Science - 2018-19

4.9 - Virginia Natural Resources

The student will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources. Key concepts include

a)  watersheds and water resources;

  • compare and contrast natural and  human-made resources Bloom's Level:  Analyze
  • distinguish among rivers, lakes, and bays Bloom's Level: Analyze
  • describe characteristics of rivers, lakes, and bays Bloom's Level: Understand
  • name an example of rivers, lakes and bays found in Virginia Bloom's Level: Knowledge
  • create and interpret a model of a watershed  Bloom's Level: Create/ Apply
  • evaluate the statement, "We all live downstream.  Bloom's Level: Evaluate
  • identify watershed addresses Bloom's Level: Knowledge

b)  animals and plants;

c)  minerals, rocks, ores, and energy sources; and

  • recognize the importance of Virginia's mineral resources, including coal, limestone, granite, sand and gravel  Bloom's Level: Understand

d)  forests, soil, and land.

  • appraise the importance of natural and cultivated forests in Virginia Bloom's Level: Analyze
  • describe a variety of soil and land uses important in Virginia   Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2010


Virginia has a wide variety of natural resources.


  • Virginia is rich in a wide variety of natural resources, including forests, arable (farmable) land, coal, sand and aggregates (rocks), wildlife and aquatic organisms, clean water and air, and beautiful scenery.
  • A watershed is an area over which surface water (and the materials it carries) flows to a single collection place. The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers approximately half of Virginia’s land area. The other two major watershed systems are the Gulf of Mexico and the North Carolina Sounds.
  • Virginia’s water resources include groundwater, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Virginia has a great variety of plant and animal resources.
  • Natural and cultivated forests are a widespread resource in Virginia.
  • Virginia’s soil and land support a great variety of life, provide space for many economic activities, and offer a variety of recreational opportunities.


Essential Questions:

·  How do water-related resources in Virginia impact everyday living?

·  How do you think mineral and geographical resources have influenced Virginia's development?

·  How are Virginia's plant and animal resources unique?

In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

  • compare and contrast natural and human-made resources.
  • distinguish among rivers, lakes, and bays; describe characteristics of each; and name an example of each in Virginia.
  • create and interpret a model of a watershed. Evaluate the statement: “We all live downstream.”
  • identify watershed addresses.
  • recognize the importance of Virginia’s mineral resources, including coal, limestone, granite, and sand and gravel.
  • appraise the importance of natural and cultivated forests in Virginia.
  • describe a variety of soil and land uses important in Virginia.


aggregates -  rocks

animal resources - deer, fish, oysters, rabbits etc. are a few of the animal resources found in VA.

aquatic organisms - living things found in water

arable land - land that can be farmed

bay - a large body of water that is surrounded by land on three sides

coal - a fossil fuel, made from swamp plants that lived around 300 million years ago; mineral resource found in VA

forest (natural & cultivated) - some occur in nature (naturally) and others are planted by people (cultivated)

geographical resource - land resources which include the soil and land used for farming, mining and fishing

granite - igneous rock which is a mineral resource found in VA; used for building floors, monuments and kitchen countertops

gravel - an assortment of different rocks that have been broken down into ver small pieces; it is a mineral resource

groundwater - the water beneath the surface of the ground; consists mostly of water that has seeped down

lakes - a body of fresh or salt water surrounded by land

limestone - a sedimentary rock which is a mineral resource found in VA; crushed it is used for the construction of asphalt roads or ground up to make cement

mineral resource - substances that occur naturally in the Earth's crust; can be metallic like gold, silver and copper or nonmetallic, like granite, limestone, and sand

natural resource - things found in nature that can be used by people to satisfy life's needs; water, air, plants, animals, soil, rocks and fossil fuels are examples

reservoir - a large man-made lake where water is collected and stored

rivers - long ribbon-like waterways that usually flow toward an ocean, lake, bay or other river

sand - when melted at very high heat, quartz sand turns into a liquid that makes glass, and ceramics; also used in construction

water-related resources - groundwater, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, bays and the Atlantic Ocean are considered water resources in VA

watershed - an area of land where all the water above and below ground flows to the same place

Updated: May 20, 2016