STUDY SOL VS.2 Geography- Rivers, Regions and Indian Language Groups

VS.2a - Virginia and the Bordering States

What large bodies of water border Virginia?

Bordering bodies of water

•           Atlantic Ocean 

•           Chesapeake Bay

What states border Virginia?

 Bordering states

•           Maryland

•           West Virginia

•           Kentucky

•           Tennessee

•           North Carolina

VS.2b - Regions of Virginia

What are the five geographic regions in Virginia? How do they differ? Where are they located?

Terms to know

•           Fall Line: The natural border between the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) and Piedmont regions, where waterfalls prevent further travel on the river

five geographic regions

           Coastal Plain (Tidewater)
 Flat land
Location near Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay (includes Eastern Shore)
East of the Fall Line

•           Piedmont (land at the foot of mountain)
Rolling hills
West of the Fall Line

•           Blue Ridge Mountains
Old, rounded mountains

Part of Appalachian mountain system

Located between the Piedmont and Valley and Ridge regions

Source of many rivers

•           Valley and Ridge
Includes the Great Valley of Virginia and other valleys separated by ridges (The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Valley and Ridge Regions are part of the Appalachian Mountain system.)

Located west of Blue Ridge Mountains

           Appalachian Plateau (Plateau: Area of elevated land that is flat on top)
Located in Southwest Virginia

Only a small part of plateau located in Virginia

Rivers of Virginia - VS.2c

Which water features were important to the early history of Virginia?

Water features

•           Atlantic Ocean

            Provided transportation links between Virginia and other places (e.g., Europe, Africa,    Caribbean)

•           Chesapeake Bay

            Provided a safe harbor

            Was a source of food and transportation

The four major rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay are separated by peninsulas.

•           James River

            Flows into the Chesapeake Bay

            Richmond and Jamestown located along the James River

•           York River

            Flows into the Chesapeake Bay

            Yorktown located along the York River

•           Potomac River

            Flows into the Chesapeake Bay

            Alexandria located along the   Potomac River

•           Rappahannock River

            Flows into the Chesapeake Bay

            Fredericksburg located on the Rappahannock River

How did water features influence the development of Virginia?

How did the flow of rivers affect the settlement of Virginia?

•          Water features were important to the early history of Virginia.

•           Many early Virginia cities developed along the Fall Line, the natural border between the Tidewater and Piedmont regions where the land rises sharply and where the waterfalls prevent further travel on the river.

•          Each river was a source of food and provided a pathway for exploration and settlement of Virginia.

•          Rivers flow downhill to the sea.

What is a peninsula?

•           Peninsula: A piece of land bordered by water on three sides.

Where is the Eastern Shore located?

•           The Eastern Shore is a peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The Chesapeake Bay separates the Eastern Shore from the mainland of Virginia.


Indians and Language Groups - VS.2d

•          American Indians (First Americans) were the first people who lived in Virginia. They lived in all areas of the state.
There were three major language groups in Virginia.     

Why are First Americans called Indians?
•          Christopher Columbus called the people he found in the lands he discovered “Indians” because he thought he was in the Indies (near China).

What evidence is there that American Indians (First Americans) lived in all areas of the state?
•          Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, and other tools that have been found tell a lot about the people who lived in Virginia

What were the three major language groups found in Virginia, and where was each located?

Three major language groups

•           Algonquian was spoken primarily in the Tidewater region; the Powhatans were members of   this group.

•           Siouan was spoken primarily in the Piedmont region.

•           Iroquoian was spoken in Southwestern Virginia and in Southern Virginia near what is  today North Carolina; the Cherokee were a part of this group.       

VS.2e   Indians Adapt to Virginia Land and Climate

What are some characteristics of Virginia’s climate?

Climate in Virginia
•           The climate in Virginia is relatively mild with distinct seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter—resulting in a variety of vegetation.
•           Forests, which have a variety of trees, cover most of the land. Virginia’s Indians are referred to as Eastern Woodland Indians.


What are some ways Virginia’s American Indians  adapted to the climate and interacted with their environment to meet their basic needs?

Adaptation to environment

The kinds of food they ate, the clothing they wore, and the shelters they had depended upon the seasons.

 •           Foods changed with the seasons.

                        In winter, they hunted birds and animals.

                        In spring, they fished and picked berries.

                        In summer, they grew crops (beans, corn, squash).

                        In fall, they harvested crops.

•           Animal skins (deerskin) were used for clothing.

•           Shelter was made from materials around them.