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DC: Fifth Grade Standards

(Note: In 2011, DC public schools began transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.)

  • The New Nation's Westward Expansion (1790-1860)

    • 5.1. Broad Concept: Students trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s.

      Students:

      1. Describe 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, and steamboats). (G, S)
      2. Describe the enslaved immigrants from Africa from the 1790s through the 1820s and the routes they traveled from disembarkment (e.g., from New Orleans up the Mississippi and westward along the Gulf Coast, from Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, westward, northward, and southward). (G, S)
      3. Describe the process of the “internal slave trade” that saw Africans born in the United States sold into the southernmost states (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina) from more Northern states (Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland).
      4. Name the states and territories that existed in 1850 and their locations and major geographical features (e.g., mountain ranges, principal rivers, and dominant plant regions). (G)
      5. Demonstrate knowledge of the explorations of the trans-Mississippi West following the Louisiana Purchase (e.g., Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Sacagawea, Zebulon Pike, and John Fremont). (G)
      6. Describe the continued migration of Mexican settlers into Mexican territories of the West and Southwest. (G)
      7. Describe 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). (G, S, E)
      8. 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. (G, M)
      9. Describe the search for gold in California and how the Gold Rush moved east to places such as Colorado and the Dakotas. (G, S, E)

      Examples

      • Students use paintings by artists such as George Caleb Bingham, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, George Catlin, Charles Russell, and Frederic Remington to examine the time period of immigrant migration to the Western territories and the conflicts that occurred during the expansion (5.1.1).
      • Students work in small groups to fill out a map from 1850, using colored pencils or markers (5.1.4).
      • After studying the maps and explorations of Lewis and Clark, Pike, and Fremont, students go to a nearby park or playground and create their own paths of travel. Students then draw a map of their exploration route with descriptive details of the places, animals, plants, etc. that they came across (5.1.5).
    • 5.2. Broad Concept: Students describe the emergence of a fledgling industrial economy.

      Students:

      1. Explain the expansion of the plantation system and slavery as the demand for cotton production grew. (G, S, E)
      2. Describe the mechanization of cleaning cotton with cotton gin/textile industries. (E, I)
      3. Describe how the manufacturing economy supplements agricultural economy. (E)
      4. Explain the emerging urbanization in the North. (G)
      5. Explain how and why young women and children joined the paid labor force. (S, E)
      6. Identify the transportation innovations that led to westward settlements. (G, I)

      Examples

      • Students examine the cultivation process of cotton. Students research the process before the invention of the cotton gin and how cotton is processed today (5.2.2.).
      • In the voice of a U.S. immigrant working in a factory in the North, students write a letter to a friend and/or relative in their native country. They describe a typical day in the life of a new immigrant, including the type of factory in which they work, the conditions, where they live, etc. (5.2.4.).
      • Students divide into two different groups and debate whether the steam engine train or the steamboat was more consequential to Westward expansion of the United States (5.2.5).
    • 5.3. Broad Concept: Students describe the rapid growth of slavery in the South after 1800.

      Students:

      1. Describe how Southern colonists slowly altered their attitudes toward Africans, increasingly viewing them as permanent servants or slaves; the harsh conditions of the Middle Passage; the responses of slave families to their condition; and the ongoing struggle between proponents and opponents of slavery. (S)
      2. Describe the contributions of enslaved and free Africans to the economic development of the colonies. (S, E)
      3. Identify the characteristics of slave life and the resistance on plantations and farms across the South. (P, S)
      4. Explain the significance of and consequences ensuing from the abolition of slavery in the Northern states after the Revolution, and of the 1808 law that banned the importation of slaves into the United States. (P, S)
      5. Describe the impact of the cotton gin on the economics and culture of slavery and Southern agriculture. (E, I)

      Examples

    • 5.4. Broad Concept: Students identify prominent people and movements for social justice in the United States, including:
      1. Dorothea Dix and her quest for prison reform and help for the mentally ill. (P, S)
      2. Paul Cuffe, Martin Delany and the idea of emigration among African Americans. (P, S)
      3. Horace Mann and public education. (P, S)
      4. Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, and Gabriel Prosser and their resistance to enslavement.
      5. Prudence Crandall and education for free African Americans. (P, S)
      6. Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and equality for women. (P, S)
      7. Frederick Douglass, the Grimke sisters, and William Lloyd Garrison and the abolition of slavery. (P, S)
      8. José Martí, Francisco Gonzalo (Pachín) Marín, and Sotero Figueroa and the independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain. (P, S)

      Examples

      • Students write letters to Horace Mann, acknowledging his contributions to public education in the United States, describing the current state of public education, and making recommendations for how they feel public education could be improved (5.4.3).
      • Students define the word suffrage and discuss the idea of the women’s right to vote by examining the following primary documents: Sojourner Truth’s speech “Ain’t I a Woman,” Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments,” Susan B. Anthony’s speech after her arrest for casting an illegal vote in the presidential election of 1872, and the 19th Amendment (5.4.6).
      • Students compare and contrast articles written in William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, in Boston, with Frederick Douglass’ newspaper The North Star, in Rochester, NY. Students then reflect on how the newspapers affected the abolitionist movement, issues of the First Amendment, and the difference between newspapers written for white or black readership (5.4.7).
  • Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1877)

    • 5.5. Broad Concept: Students summarize the causes and consequences of the Civil War.

      Students:

      1. Describe the extension of and controversy about slavery into the territories, including popular sovereignty, the Dred Scott decision, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. (P, S)
      2. Explain the role of abolitionists, including reformers Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Martin Delany, and John Brown. (P, S)
      3. Describe the emergence of Abraham Lincoln as a national political figure and the secession of Southern states. (P)
      4. Identify Union and Confederate States at the outbreak of the Civil War, Yankees and Rebels (Blue and Gray), and the role of African American troops in the war. (G, P)
      5. Describe the experience of the war on the battlefield and home front. (M, S)
      6. Analyze the rationales for the Emancipation Proclamation and the emancipation of African Americans in Washington, DC. (P, S)

      Examples

      • Using maps of the United States from 1820, 1850, and 1854, students compare and contrast the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act as they relate to U.S. expansion and the controversy over slavery in the territories (www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lincolns/politics/es_shift.html#) (5.5.1).
      • Within small groups, students list the various reasons why the South seceded from the North, and then they share with the entire class to see how their lists are the same or different (5.5.3).
      • Students watch the movie Glory and compare its contents to primary source documents from Colonel Robert Gould Shaw’s “Civil War Letters,” in Russel Duncan’s edited volume Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Students discuss Hollywood’s depiction of history and how accurate it is (5.5.4).
      • Students study the use of music on the battlefields and by those on the home front. In particular, they listen to and read the lyrics from the songs “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (Union) and “Dixie’s Land” (Confederacy). Afterward, students create their own Civil War song (5.5.5).
  • 5.6. Broad Concept: Students explain the successes and failures of Reconstruction.

    Students:

    1. Describe the physical and economic destruction of the South. (G, E)
    2. Describe the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in Washington, DC. (P)
    3. Identify the goals and accomplishments of the Freedmen’s Bureau. (P)
    4. Describe the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and African American political and economic progress. (P, E)
    5. Analyze the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, black codes, vigilante justice, and Jim Crow laws. (P, E)
    6. Analyze the emergence of African American self-help organizations, emigration to all-black towns in the West (e.g., the Exodusters), and the call for reparations by formerly enslaved leaders (e.g., Isaiah Dickerson, Callie House, and the ex-slave pension and mutual relief association). (P, S)
    7. Examples

      • Students use actual photographs (primary documents) taken in the South at the end of the Civil War and do a free write about what they see and what they imagine were some of the thoughts and feelings of the “actors” in the photographs (memory.loc.gov/pnp/cwp/4a39000/4a39600/4a39602r.jpg) (5.6.1).
      • Students take a field trip to Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, to learn more about the assassination of President Lincoln (www.nps.gov/foth/schedule.htm) (5.6.2).
      • Students discuss in small groups what Fredrick Douglass meant when he said that the freedman “was free from the individual master but a slave of society.” Students assume the roles of government officials after the Civil War and determine the most important things that freedmen and freedwomen needed after the Civil War. Students compare their list to the actual components of the Freedmen’s Bureau (e.g., labor contracts, rations of land, wages, hospitals, schools/education, colleges, resettling, etc.) (5.6.3).
      • Students write a letter to their congressman or senator as if they lived during the Reconstruction period, stating reasons for or against the stipulations placed on the 15th Amendment (5.6.4).
      • Students examine the fact that many states, North and South, required payment of poll taxes, property ownership, or literacy as a condition of voting in light of the 15th Amendment (civilwar.bluegrass.net/SlaveryAndEmancipation/15thamendment.html) (5.6.5).
  • Industrial America (1870-1940)

    • 5.7. Broad Concept: Students explain the various causes and consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution.

      Students:

      1. Explain the rapid growth of cities and trans-Atlantic transportation systems. (G, E)
      2. Identify sources of new immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Japan, with particular attention to the role that Chinese and Irish laborers played in the development of the Transcontinental Railroad. (G)
      3. Locate regional concentrations of Latinos and explain their presence in certain occupational categories (e.g., Mexicans in railroad construction in the Southwest, Puerto Ricans and Cubans in journalism and related trades in New York City). (E)
      4. Analyze the formation of unions. (P, E)
      5. Describe the United States as the land of opportunity versus a growing sense of protectionism and nativism. (P, S)
      6. Outline child labor and working conditions. (S)
      7. Identify major goals of the Progressive Era (e.g., attacking racial discrimination, child labor, big business, and alcohol use). (P, S)
      8. List important technological and scientific advances. (E, I)

      Examples

      • Students examine their own neighborhoods and the histories of those neighborhoods—how they have changed in appearance, changed in ethnicity, and transformed stores or businesses—by taking a neighborhood walk. Afterward, the students write a newspaper or magazine article about how their neighborhoods have changed over time (5.7.1).
      • Students research the conditions of sweatshops that exist around the world and discuss what might be different if the workers were unionized (5.7.4).
      • Students compare the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to contemporary immigration reform debates in the United States (cis.lacoe.edu/pdf/immig6.pdf) (5.7.5).
      • Students review pictures of child labor in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They write short stories about what it was like to be a child who worked during the turn of the century (www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/index.html, resource: Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor) (5.7.6).
    • 5.8. Broad Concept: Students describe the nation’s growing role in world affairs.

      Students:

      1. Analyze the Open Door Policy and U.S. expansion into Asia. (P)
      2. Examine Japan and describe the significance of the Gentleman’s Agreement. (P)
      3. Explain the Cuban-Spanish-American War and interventions in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. (P, M)
      4. Explain the participation of African Americans from the 9th and 10th Calvaries (the Buffalo Soldiers and the Smoked Yankees) in the Indian and Cuban-Spanish-American War.
      5. Identify the reasons for American entry into World War I. (P, M)

      Examples

      • Students read the Gentleman’s Agreement of 1908. Students will participate in a discussion about the document’s different components, as well as the implementation and fairness of the agreement (5.8.2).
      • Students divide into five groups—with each group representing one of the following countries: the United States, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, or the Philippines. Each group shares their country’s perspective of the war through a skit or other oral presentation (www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html) (5.8.3).
    • 5.9. Broad Concept: Students describe the African American exodus from the segregated rural South to the urbanized North.

      Students:

      1. Describe racial and ethnic tensions and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the South. (S)
      2. Describe the emergence of the black “intelligentsia” during the Harlem Renaissance (e.g., “U” Street Corridor in Washington, DC; various poets, artists, musicians, and scholars). (S, I)
      3. Analyze the contributions of the Jazz Age. (S, I)
      4. Describe economic opportunities in industrial Northern cities and Washington, DC. (E)

      Examples

      • Students participate in the “Tours and Trails: City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail.” During the tour, students record observations about the neighborhood and changes that have occurred (5.9.2).
      • Students listen to music by jazz artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, and Shirley Horn and compare it with the music that they listen to today—what are the differences and what are the similarities? How has jazz affected the music that they listen to today (5.9.3)?
    • 5.10. Broad Concept: Students describe what happened during the global depression of the 1930s and how the United States responded.

      Students:

      1. Describe the stock market crash of 1929. (E)
      2. Describe the mass unemployment within the country. (S, E)
      3. 3. Identify the Dust Bowl and the reasons for migration to California. (G, S)
      4. Identify and explain the New Deal programs under FDR. (P)
      5. Analyze increased importance of the federal government in establishing economic and social policies to combat societal problems. (P, S, E)

      Examples

      • Students read excerpts from the book Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929: A Wall Street Journal Book for Children, by Karen Blumenthal, and create a timeline for the classroom that explains the events that occurred in October 1929 leading up to the Great Depression (5.10.1).
      • Students watch and reflect on the oral histories in excerpts from the video Breadline: Great Depression at Home or the book Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, by Studs Terkel (library.thinkquest.org/03oct/01794/first_hand_accounts.htm; www.michigan.gov/ hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_18670_18793-53511—,00.html; lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ wpaintro/wpahome.html (5.10.2).
      • Students complete a chart about the “Alphabet Agencies” that began during the New Deal (www.cyberlearning-world.com/lessons/ ushistory.newdealagencies.htm) (5.10.4).
  • World War II (1939-1945)

    • 5.11. Broad Concept: Students describe the main events of World War II and how the Allies prevailed.

      Students:

      1. Describe fascism in Germany and Italy, including Nazism and attacks on Jews, gypsies, and others. (P, S)
      2. Describe the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (G, M, P)
      3. Interpret the important domestic events that took place during the war (e.g., economic growth, internment of Japanese Americans, and changing status of women and African Americans). (S, E)
      4. Explain the German surrender and European division of Germany. (G, M, P)
      5. Explain the decision to drop the atom bomb on Japan. (P, M, S)
      6. Describe the purpose of the formation of the United Nations. (P)

      Examples

      • Students read historical fiction or a memoir about the Holocaust, such as Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany, by Eleanor Ramrath Garner; Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry; or No Pretty Pictures, by Anita Lobel, and they relate it to what they have learned about Nazi Germany through a reading log (www.ushmm.org/education/foreducators/) (5.11.1).
      • Students read newspaper articles written the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and discuss the state of mind of the United States and its citizens (5.11.2).
      • Students debate the decision by the United States to drop the atomic bomb on Japan (; www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/history/pre-cold-wa...) (5.11.5).
      • Students research the creation and history of the United Nations. They create a proposal for a new United Nations’ mission that addresses a pressing issue facing the world (www.historycentral.com/Documents/Gentleman.html) (5.11.6).
  • Ecnomic Growth and Reform in Contemporary America (1945-Present)

    • 5.12. Broad Concept: Use geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments in the United States.

      Students:

      1. Locate the United States, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi and Rio Grande rivers, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Rocky and Appalachian mountain ranges. (G)
      2. Identify the 50 states and their capitals and identify the year that each one became part of the Union. (G)
      3. Locate and identify major geographic regions in the United States (e.g., Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest) and how regional differences in climate, types of farming, populations, and sources of labor shape their economies and societies. (G, E)
      4. Locate and identify the U.S. territorial possessions and their capitals (e.g., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands). (G)
      5. Locate and identify the climate, major physical features, and major natural resources in each region. (G)

      Examples

      • Using a map, students identify and label the major bodies of water and mountain ranges in the United States (5.12.1).
      • Students play “Around the United States.” As the teacher points to a state on a large BLANK U.S. map, students identify the name of the state and its capital (5.12.2).
      • Working in small groups, students research a region in the United States and prepare a map displaying its climate, physical features, and natural resources. When completed, they join all regional areas together to form one map of the United States. Each group then creates a collage that represents their region using magazines and newspapers (e.g., the region’s resources, industries, landmarks, tourist attractions, geography, and climate) (5.12.3).
    • 5.13. Broad Concept: Students explain important domestic trends of the 1950s and 1960s.

      Students:

      1. Describe the growth of suburbs and home ownership. (S)
      2. Explain the development of mass media, including television. (S)
      3. Trace the economic growth and declining poverty. (S, E)
      4. Describe the Mexican Bracero program and the unprecedented migration of Puerto Ricans to take part in the invigorated industrial economy. (E.S)

      Examples

      • Students examine what suburbs are by using a map and outlining where suburbs are in relation to a major city. Using the map, they brainstorm reasons why suburbs grew during the 1950s (5.13.1).
      • Students brainstorm about the impact of television in the United States and the world. They write essays on how they imagine the world would be different if television had never been created (5.13.2).
    • 5.14. Broad Concept: Students describe the key events and accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

      Students:

      1. Describe the proliferation of the Civil Rights movement of African Americans from the churches of the rural South to the urban North. (G, P)
      2. Explain the role of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). (P)
      3. Identify key leaders in the struggle to extend equal rights to all Americans through the decades (e.g., Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Jo Baker, César Chávez, Frederick Douglass, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, Charles Houston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Carlos Montes, Baker Motley, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Eleanor Roosevelt, Reies López Tijerina). (P)
      4. List and describe the steps toward desegregation (e.g., A. Philip Randolph’s proposed 1941 March on Washington, Jackie Robinson and baseball, Truman and the Armed Forces, Adam Clayton Powell and Congress, and the integration of public schools). (P, S)
      5. Explain the Women’s Rights Movement, including differing perspectives on the roles of women. (P, S)
      6. Explain the growth of the African American middle class. (P, E)

      Examples

      • Students prepare questions for a guest speaker from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) about the organization’s history and its role in the United States today (5.14.2).
      • Students assume the role of one key leader from the Civil Rights movement and give an acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award (5.14.3).
      • Students conduct a survey of their parents and teachers about the pros and cons of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In small groups, students create a television news story about the ERA, including general information, details from their interviews, and the future prospects of and need for a similar amendment (5.14.5).
    • 5.15. Broad Concept: Students describe some of the major economic and social trends of the late 20th century.

      Students:

      1. Describe the environmental movement and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. (G, P)
      2. Explain the anti-war and counter-culture movements. (S)
      3. Trace the computer and technological revolutions. (S, I)
      4. List key scientific and medical discoveries. (S, I)
      5. Explain the changing family systems and roles of women. (S)
      6. Examples

        • Students select one way to conserve energy, and they educate their family members about it (e.g., taking a shorter shower, turning off lights not being used, turning off or turning down air conditioning, or taking the bus or metro instead of driving). Students keep journal entries during the week and then highlight the savings if everyone in America were to make similar changes. Students also will need to explain how the change affected their day (5.15.1).
        • Students listen to the lyrics from songs that were written during the anti-war and counter- culture movements, such as “Four Dead in Ohio,” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; “Eve of Destruction,” by Bob Dylan; “Get Together,” by the Youngbloods; “For What It’s Worth,” by Buffalo Springfield; and “Universal Soldier,” by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Students then examine how music influenced that generation and how music influences the younger generation today (5.15.2).
        • Students examine the science section of The New York Times or The Washington Post and choose one article to present to the class (5.15.4).
    • 5.16. Broad Concept: Students identify major waves of immigration and demographic changes in U.S. history and describe the diverse nature of American people and their contributions to American culture.

      Students:

      1. Identify indigenous peoples in different areas of the country (e.g., Navajo, Seminoles, Sioux, Hawaiians, and Inuit). (G, S)
      2. Describe the lives of African Americans, including an explanation of their early concentration in the South because of slavery, the Great Migration to Northern cities in the 20th century, and ongoing African immigrant groups (e.g., Ethiopians, Nigerians, and Ghanaians), and where they have tended to settle in large numbers. (G, S)
      3. Describe the major European immigrant groups who have come to America, locating their countries of origin, and where they have tended to settle in large numbers (e.g., English, Germans, Italians, Scots, Irish, Jewish, Poles, and Scandinavians). (G, S)
      4. Describe the major Asian immigrant groups who have come to America in the 19th and 20th centuries, locating their countries of origin and where they have tended to settle in large numbers (e.g., Koreans, Chinese, and Vietnamese). (G, S)
      5. Distinguish between waves of immigrant Latino groups and identify the push and pull factors that stimulated their transnational movement (e.g., Cubans in the 1960s and 1980s; Central Americans in the 1980s; Caribbean peoples, especially Haitians and Dominicans, in the 1990s). (G, S)

      Examples

      • In pairs, students research the effect of the African American Great Migration to the following cities: Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Harlem, Memphis, Montgomery, New Orleans, Nicodemus (Kansas), and Washington, DC. They highlight how the migration transformed the cities (5.16.2).
      • Students interview a family member, neighbor, or friend who recently immigrated to the United States. They ask interviewees questions about why they decided to come to America, why they settled where they did, and what aspects of their culture of origin they have maintained. Students create presentations that use quotes from their interview and interviewee’s oral history (5.16.3 and 5.16.4).
     
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