Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC)

Maryland has developed a Voluntary State Curriculum. that defines what students should know and be able to do at each grade, preK through 8, in four content areas: reading/English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.  Within social studies, indicators have been developed for geography, economics, history, political science and people of the nation and the world.

Geography VSC

VSC – Kindergarten
A. Using Geographic Tools
1. Identify and describe how a globe and maps can be used to help people locate places

B.  Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Describe places in the immediate environment using natural/physical and human-made features

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe how transportation and communication link people and places

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Describe how people adapt to and modify their immediate environment

a.  Identify ways people adapt to the environment, such as wearing clothing that is appropriate to the weather
b.  Identify ways that people change their environment to meet their needs, such as planting crops or cutting forests


VSC – Grade 1
A. Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate and describe places on Earth

B.  Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Describe places in the environment using geographic characteristics 

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1.  Explain how transportation and communication  link people and places by the movement of  goods, messages, and people

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Explain how people modify, protect, and adapt to their  environment


VSC – Grade 2
A. Using Geographic Tools
1.  Use geographic tools to locate and describe places on Earth

B.  Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Classify places and regions in an environment using geographic characteristics

a.  Identify natural/physical features and human–made features using maps   
     and photographs  
b.  Describe and classify regions using climate, vegetation, animal life, and natural/physical features
c.   Classify places as  rural and urban

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Explain how transportation and communication  link places by the movement of people, goods, and ideas

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1.   Explain how people modify, protect, and adapt to their environment
a.   Describe ways, such as clearing trees and farming land, that people modify their environment and the impact of those  modifications
b.   Describe how and why people protect or fail to protect the environment


VSC – Grade 3
A.  Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate and construct meaning about places on Earth

B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Compare places and regions around the world using geographic characteristics

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe how transportation and communication networks link places through the movement of people, goods, and ideas

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Explain how people modify, protect, and adapt to their environment


VSC – Grade 4
A. Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics of those places

a      Construct and interpret a variety of  maps using map elements
b.    Use photographs, maps, charts, graphs, and atlases to describe geographic 
       characteristics of Maryland/United States
c.    Identify and locate natural/physical features and human-made features of   Maryland such as Appalachian Mountains, Piedmont Plateau, and Atlantic Coastal Plain

B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Describe similarities and differences of regions by using geographic characteristics

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe and analyze population growth,  migration, and settlement patterns in Maryland and regions of the United States 

c.    Describe the transportation and communication networks for the movement of people, goods, and ideas to, from and within Maryland such as Bay Bridge, National Road, B & O Railroad, the Port of Baltimore, and C &  O Canal
d.    Identify the reasons for the movement of  peoples to, from, and within Maryland  and the United States

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Describe how people adapt to, modify and impact the natural environment

people in Maryland and the United States modify the natural environment and  the consequences of modifications


VSC – Grade 5
A.  Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe human and physical characteristics in Colonial America

B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Examine the similarities and differences of regions in Colonial America

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe and analyze population growth, migration and settlement patterns in Colonial America

D.  Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Explain why and how people adapt to and  modify the natural environment and the impact of those modifications


VSC – Grade 6
A.  Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics in early world history

b.   Use photographs and thematic maps, to identify and describe physical and human characteristics of early civilizations
B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions

1. Examine how physical and human characteristics shape the identity of places and regions and influence the development of civilizations in world history

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe and analyze population growth, migration and settlement patterns in early world history

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Analyze why and how people modify their natural environment and the impact of those modifications

a.   Describe ways people modified their environment to meet their needs, such as cultivating lands, building roads, dams, and aqueducts
b.  Analyze how people in early world history perceived and reacted to environmental concerns, such as flooding, drought, and depletion of natural resources and evaluate the consequences of those actions


VSC – Grade 7

A.  Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics in  the contemporary world

B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Analyze interrelationships among physical and human characteristics that shape the identity  of places and regions around the world

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Describe and analyze population growth, migration and settlement patterns in contemporary world regions

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Analyze why and how people in contemporary world regions modify their natural environment and the impact of those modifications



VSC – Grade 8

A.  Using Geographic Tools
1. Use geographic tools to analyze geographic issues and problems prior to 1877

B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
1. Analyze how geographic characteristics influenced the location and development of regions in the United States prior to 1877

C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
1. Analyze population growth, migration and settlement patterns in the United States prior to 1877

c.   Explain how the regional demographic factors of constituents, such as race, ethnicity, education, occupation, and wealth affect public policy and voting issues

D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
1. Analyze why and how people in the United States modify their natural environment and the impact of those modifications


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