Office of Elementary Social Studies

Grade 5 Social Studies: Our Country’s Heritage: From Colonies to Country

Social studies instruction is intended to provide the knowledge of content and appropriate skills so students can become active, involved citizens of the community. In Grade 5 Social Studies, students study the following units. 

Unit 1: Colonial Regions

In Unit 1, students learn about regions within the 13 English colonies. In social studies, students will interpret maps to determine colonial regions. They will examine colonial crafts and trades in order to identify how specialized workers used natural, capital, and human resources to produce goods and services.

Students will analyze the economic activities of the New England colonies in order to describe how producers used the economic resources of the region. They will examine the geographic characteristics of the Middle Atlantic and Southern colonies in order to explain land use and economic activities of the region. Students will investigate the causes and development of slavery. They will also examine westward movement in the early 1700s and describe the daily lives of settlers.

Unit 2: Revolution

In Unit 2, students learn about the causes, development, and outcome of the Revolutionary War. In social studies, students will examine the impact of the French and Indian War. They will summarize Native American, British, and colonial perspectives of the Proclamation of 1763. Students will examine primary sources to evaluate opinions of the Stamp Act. They will describe British and colonial reactions to the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Townshend Acts.

Students will determine the impact of battles at Lexington and Concord. They will analyze decisions made during the second Continental Congress in order to explain how colonial leaders prepared for war. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources in order to determine the significance of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

They will analyze the Declaration of Independence in order to explain the principles of government it contains. Students will evaluate the perspectives of patriots, loyalists, and neutrals during the Revolutionary War. They will evaluate the Battle of Saratoga as a turning point in the war. Students will explain how the Revolutionary War ended and evaluate terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Unit 3: New Government

In Unit 3, students learn about the formation of the government of the United States. In social studies, students will evaluate the successes and failures of the first national government under the Articles of Confederation. They will analyze causes of Shays’ Rebellion and predict its impact on government. Students will examine perspectives of small and large states regarding representation at the time of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. They will explain the Great Compromise and its impact on government. Students will analyze conflicting viewpoints of slavery during the Constitutional Convention. They will describe compromises regarding slavery that were made in the Constitution.

Students will examine the Preamble to the Constitution to explain consent of the governed and evaluate the goals that it sets for the United States government. They will learn about the three branches of government and explain the importance of separation of powers and checks and balances. Students will research one of the three branches of government in order to explain its organization, powers, and responsibilities.

They will analyze ratification of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the impact of the Bill of Rights on American society. Students will analyze the powers and limits of the levels of government in order to illustrate federalism. They will examine the government of Maryland in order to compare state and federal levels of government. Students will analyze roles of the three branches of government in order to illustrate the process of making laws. Students will use a case study to describe how laws can be used to solve problems. They will also examine multiple perspectives of an issue and participate in a simulation of the legislative process in Maryland.

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