Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Second Grade - Geography Overview - October

The geography of the Americas continues through the month of February in various degrees. You will find terms and map skills incorporated in the American Civilization lessons wherever possible.

In daily lessons use geography terms wherever possible. Trace the routes of characters in literature, ask for brief definitions when terms come up in other studies, and frequently review material that has already been covered. Continue to review the continents, equator, Northern and Southern Hemispheres, North and South Poles, the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, and city, state, country, continent, earth.

Students will be looking at the United States often over the next few months. Help them to see how the United States has changed as territories have become states. They may be surprised to know the areas of our country that were territories not very long ago.


Second Grade - Geography - Lesson 5


Locate Canada, United States, Mexico on a map of North America.

Compare U.S. of 1812 to U.S. of today.

Locate Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on N. America map.

Define and identify boundary on a map of the United States.


Map of North America.

Blackline of the contiguous United States for transparency


Students should already be familiar with the continent of North America and the three countries that share its land. Review the locations and definitions of equator, North and South Poles and the hemispheres.

Have a student trace the border of the contiguous United States. Explain that contiguous means "touching." The contiguous United States are the states that are touching one another. Alaska and Hawaii do not touch other states. Have students identify the oceans and gulf. Have them name the two countries that share borders with the United States. Point out Alaska and Hawaii and their locations relative to the contiguous United States. Review island and peninsula relating to these pieces of land. Help students to see the size of Alaska relative to the other states.

Have a student locate the east coast of the United States. Remind students that as people came to America from Europe this is where they settled. Have several students trace the borders of the thirteen colonies that became states. Review their names (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey). Tell the students that a boundary means the line that divides one place from another and that in this example boundary and border mean the same thing.

Use the transparency and show the students that originally with states and settlements the U.S. territory extended to the Mississippi River. In 1803 a large piece of land (almost as big as all the land we already had) was purchased from France. That land, called the Louisiana Purchase, made the land that was part of the United States much larger.

The land that makes up the area of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho was known as the Oregon Territory and was settled by the United States and Britain. The southwest belonged to Spain.

Tell the students that in upcoming lessons they will see the United States change as it grows. Remind them that they, too, are changing as they grow.