Major U.S. Physical Features
This lesson provides an overview of the locations of major physical features of the United States answering the essential question "What are the major physical features of the United States?"
Keywords: physical features United States
1. Identify major physical features of the United States.
Identify major United States physical features on a map of North America. (SS.5.G.1.3)
Construct maps, charts, and graphs to display geographic information. (SS.5.G.1.4)
Go to http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/usa.html, click on United States (no labels) and print and copy US outline map.
Set up projector to show Google Earth zoomed onto the US.
Gather color pencils, crayons.
1. Pass out the outline maps and color pencils/crayons.
2. Using Google Earth, have students describe what they can see from the hybrid satellite image of the United States. Make sure students point out the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River, Great Lakes and the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains.
3. Have students create a key with symbols for mountains, ocean, river. Using these symbols and labeling, have students mark the major physical features on their map.
4. Allow students to complete their maps and share through the document camera.
5. Have students answer the questions "What are the major physical features of the United States?" and "What impact do you think the features have on migration?" (This creates a great segway to US migration.)
5. Collect maps for use when introducing regions of the United States.
Use student created maps for assessment. In addition, you can review answers to the essential question "What are the major physical features of the United States?
Extensions and Adaptations
Have students create a map of the local physical features of their town or state.
Estimated Lesson Duration