5th Grade Social Studies

Course Description

Semester A

Grade 5 Social Studies combines the study of United States History through the Civil War with a geographical exploration of the Unites States and what it has to offer. Students will use their understanding of social studies skills and concepts as they study the development of the United States. The first semester begins with early settlements of North America and allows learners to take an in-depth look into what life was like for colonists and Native Americans. Students will come to understand the causes of the Revolutionary War and the people that played a significant role in it. The semester ends with students examining the new nation and what life was like for European immigrants and those on the frontier. Students will learn through the use of video, journaling, and varied types of creative instruction.

Semester B

Semester B begins with an exploration of the west and what life was like for those looking to find gold. Learners will then look at slavery and what lead to the Civil War. The course then takes a departure from American history and takes a more in-depth look into cultures, people, and the geography of the United States from past to present. Learners will have the opportunity to explore the country region by region and come to appreciate all that it has to offer. Students will conclude the course by planning and describing a trip they would like to take to a particular place within the 50 United States. Students will take a hands-on approach as they get to know the geography, climate and culture of their country. Video, creative projects involving technology, journaling, and varied assessments will be used throughout the course.

Course Requirements

Grade Level

5th Grade


Course Materials List

*Materials listed should be acquired by the student prior to beginning work in the course.


2 Semesters



Technology Skills

  • Internet Navigation
  • Word Processing Skills
  • Email Communication (with assistance of parent or teacher)

Semester A

Major Concepts:

  • American History:
      Settlement and Growth
  • People in Societies:
      Native American Interaction
  • North American Geography:
      Places and Regions
      Human Environmental Interaction
  • Economics:
      Scarcity and Resource Allocation
      Production, Distribution and Consumption
  • United States Government:
      Role of Government
      Rules and Laws
  • Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities:
      Rights and Responsibilities
  • Social Studies Skills and Methods:
      Obtaining Information
      Thinking and Organizing
      Communicating Information
      Problem Solving

Semester B

Major Concepts

  • American History:
      Western Frontier
      The Underground Railroad
  • Sociology:
      Women in the U.S.
      Diverse culture in the US
  • Economics:
      Planning your Trip
  • Geography:
      Regions of the United States
  • Civics:
      Local government