- Third Grade
- Reading, Writing, Social Studies
- 65 minutes
- Standards: RI.3.5, W.3.2, W.3.5
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Are your students ready for a virtual road trip? In this lesson, your students will learn more about clusters of states called regions and explore the unique characteristics of the states within each region!
Students will be able to use the directions to describe the positions of various regions in the United States. Students will be able identify unique characteristics of that region. Students will be able to construct written descriptions about regions in the United States.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Review the basic directions of north, south, east, and west by playing a ball toss game.
- Display an enlarged map of the United States.
- Challenge the students to gently toss a small bean bag or cloth ball to touch one of the states on the map.
- Invite the other students to name the position or direction of the state (north, south, east, or west).
- Tell the students that they will be going on a “road trip” of the United States and learning more about the regions or clusters of states within the United States.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Using One Region at a Time, display the first region, the southeast, on the SMART Board.
- Show the students how they can locate the southeastern states using the labeled United States map.
- Use a search engine to show the students how they can identify information about that particular region.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Show the students the group of states that represent the east coast region.
- Divide students into groups of 3-5 students each, and challenge the students to locate information on the states along the east coast.
- Guide the students through the research process in identifying the states and relevant information.
- Invite students to share the information they found with the entire class. Model the process of recording the information on the graphic organizer.
- Lead the students in brainstorming other research questions about the region.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Assign each group of 3-5 students a different region. Distribute one graphic organizer to each group of students.
- Direct the students to work as a group to locate facts about the region using various search engines and websites.
- Guide the students in writing and answering research questions as needed.
- Enrichment: Challenge the students to compare and contrast two separate regions. Ask them to identify how the regions are similar and different. Challenge them to also compare and contrast differences between states within their researched region. Have them compare products from the food map of the states with other states.
- Support: Provide additional examples of research questions that students can either use or use as templates to create their own research questions. Have students research one state in particular to practice gathering information.
- Direct your students to locate pictures of various regions of the United States using free educational photography websites. Invite the students to write descriptions of the landmarks in the regions that they researched.
- Have the students create presentations online of the regions that they researched.
Related Books and/or Media
- The Northeast by Dana Meachen Rau
- The Southwest by Dana Meachen Rau
- The West by Dana Meachen Rau
- The Midwest by Dana Meachen Rau
- 35 Best Books for Teaching Regions by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Ask your students to list three facts about their region.
- Display a copy of a blank US map that shows the states. Invite the students to come up and draw the boundary lines of their regions.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Tell the students that they are going to complete their “road trip” of the regions. Gather the students into a whole group and invite individual groups to share what they learned about the region that they researched.
- Play the Geographic Regions Song to review the various regions in the United States and their characteristics.