Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.2e - American Indians Food, Clothing, and Shelter

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

e)  describing how American Indians related to the climate and their environment to secure food, clothing, and shelter.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


The natural environment, including physical geography and climate, affects how people live. 
Individuals and groups make changes to their geography as they adapt to their environment.


Virginia’s American Indians worked with the climate and the environment to meet their basic needs.

Virginia Indian cultures have changed over time.

What are some characteristics of Virginia’s climate?

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

How do Virginia’s American Indians live today as compared to the way they lived in the past?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (VS.1g)

Analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms, water features, climatic characteristics, and historical events. (VS.1i)

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.

Environmental connections
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 other animals and lived on stored foods from the previous fall.
    • In spring, they hunted, fished, and picked berries.
    • In summer, they grew crops (e.g., beans, corn, squash).
    • In fall, they harvested crops and hunted for foods to preserve and keep for the winter.
  • Animal skins (deerskin) were used for clothing.
  • Shelter was made from materials found around them.

Native peoples of the past farmed, hunted, and fished. They made homes, using natural resources. They used animal skins for clothing.

Today, most native peoples live like other Americans. Their cultures have changed over time. 


Climate, vegetation, environment, Eastern Woodlands Indians, deerskin, culture

Updated: Apr 29, 2016