Virginia GeoInquiries

Virginia GeoInquiries are modeled after Ersi’s GeoInquiry collections. A GeoInquiry is a scripted learning activity based on a map with multiple layers, tools, and symbols.

The process of geographic inquiry includes 5 stages: Ask geographic questions, Acquire geographic resources, Explore geographic data, Analyze geographic information, and Act on geographic knowledge. These stages are included in the questions posed in each GeoInquiry. Read more about the process of geographic analysis here.

Designed for whole class use, each GeoInquiry is estimated to be completed in 15-30 minutes. The activities employ the Geographic Information System available in ArcGIS Online and require no login. Make a copy and post where students can readily access the Google document.

NOTE: The VGA released an updated Virginia GeoInquiry collection in 2023 that uses the new Atlas App by Esri based on the National Geographic Maker. Access these activities at

A flipsnack book for the Virginia GeoInquiries is available as a one stop overview for teachers at

Virginia GeoInquiries

GeoInquiry 1: Jamestown 1607-1614

GeoInquiry 2: Where do Virginians Live?

GeoInquiry 3: American Revolution

GeoInquiry 4: Agriculture in Virginia

GeoInquiry 5: Standing Up to Jim Crow

GeoInquiry 6 : Land Use and the Chesapeake Bay

GeoInquiry 7: The Geography of Emancipation 

GeoInquiry 8: Virginia’s Economy

GeoInquiry 9: Virginia’s Waterways

These Virginia-based GeoInquiries are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning for Virginia Studies and Science. The relevant SOLs are listed with each GeoInquiry.

Student Worksheets

GeoInquiry 1: Jamestown 1607-1614 (Word)
                        Jamestown 1607-1614 (Google)

GeoInquiry 2: Where do Virginians Live? (Word)
                        Where do Virginians Live? (Google)

GeoInquiry 3: American Revolution (Word)
                        American Revolution (Google)

GeoInquiry 4: Agriculture in Virginia (Word)
                        Agriculture in Virginia (Google)

GeoInquiry 5: Standing Up to Jim Crow (Word)
                        Standing Up to Jim Crow (Google)

GeoInquiry 6: Land Use and the Chesapeake Bay (Word)
                        Land Use and the Chesapeake Bay (Google)

GeoInquiry 7: The Geography of Emancipation (Word)
                        The Geography of Emancipation (Google)

GeoInquiry 8: Virginia’s Economy (Word)
                        Virginia’s Economy 

GeoInquiry 9: Virginia’s Waterways (Word)
                        Virginia’s Waterways (Google)


Authors: Chris Bunin, Albemarle High School, Albemarle County; Georgeanne Hribar, Old Dominion University, Virginia Beach; Christina Troxell, Old Donation School, Virginia Beach


The ArcGIS Online mapping platform is freely available to U.S. public, private, and home schools as part of the White House ConnectED initiative. A school subscription provides additional security, privacy, and content features. Learn more about ArcGIS Online and how to get a school subscription at

LEARN MORE about the use and features of ArcGIS Onine by watching one or more episodes of the Mapping Hour.

Comments are closed.