Grade 5: The Western Hemisphere

Grade 5 Social Studies is based on the history and geography of the Western Hemisphere, including the development of cultures, civilizations, and empires; interactions between societies; and the comparison of the government and economic systems of modern nations. It also incorporates elements of archaeology. The course is divided into seven Key Ideas that cover a time span from prehistory into modern times. Teachers are encouraged to make and teach local connections throughout the course, especially in the examination of citizenship related to modern political and economic issues.

5.1 EARLY PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS: The first humans in the Western Hemisphere modified their physical environment as well as adapted to their environment. Their interactions with their environment led to various innovations and to the development of unique cultures.

5.2 COMPLEX SOCIETIES AND CIVILIZATIONS: Between 1100 B.C.E. and 1500 C.E, complex societies, and civilizations developed in the Western Hemisphere. Although these complex societies and civilizations have certain defining characteristics in common, each is also known for unique cultural achievements and contributions.

5.3 EUROPEAN EXPLORATION AND ITS EFFECTS: Various European powers explored and eventually colonized the Western Hemisphere. This had a profound effect on Native Americans and led to the transatlantic slave trade.

5.4 GEOGRAPHY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE: The diverse geography of the Western Hemisphere has influenced human culture and settlement in distinct ways. Human communities in the Western Hemisphere have modified the physical environment.

5.5 COMPARATIVE CULTURES: The countries of the Western Hemisphere are diverse and the cultures of these countries are rich and varied. Due to their proximity to each other, the countries of the Western Hemisphere share some of the same concerns and issues.

5.6 GOVERNMENT: The political systems of the Western Hemisphere vary in structure and organization across time and place.

5.7 ECONOMICS: The peoples of the Western Hemisphere have developed various ways to meet their needs and wants. Many of the countries of the Western Hemisphere trade with each other, as well as with other countries around the world.