Virginia

Virginia Administrative Codes, Requirements for graduation:

8VAC 20-131-50 B. To graduate with a Standard Diploma: A student must earn 3 units of credit in History and Social Sciences. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one course in either world history or geography or both.

8VAC 20-131-50 C. To graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma: A student must earn 4 units of credit in History and Social Sciences. Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and two courses in either world history or geography or both.

8VAC 20-131-50 H.5. To be awarded with the Board of Education’s Seal for Excellence in Civics Education: A student must have, in addition to other requirements, completed Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government courses with a grade “B” or higher.

 

Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning

Grade K

  • K.1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by
    • viewing artifacts and primary and secondary sources to develop an understanding of history;
    • gathering and classifying information, sequencing events, and separating fact from fiction to improve understanding of the community;
    • comparing and contrasting people, places, or events; o recognizing direct cause-and-effect relationships; and o making connections between past and present.
  • K.2 The student will recognize that history describes events and people from other times and places by
    • identifying examples of historical events, stories, and legends that describe the development of the local community; and
    • identifying people who helped establish and lead the local community over time.
  • K.10 The student will demonstrate that being a good citizen involves
    • taking turns and sharing;
    • taking care of personal belongings and respecting what belongs to others; and
    • following rules and understanding the consequence of breaking rules.
  • K.11 The student will develop an understanding of how communities express patriotism through events and symbols by
    • recognizing the American flag;
    • recognizing the Pledge of Allegiance;
    • knowing that the president is the leader of the United States; and
    • recognizing the holidays and the people associated with the holidays Thanksgiving Day; Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; George Washington Day (Presidents’ Day); and Independence Day (Fourth of July).

Grade 1

  • 1.1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by
    • recognizing direct cause-and-effect relationships;
    • making connections between past and present;
    • using a decision-making model to make informed decisions; and
    • practicing good citizenship skills and respect for rules and laws while collaborating, compromising, and participating in classroom activities.
  • 1.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge of Virginia history by describing important events and people in the history of the Commonwealth, including
    • the settlement of Virginia at Jamestown; and
    • famous Virginians, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who helped form a new nation.
  • 1.4 The student will describe the lives of people associated with major holidays, including
    • George Washington Day (Presidents’ Day);
    • Independence Day (Fourth of July); and
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
  • 1.10 The student will apply the traits of a good citizens by
    • focusing on fair play, exhibiting good sportsmanship, helping others, and treating others with respect;
    • recognizing the purpose of rules and practicing self-control; and
    • participating in classroom decision making through voting.

Grade 2

  • 2.1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographic analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by
    • identifying artifacts and primary and secondary sources to understand events in American history;
    • comparing and contrasting people, places, or events in American history;
    • recognizing direct cause-and-effect relationships; and
    • making connections between past and present.
  • 2.4 The student will describe how the contributions of selected individuals changed the lives of Americans, with emphasis on
    • Christopher Columbus;
    • Benjamin Franklin;
    • Abraham Lincoln;
    • George Washington Carver;
    • Helen Keller;
    • Thurgood Marshall;
    • Rosa Parks;
    • Jackie Robinson;
    • Cesar Chavez; and
    • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 2.5 The student will describe why United States citizens celebrate major holidays, including
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day;
    • George Washington Day (Presidents’ Day);
    • Memorial Day;
    • Independence Day (Fourth of July);
    • Labor Day;
    • Columbus Day;
    • Veterans Day; and
    • Thanksgiving Day.
  • 2.11 The student will explain the responsibilities of a good citizen, with emphasis on
    • respecting and protecting the rights and property of others;
    • taking part in the voting process when making classroom decisions; and
    • describing the purpose of rules and laws.
  • 2.12 The student will understand that the people of the United States of America
    • are united as Americans by common principles; and
    • have the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as well as equality under the law.
  • 2.13 The student will understand the symbols and traditional practices that honor and foster patriotism in the United States of America by
    • explaining the meaning behind symbols such as the American flag, bald eagle, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty; and
    • learning the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Grade 3

  • 3.3 The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, government (direct and representative democracy), and sports.
  • 3.11 The student will explain the responsibilities of a good citizen, with emphasis on
    • respecting and protecting the rights and property of others;
    • taking part of the voting process when making classroom decisions; and
    • describing the purpose of rules.
  • 3.12 The student will recognize the importance of government in the community, Virginia, and the United States of America by
    • explaining the purpose of laws;
    • explaining that the basic purposes of government are to make laws, carry out laws, and decide if laws have been broken; and
    • explaining that government protects the rights and property of individuals.
  • 3.13 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions and are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and respect for individual rights and freedoms.

Virginia Studies

  • VS.5 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by
    • identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with Great Britain, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence; and
    • identifying the various roles of American Indians, whites, enslaved African Americans, and free African Americans in the Revolutionary War era, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, the Marquis de Lafayette, and James Lafayette.
  • VS.6 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by
    • explaining why George Washington is called the “Father of our Country” and James Madison is called the “Father of the Constitution”; and
    • identifying the ideas of George Mason, as expressed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and Thomas Jefferson, as expressed in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
  • VS.7 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by
    • explaining the major events and the differences between northern and southern states that divided Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia.
  • VS.8 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by
    • identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia; and
    • identifying the effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia for American Indians, whites, and African Americans.

US History to 1865

  • USI.5 The student will apply social science skills to understand the factors that shaped colonial America by
    • describing the religious and economic events and conditions that led to the colonization of America;
    • describing life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies, with emphasis on how people interacted with their environment to produce goods and services;
    • describing specialization of and interdependence among New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies;
    • describing colonial life in America from the perspectives of large landowners, farmers, artisans, merchants, women, free African Americans, indentured servants, and enslaved African Americans; and
    • explaining the political and economic relationships between the colonies and Great Britain.
  • USI.6 The student will apply social science skills to understand the causes and results of the American Revolution by
    • explaining the issues of dissatisfaction that led to the American Revolution;
    • describing how political ideas shaped the revolutionary movement in America and led to the Declaration of Independence;
    • describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the Marquis de Lafayette; and
    • explaining reasons why the colonies were able to defeat Great Britain.
  • USI.7 The student will apply social science skills to understand the challenges faced by the new nation by
    • explaining the weaknesses and outcomes of the government established by the Articles of Confederation;
    • describing the historical development of the Constitution of the United States; and
    • describing the major accomplishments of the first five presidents of the United States.
  • USI.8 The student will apply social science skills to understand westward expansion and reform in America from 1801 to 1861 by
    • describing territorial expansion and how it affected the political map of the United States, with emphasis on the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Florida, Texas, Oregon, and California;
    • explaining the impact of westward expansion on American Indians; and
    • explaining the main ideas of the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements.
  • USI.9 The student will apply social science skills to understand the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by
    • describing the cultural, economic, and constitutional issues that divided the nation;
    • explaining how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased sectional tensions;
    • describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war; and
    • describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldiers (including African American soldiers), women, and enslaved African Americans.

US History, 1865 to the Present

  • USII.3 The student will apply social science skills to understand the effects of Reconstruction on American life by
    • analyzing the impact of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and how they changed the meaning of citizenship;
    • describing the impact of Reconstruction policies on the South and North; and
    • describing the legacies of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Frederick Douglass.
  • USII.4 The student will apply social science skills to understand how life changed after the Civil War by
    • examining the reasons for westward expansion, including its impact on American Indians;
    • describing racial segregation, the rise of “Jim Crow,” and other constraints faced by African Americans and other groups in the post-Reconstruction South; and
    • evaluating and explaining the impact of the Progressive Movement on child labor, working conditions, the rise of organized labor, women’s suffrage, and the temperance movement.
  • USII.6 The student will apply social science skills to understand the social, economic, technological changes of the early twentieth century by
    • Analyzing the causes of the Great Depression, its impact on Americans, and the major features of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
  • USII.8 The student will apply social science skills to understand economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by
    • examining the role of the United States in defending freedom during the Cold War, including the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the rise of new challenges.
  • USII.9 The student will apply social science skills to understand the key domestic and international issues during the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries by
    • examining the impact of the Civil Rights Movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the changing role of women on all Americans.

Civics and Economics

  • CE.2 The student will apply social science skills to understand the foundations of American constitutional government by
    • explaining the fundamental principles of consent of the governed, limited government, rule of law, democracy, and representative government;
    • examining and evaluating the impact of the Magna Carta, charters of the Virginia Company of London, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights;
    • describing the purposes for the Constitution of the United States as stated in its Preamble; and
    • describing the procedures for amending the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States.
  • CE.3 The student will apply social science skills to understand citizenship and the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens by
    • describing the processes by which an individual becomes a citizen of the United States;
    • describing the First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition, and the rights guaranteed by due process and equal protection of the laws;
    • describing the duties of citizenship, including obeying the laws, paying taxes, defending the nation, and serving in court;
    • examining the responsibilities of citizenship, including registering and voting, communicating with government officials, participating in political campaigns, keeping informed about current issues, and respecting differing opinions in a diverse society; and
    • evaluating how civic and social duties address community needs and serve the public good.
  • CE.5 The student will apply social science skills to understand the political process at the local, state, and national levels of government by
    • describing the functions of political parties;
    • comparing and contrasting political parties;
    • examining the history of and requirements for voter registration, and participating in simulated local, state, and/or national elections; and
    • describing the role of the Electoral College in the election of the president and vice president.
  • CE.6 The student will apply social science skills to understand the American constitutional government at the national level by
    • describing the structure and powers of the national government;
    • explaining the principle of separation of powers and the operation of checks and balances;
    • explaining and/or simulating the lawmaking process; and
    • describing the roles and powers of the executive branch.
  • CE.9 The student will apply social science skills to understand the judicial systems established by the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States by
    • describing the organization of the United States judicial system as consisting of state and federal courts with original and appellate jurisdiction;
    • describing the exercise of judicial review;
    • comparing and contrasting civil and criminal cases; and explaining how due process protections seek to ensure justice.

Virginia and US History

  • VUS.4 The student will apply social science skills to understand the issues and events leading to and during the Revolutionary Period by
    • evaluating how political ideas of the Enlightenment helped shape American politics; and
    • evaluating how key principles in the Declaration of Independence grew in importance to become unifying ideas of American political philosophy.
  • VUS.5 The student will apply social science skills to understand the development of the American political system by
    • examining founding documents to explore the development of American constitutional government, with emphasis on the significance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in the framing of the Bill of Rights;
    • describing the major compromises necessary to produce the Constitution of the United States, with emphasis on the roles of James Madison and George Washington;
    • assessing the arguments of Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the ratification debates in defense of the principles and issues that led to the development of political parties; and
    • evaluating the impact of John Marshall’s precedent-setting decisions that established the Supreme Court as an independent and equal branch of the national government.
  • VUS.6 The student will apply social science skills to understand major events in Virginia and United States history during the first half of the nineteenth century by
    • explaining territorial expansion and its impact on the American Indians;
    • describing the political results of territorial expansion;
    • assessing the political and economic changes that occurred during this period, with emphasis on James Madison and the War of 1812;
    • analyzing the social and cultural changes during the period, with emphasis on “the age of the common man” (Jacksonian Era);
    • evaluating the cultural, economic, and political issues that divided the nation, including tariffs, slavery, the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements, and the role of the states in the Union;
    • explaining how Manifest Destiny and President James K. Polk’s policies impacted the nation; and
    • evaluating and explaining the multiple causes and compromises leading to the Civil War, including the role of the institution of slavery.
  • VUS.7 The student will apply social science skills to understand the Civil War and Reconstruction eras and their significance as major turning points in American history by
    • describing major events and the roles of key leaders of the Civil War era, with emphasis on Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Frederick Douglass;
    • evaluating and explaining the significance and development of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership and political statements, including the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation and the principles outlined in the Gettysburg Address;
    • evaluating postwar Reconstruction plans presented by key leaders of the Civil War; and
    • evaluating and explaining the political and economic impact of the war and Reconstruction, including the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
  • VUS.8 The student will apply social science skills to understand how the nation grew and changed from the end of Reconstruction through the early twentieth century by
    • explaining the westward movement of the population in the United States, with emphasis on the role of the railroads, communication systems, admission of new states to the Union, and the impact on American Indians;
    • examining the contributions of new immigrants and evaluating the challenges they faced, including anti-immigration legislation;
    • analyzing the impact of prejudice and discrimination, including “Jim Crow” laws, the responses of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, and the practice of eugenics in Virginia; and
    • evaluating and explaining the economic outcomes and the political, cultural and social developments of the Progressive Movement and the impact of its legislation.
  • VUS.13 The student will apply social science skills to understand the social, political, and cultural movements and changes in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century by
    • evaluating and explaining the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the roles of Thurgood Marshall and Oliver W. Hill, Sr., and how Virginia responded to the decision; and
    • explaining how the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the 1963 March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had an impact on all Americans.
  • VUS.14 The student will apply social science skills to understand political and social conditions in the United States during the early twenty-first century by
    • assessing the development of and changes in domestic policies, with emphasis on the impact of the role the United States Supreme Court played in defining a constitutional right to privacy, affirming equal rights, and upholding the rule of law;
    • evaluating and explaining the changes in foreign policies and the role of the United States in a world confronted by international terrorism, with emphasis on the American response to 9/11 (September 11, 2001);
    • evaluating the evolving and changing role of government, including its role in the American economy; and
    • explaining scientific and technological changes and evaluating their impact on American culture.

Virginia and US Government

  • GOVT.2 The student will apply social science skills to understand the political philosophies that shaped the development of Virginia and United States constitutional government by
    • describing the development of Athenian democracy and the Roman republic to differentiate between a democracy and a republic;
    • explaining the influence of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights;
    • evaluating the writings of Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu;
    • explaining the guarantee of the “rights of Englishmen” set forth in the charters of the Virginia Company of London;
    • analyzing the natural rights philosophies expressed in the Declaration of Independence; and
    • evaluating and explaining George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and James Madison’s leadership role in securing adoption of the Bill of Rights by the First Congress.
  • GOVT.3 The student will apply social science skills to understand the concepts of democracy by
    • recognizing the fundamental worth and dignity of the individual;
    • recognizing the equality of all citizens under the law;
    • recognizing what defines a citizen and how noncitizens can become citizens;
    • recognizing majority rule and minority rights; o recognizing the necessity of compromise; and o recognizing the freedom of the individual.
  • GOVT.4 The student will apply social science skills to understand the Constitution of the United States by
    • examining the ratification debates and The Federalist;
    • evaluating the purposes for government stated in the Preamble;
    • examining the fundamental principles upon which the Constitution of the United States is based, including the rule of law, consent of the governed, limited government, separation of powers, and federalism;
    • defining the structure of the national government outlined in Article I, Article II, and Article III; and
    • analyzing and explaining the amendment process.
  • GOVT.5 The student will apply social science skills to understand the federal system of government described in the Constitution of the United States by
    • evaluating the relationship between the state government and the national government;
    • examining the extent to which power is shared;
    • identifying the powers denied state and national governments; and
    • analyzing the ongoing debate that focuses on the balance of power between state and national governments.
  • GOVT.6 The student will apply social science skills to understand local, state, and national elections by
    • describing the nomination and election process, including the organization and evolving role of political parties;
    • examining campaign funding and spending, including the impact of Supreme Court decisions, the nationalization of campaign financing, and the role of issue groups;
    • investigating and explaining the impact of reapportionment and redistricting on elections and governance; and
    • describing how amendments have extended the right to vote.
  • GOVT.7 The student will apply social science skills to understand the organization and powers of the national government by
    • examining the legislative, executive, and judicial branches;
    • analyzing the relationships among the three branches in a system of checks and balances and separation of powers; and
    • investigating and explaining the ways individuals and groups exert influence on the national government.
  • GOVT.10 The student will apply social science skills to understand the federal judiciary by
    • describing the organization, jurisdiction, and proceedings of federal courts;
    • evaluating how the Marshall Court established the Supreme Court as an independent branch of government through its opinion in Marbury v. Madison;
    • describing how the Supreme Court decides cases;
    • comparing the philosophies of judicial activism and judicial restraint; and
    • investigating and evaluating how the judiciary influences public policy by delineating the power of government and safeguarding the rights of the individual.
  • GOVT.11 The student will apply social science skills to understand civil liberties and civil rights by
    • examining the Bill of Rights, with emphasis on First Amendment freedoms;
    • analyzing due process of law expressed in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments;
    • explaining how the Supreme Court has applied most of the protections of the Bill of Rights to the states through a process of selective incorporation;
    • investigating and evaluating the balance between individual liberties and the public interest; and
    • examining how civil liberties and civil rights are protected under the law.