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Skills available for California fifth-grade social studies standards

Standards are in black and IXL social studies skills are in dark green. Hold your mouse over the name of a skill to view a sample question. Click on the name of a skill to practice that skill.

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5.1 Students describe the major pre-Columbian settlements, including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi River.

  • 1 Describe how geography and climate influenced the way various nations lived and adjusted to the natural environment, including locations of villages, the distinct structures that they built, and how they obtained food, clothing, tools, and utensils.

  • 2 Describe their varied customs and folklore traditions.

  • 3 Explain their varied economies and systems of government.

5.2 Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.

5.3 Students describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the American Indians and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.

5.4 Students understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.

5.5 Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.

5.6 Students understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.

5.7 Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution's significance as the foundation of the American republic.

  • 1 List the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation as set forth by their critics.

  • 2 Explain the significance of the new Constitution of 1787, including the struggles over its ratification and the reasons for the addition of the Bill of Rights.

  • 3 Understand the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy, including how the government derives its power from the people and the primacy of individual liberty.

  • 4 Understand how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government and compare the powers granted to citizens, Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court with those reserved to the states.

  • 5 Discuss the meaning of the American creed that calls on citizens to safeguard the liberty of individual Americans within a unified nation, to respect the rule of law, and to preserve the Constitution.

  • 6 Know the songs that express American ideals (e.g., "America the Beautiful," "The Star Spangled Banner").

5.8 Students trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s, with emphasis on the role of economic incentives, effects of the physical and political geography, and transportation systems.

  • 1 Discuss the waves of immigrants from Europe between 1789 and 1850 and their modes of transportation into the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys and through the Cumberland Gap (e.g., overland wagons, canals, flatboats, steamboats).

  • 2 Name the states and territories that existed in 1850 and identify their locations and major geographical features (e.g., mountain ranges, principal rivers, dominant plant regions).

  • 3 Demonstrate knowledge of the explorations of the trans-Mississippi West following the Louisiana Purchase (e.g., Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Zebulon Pike, John Fremont).

  • 4 Discuss the experiences of settlers on the overland trails to the West (e.g., location of the routes; purpose of the journeys; the influence of the terrain, rivers, vegetation, and climate; life in the territories at the end of these trails).

  • 5 Describe the continued migration of Mexican settlers into Mexican territories of the West and Southwest.

  • 6 Relate how and when California, Texas, Oregon, and other western lands became part of the United States, including the significance of the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War.

5.9 Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals.