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Oh, the Regions!

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Summary

Students will locate and describe the location of the geographic regions of North America. Students will identify and compare the geography, climate, water features, flora, and fauna of the different regions.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will locate and describe the location of the geographic regions of North America.
  • Students will identify and compare the geography, climate, water features, flora, and fauna of the different regions.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs

Background Knowledge

  • Geographical features
  • Landmarks
  • Climate
  • Landforms
  • Venn diagrams
  • Collage

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Fauna
  • Canadian Shield
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Reverse (back)
  • Coastal Plain
  • Interior Lowlands
  • Basin and Range
  • Flora
  • Appalachian Mountains
  • Great Plains
  • Coastal Range

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “Oklahoma Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Geographical Regions” worksheet
    • “Map of US Regions”
    • “Regions Rubric”
  • “Geographical Regions” worksheet
  • “Regions Rubric”
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about the scissor-tailed flycatcher. For ex­ample:
    • Life of the Flycatcher by Alexander F.  Skutch
    • State Birds and Flowers by Olive L.  Earle
    • National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Large poster boards
  • Folders or envelopes

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “Oklahoma Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Geographical Regions” worksheet
    • “Regions Rubric”
    • “Map of US Regions”
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Geographical Regions” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Regions Rubric” (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about the scissor-tailed flycatcher (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for two sessions.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the Interior Lowlands region or Oklahoma.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the geographical regions of the United States (Coastal Plain, Appalachian Mountains, Canadian Shield, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Basin and Range, and Coastal Range).
  • Gather large poster boards (1 per 2 students)
  • Gather folders or envelopes (1 per 2 students)
  • Find examples of collages

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/306.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the “Oklahoma Quarter Reverse” page. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front of a coin. Locate Oklahoma on a classroom map.  Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the Oklahoma quarter design.  Have the students identify the images and the writing included in this design.  Particularly focus on the scissor- tailed flycatcher, which is the state bird, and the Indian blanket, which is the state wildflower.  Explain to the students that the flycatcher is an example of fauna (the animals of a given region), and the Indian blanket is an example of flora (plants of a given region).  Record these terms and definitions on chart paper or the board.
  3. Ask the students to identify some characteristics of the scissor-tailed flycatcher they can see just by looking at the image and make a web on the board.  Have the stu­ dents focus on the length of the tail. Ask the students whether they think the bird’s having such a long tail would make it difficult to live in a heavily wooded area. From the selected text, read to the students some information about the scissor-
  4. tailed flycatcher. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts. Add information to the web on the flycatcher.
  5. Review with the students that the scissor-tailed flycatcher, with its long tail, lives in open areas. Tell the students that Oklahoma is located in the Great Plains and Interior Lowlands regions of the United States. Tell the students that the Great Plains and Interior Lowlands are two of eight geographical regions of the United States.
  6. Display the transparency of the “Map of US Regions.” Explain to the students that the regions are based on the geographical features of that area.  Each region has characteristics that make it different from the other regions.
  7. Point out to the students that some states like Oklahoma are in two or more different regions. The Great Plains region is characterized by grasslands—that is, flat land covered with grasses and low bushes. A grasslands region has generally level or rolling terrain. The Interior Lowlands region is characterized by rolling flatlands with many rivers, broad river valleys, and grassy hills.  Both of these areas are ideal for the flycatcher to live in.
  8. Have students list some other geographical features or landforms and make a list on the board.  Examples include mountains, plains, coastal plains, hills, valleys, and lowlands.
  9. On the transparency of the “Map of US Regions,” point out to the students that a large part of Oklahoma is in the Interior Lowlands region. Display the transparency of the “Geographical Regions” worksheet.  Explain to the students that they will be working in pairs and researching the Interior Lowlands. As they are researching they are to find pictures or symbols for the Interior Lowlands region. They can either draw or print them out.
  10. Distribute a “Geographical Regions” worksheet to each student.  Have the students fill in the Interior Lowlands section of the worksheet based on their research.  Ex­plain to the students that they will only complete half of the worksheet today.
  11. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to research.
  12. Collect the “Geographical Regions” worksheets.  Distribute to each student a folder or envelope where they can keep their pictures and symbols.

Session 2

  1. Redistribute the “Geographical Regions” worksheet from the previous session to each student.  Display the transparency of the “Geographical Regions” worksheet. With student input, fill in the Interior Lowlands/Oklahoma region of the transpar­ ency.
  2. Explain to the students that there are eight geographical regions of the United States.They are: Coastal Plain, Appalachian Mountains, Canadian Shield, Interior lowlands, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Basin and Ridge, and Coastal Range. Each pair of students will be given a region other than the Interior Lowlands region. They will research this region and fill in the chart. As they are researching they are to find pictures or symbols for this region. They can either draw or print them out.
  3. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to research and fill out the second half of their worksheets.
  4. Collect the “Geographical Regions” worksheets.  Have the students keep their pictures and symbols in a folder or envelope.

Session 3

  1. Redistribute the “Geographical Regions” worksheets from the previous session. Explain to the students that they will be creating a collage of the two regions on a poster. Ask the students whether they know what a collage is.  If necessary, give them the definition and show them some examples.
  2. Distribute the poster boards, one board per pair of students.  Have the students draw a large Venn diagram on the poster board.  On one side of the Venn diagram will be the Interior Lowlands/Oklahoma and on the other, the region they researched during the previous session.  Have the students label each side.
  3. Explain to the students that they will be creating a collage on the Venn diagram comparing the two different regions from their research. They will use the pictures or drawings from their research to create the collage.  Display the transparency of the “Regions Rubric.”  Review the rubric with the students.
  4. Allow the students time to create their collages, then collect them.

Session 4

  1. Display the collages and have the students share their posters with the class.
  2. Distribute the “Regions Rubric” and have the students complete the rubric based on their posters and presentations.
  3. Collect the rubrics.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work independently or in groups of three or four.
  • Have students use precut pictures or symbols and have them sort them according to the regions

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a poster or advertisement for a region.
  • Make a large poster of the United States and create a class collage using pictures or symbols representing all the regions.
  • Have the students write an article comparing and contrasting two different regions.

Use the “Regions Rubrics” to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objec­tives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Disciplinary Standards
Cluster: Geography
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • guide learners in the use of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
  • enable learners to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
  • assist learners to analyze the spatial information about people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand the physical and human characteristics of places
  • assist learners in developing the concept of regions as a means to interpret Earth’s complexity
  • enable learners to understand how culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions
  • provide learners opportunities to understand and analyze the physical processes that shape Earth’s surface
  • challenge learners to consider the characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
  • guide learners in exploring the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand and analyze the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
  • have learners explore the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface
  • enable learners to describe the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
  • challenge learners to examine how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface; help learners see how human actions modify the physical environment
  • enable learners to analyze how physical systems affect human systems
  • challenge learners to examine the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
  • help learners to apply geography to interpret the past and present and to plan for the future
  • enhance learners’ abilities to ask questions and to acquire, organize, and analyze geographic information so they can answer geographic questions as they engage in the study of substantive geographic content

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Global Connections
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to explain how interactions among language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • help learners to explain conditions and motivations that contribute to conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, and nations
  • provide opportunities for learners to analyze and evaluate the effects of changing technologies on the global community
  • challenge learners to analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as health care, security, resource allocation, economic development, and environmental quality
  • guide learner analysis of the relationships and tensions between national sovereignty and global interests in such matters as territorial disputes, economic development, nuclear and other weapons deployment, use of natural resources, and human rights concerns
  • have learners analyze or formulate policy statements that demonstrate an understanding of concerns, standards, issues, and conflicts related to universal human rights
  • help learners to describe and evaluate the role of international and multinational organizations in the global arena
  • have learners illustrate how individual behaviors and decisions connect with global systems

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: History and Nature of Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Science as a human endeavor
  • Nature of science
  • History of science

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: History and Nature of Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Science as a human endeavor

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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