nation

I can explain the role of the Continental Congress in establishing the United States. I can identify the weaknesses of the Articles of confederation. I can describe the purpose of the Constitution. I can compare Federalist and Anti-Federalist views of government. I can explain the organization of the federal government according to the Constitution. I can explain the rights protected by the Bill of Rights and examples of amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Growth and Westward Expansion

I can describe the causes and effects of the Louisiana Purchase. I can explain the causes and effects of the War of 1812. I can explain the connection between Manifest Destiny and the impacts of westward expansion and technological advancements. I can describe push and pull factors that promoted westward expansion. I can explain the effects of the Missouri Compromise. I can interpret primary and secondary sources to explain the effect of westward expansion on Native Americans.

United States Current Events

I can identify United States capitals, and territories. I can explain the role of a good citizen. I can identify local, state, and national problems using geography concepts. I can identify the role of civic and political groups in helping citizens.

Major Topics and Concepts

Segment One

  • Ancient North American civilizations
  • European exploration
  • 13 colonies
  • American Revolution

Segment Two

  • Founding a new country
  • Westward expansion
  • Problem solving
  • Citizenship

Course Materials

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students and families are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers because, when teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

Required Materials – Please view the list of materials before registering.

Ready to Learn on Your Terms?

Discover how you can customize your learning based on your needs, interests, and talents.

happy student looking at tablet