Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.2b - Five Geographic Regions of Virginia

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by

b)  locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau.

Bloom's Level: Remember, Understand

Adopted: 2008


A region  is an area that has certain characteristics that make it different from other regions.

Region is a concept that is used to identify and organize areas of the earth's surface for various purposes.

A physical region is identified by its physical (geography) features.


Geographic regions have distinctive characteristics.

Virginia can be divided into five geographic regions.

What are the five geographic regions of Virginia?

How do the geographic regions of Virginia differ?

Where are the geographic regions of Virginia located?


Analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms and water features. (VS.1i)

Terms to know

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

Geographic regions

  • Coastal Plain (Tidewater)
    • Flat land
    • Location near Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay (includes the Eastern Shore)
    • East of the Fall Line
  • Piedmont (land at the foot of mountains)
    • Rolling hills
    • West of the Fall Line
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
    • Old, rounded mountains
    • Part of the Appalachian mountain system
    • Located between the Piedmont and the 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 the plateau is located in Virginia.


Water feature, landform, map, region, Fall Line, Coastal Plain, Tidewater, Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, Appalachian Plateau, plateau, waterfall, Great Valley of Virginia, ridges

Updated: Apr 29, 2016