©BCP&CKF DRAFT
 

Fifth Grade - American Geography - May - Overview
 

There are three lessons in this month's American Geography unit. Lesson 17, "The Gulf Stream" reviews the warm North Atlantic ocean current known as the Gulf Stream. The lesson describes how the current is formed, how it moves, and its effects on the climates of coastal areas of Central America and the United States. Lesson 18, "Regions of the USA" presents one way of dividing the USA into regions and discusses alternate ways of doing the same. "States and their Capitals" is the title of Lesson 19. This lesson locates the fifty states of the USA, state capitals, and the national capital, Washington, DC. Each lesson includes written or oral activities that require students to use the presented information. Each lesson builds on the previous one. For this reason, the lessons should be used in the numerical order in which they are presented.
 

Fifth Grade - American Geography - Lesson 17 - The Gulf Stream
 

Objectives

Recall the location of the Western Hemisphere, North America, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf Stream.

Recall terms used in geography: peninsula, gulf, etc.

Distinguish weather from climate.

Discuss the Gulf Stream and its effects on the climates of coastal regions of North America.
 

Materials

Diagrams of World Climate Zones, and the Gulf Stream, attached (for transparency)

One worksheet per student (optional)

Classroom-size map of the world
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Clark, John. Hands On Science: Seas and Oceans. New York: Gloucester Press, 1992. This book contains a chapter on ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream. Recommend it to your students.

Engel, Leonard. Young Readers' Nature Library: The Sea. Alexandria: Time-Life Books, 1979.

Chapter 3 of this book includes a discussion of the Gulf Stream. Recommend it to your students.

Hargreaves, Pat, ed. Seas and Oceans: The Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Morristown: Wayland, 1980. Page 26 of this book discusses the Gulf Stream and its effect on climate.

Mason, John. Our World: Weather and Climate. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Burdett, 1988. Chapter 7 of this book contains a brief discussion of the Gulf Stream and its effects on climate. Recommend it to your students.

Rothaus, Don P. Oceans. New York: The Child's World, Inc., 1997. This nonfiction picture book discusses oceans in general. Recommend it to your students.
 

Teacher Reference

Barton, Robert. Atlas of the Sea. New York: The John Day Company, 1974. This teacher's reference contains detailed discussions of the Gulf Stream in chapters 2 and 8.
 

Teacher Background

For this lesson, students recall the location of the Gulf Stream from a prior Fifth Grade Geography lesson and the principle of energy transfer through convection from a prior Fifth Grade Science lesson. Much of this lesson, excepting winds, and the effects of the Gulf Stream on coastal climates, has been introduced to students in prior science and geography lessons. Conduct the review sections with a lively pace. Write as many terms as possible on the board without cluttering it, and provide many opportunities as possible for students to identify features on maps.

Vocabulary

Climate: the average weather of a place over a long period of time

Weather: condition of the atmosphere (temperature, rainfall, etc.) of a given place at a given time
 

Procedure

Ask the students to recall from a prior Fifth Grade Science lesson how energy is transferred within a pan of boiling water. Ask: Is the water near the surface as hot as that near the bottom of a boiling pan? (no) Ask: Which is hotter? (bottom) Ask: Can you describe how cooler water in a pan moves in relation to warmer water? (cooler, heavier water closer to surface sinks to the bottom to replace rising lighter, warmer water) Draw and label a simple diagram of the flow of boiling water in a pan. Ask the students to bear that image in mind throughout this lesson, because it explains the movements of the earth's ocean currents. Emphasize that there is a similar exchange of water taking place between the warmer areas and the cooler ones in the earth's oceans.

Put up the diagram of world climate zones on the overhead. Ask for a student to identify the equator (horizontal line in middle of map). Ask: What line divides the earth into a northern and southern hemisphere? (equator) Ask: What does hemisphere mean? (half of sphere) Ask: What are lines of latitude? (lines running east to west, parallel to equator on map) Ask: What are lines of longitude? (lines running north to south, perpendicular to equator) Ask: Which lines measure distance north or south of the equator? (latitude) Ask: Which is hotter, an area closer or farther away from the equator? (closer) Write "altitude" and "latitude" on the board and ask: What is the difference between altitude and latitude? (altitude is height above or below sea level, latitude is distance north or south of the equator) Ask: What does "frigid" mean? (cold) Ask: What does "tropical" mean? (warm or hot) Ask: What does "temperate" mean? (cool, neither hot nor cold, moderate) Ask: How would you describe the location of the temperate zone in relation to the tropical and the frigid zones? (between the two) Ask: What climate type exists at the North Pole? (frigid)

Tell the students that the waters of the ocean are always in motion; especially near the surface. Explain that large movements of masses of water are called ocean currents. Write "ocean currents" on the board. Explain that there are two major types of ocean currents; cold ones and warm ones. Ask: Where would warm currents flow from? (tropics) Ask: Where would cold currents flow from? (temperate zones, frigid zones) Ask: Can you identify where warm and cold ocean currents flow to? (generally warm currents toward poles, and cold currents toward tropics) Tell the students that largely because of ocean currents, the oceans of the world are linked by a kind of circulatory system. Explain that because of this circulatory system, a pollutant such as floating trash may be carried halfway around the globe by an ocean current. Tell the students in the age of sails, sailing ships plying the route from the American colonies to England used the force of ocean currents to speed them along.

Explain that ocean currents are pushed by two main factors; the presence of warm and cold bodies of water, and winds. Ask the students to recall how water moves in a boiling pan. Explain that just as cooler water nearer the surface replaces warmer water at the bottom of the pan, ocean currents occur because oceans have areas that are cooler and others that are warmer. Explain that this is so because the same ocean may stretch across climate zones. Ask: Which part of the ocean would you expect to be warmer? (in tropical zone) Ask a volunteer to point out the tropical zone of the Atlantic Ocean (between Central America and western Africa). Ask: Which section of the Atlantic Ocean do you expect to be cooler? (between North America on the east and northwestern Africa and Europe on the wast, and tips of South America and southern Africa) Explain that the warmer water flows toward the poles and cooler water flows toward the equator, doing so in sort of a circular motion. Point out the direction of their flow on a map. Tell the students this is the first factor pushing ocean currents; the unequal heating of parts of the ocean. Explain that the second factor pushing ocean currents is the force of winds acting on the surface of the ocean. Explain that winds that blow constantly in one direction can push huge masses of water along.

Tell the students that the Gulf Stream is a North Atlantic Ocean current running northeastward off the east coast of North America. Display the diagram of the Gulf Stream. Ask for a volunteer to identify the east coast of North America on the map. Ask for students to identify American states that are located on the east coast ( Florida, South Carolina, etc). Ask the students to justify the word "Gulf" in the current's name (flows through the Gulf of Mexico). Ask: What is a gulf? (portion of ocean that is partly enclosed by land) Ask for volunteers to identify other gulfs on a map of the world (Guinea in Africa and many others on all continents). Ask: Would you expect the Gulf Stream to be a cold or warm current? (warm) Ask: Why? (starts in tropical climate zone) Point the areas out on the map as you go along and explain that the Gulf Stream is a warm current that starts in the Caribbean, moves through the Gulf of Mexico, up the coast of Florida, onto Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and past the area southeast of Newfound-land, Canada. Ask the students to identify Florida, Cape Hatteras, and Newfoundland on a map of the world. Ask the students to observe the shape of the coastline and be prepared to define the landforms shown on the map. Point to the area and ask: What is a piece of land that sticks out into the ocean, as southern Florida does, called? (peninsula) Point to Cape Hatteras and tell the students that a cape is a geographical feature that is similar to a peninsula in that it also juts into the sea. Tell the students that they differ in at least one way. Ask: How do a cape and a peninsula differ? (cape juts out less, peninsula more) Ask: What is Newfoundland? (island) Ask: What is a cluster of islands called? (archipelago) Tell the students that the coastline shapes the path of an ocean current. Illustrate this point by tracing the current's path on the map with a ruler. At the same time, remind the students that the Gulf Stream starts in the Caribbean Sea, curls into the Gulf of Mexico, and around the Florida peninsula, going north off Cape Hatteras, swinging east off the island of Newfoundland, and becoming slower and broader across the Atlantic. Tell the students that the Gulf Stream affects two continents because it flows over to the coast of Western Europe. Ask the students to identify Western Europe on the map. Ask: How does the Gulf Stream cross from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic? (water passage between Cuba and Florida) Point the passage out on the map. Ask: What is the name of a narrow water passage between two seas or oceans? (strait) Ask the students to think of a name for this strait. Ask: How would you name this strait? (Answers may vary.) Tell the students that it is called the Straits of Florida.

Tell the students that the Gulf Stream, like other ocean currents, is called a "river in the ocean." Ask: Why is it called a river? (flowing water, twisting like a river) Explain that it is frequently accompanied by squalls (storms marked by violent winds and rains). Write "squalls" on the board. Tell the students, however, that ocean currents are mightier than rivers and that off the US coast, the Gulf Stream carries seventy-five times as much water as all the rivers of the earth combined. Tell the students that the Gulf Stream has a deep indigo-blue color which is different from the dull green of the surrounding water.

Tell the students that the Gulf Stream affects the climate of some coastal areas of the Caribbean, Central America, and the USA. Ask: What is weather? (condition of the atmosphere of a given place at a given time) Ask: Does weather change frequently? (It may change from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour.) Ask: What are the conditions in the atmosphere that are included in weather? (temperature (heat or cold), precipitation (rain, snow, etc.), winds, etc) Ask: What is climate? (average weather conditions of a place taken usually over a period of many years) Ask: How are averages found? (adding a number of values and dividing the total by the total number of values added) Ask: Which is measured over a longer period, weather or climate? (climate)

Tell the students that three important factors affecting the climate of a place are latitude or distance north or south of the equator, altitude or elevation (height above or below sea level), and the presence of ocean currents. Ask: How does latitude affect the climate of a place? (closer to the equator, the hotter it is) Ask: How does altitude affect the climate of a place? (the greater the altitude, the cooler it gets) Ask: How does the presence of ocean currents affect the climate of a place? (winds carry moisture and temperature conditions of the current onto the land) Ask: Which areas would be most affected by ocean currents, the sea coasts or the interior of continents? (coasts) Tell the students there are two broad types of climates; oceanic and continental. Write "oceanic" and "continental" on the board. Ask: What does oceanic mean? (close to the ocean) Ask: What does continental mean? (far from the ocean, deep within continent) Explain that oceanic climates occur nearer the oceans and there, the presence of the water reduces the range of temperature and increases the amount of rainfall. Ask the students to cite examples of places with oceanic climates (east and west coast states of US, east and west coast of Mexico, Hawaiian Islands, Caribbean Islands) Tell the students that continental climates occur deep within the continental landmasses. There, temperature range is large, and total rainfall is small. Ask: Can you cite examples of states in the US with continental climates? (Utah, Kansas, etc.) Explain that range is a difference between values. For example, the daily range of temperature is the difference between the hottest and coolest temperature recordings of the day.

Remind the students that ocean currents help control the climate of certain places on earth. Ask: What aspect of climate might ocean currents affect the most? (temperature) Ask: How would ocean currents affect temperature? (Currents may cool or warm land areas depending on whether they are hot or cold.) Tell the students that the Gulf Stream helps give Florida a warm oceanic climate. Ask: How does the climate of Florida affect how people earn their living there? (tourism, fishing, agriculture) Tell the students that the warm water of the Gulf Stream affects areas as far away as the coast of Western Europe.

You may assign the attached activities to your students to be completed independently or to the whole class as a written or oral exercise. These activities were designed to give the students opportunities for using information learned during the lesson. An answer key is provided below.
 

Answer Key

Activity 1

Part 1: Multiple Choice

1. C 5. A 9. D

2. A 6. B 10. A

3. D 7. A

4. B 8. A
 

Part Two: Fill-in-the-Blanks

1. island 5. latitude 8. peninsula

2. archipelago 6. altitude 9. gulf

3. ocean 7. strait 10. longitude

4. hemisphere
 

Part Three: Mapwork

1. B 5. A.

2. D 6. C

3. E 7. C, D

4. G 8. F
 

Answer Key

Activity 2
 

Part 1: Short Answer

1. This response explains that latitude means distance away from the equator. Also, the closer one gets to the equator the warmer it gets and vice versa.
 

2. This response explains that an oceanic climate is one in which the climate is affected by the ocean. The Florida coast and the Caribbean Islands have oceanic climates. This climatic effect of the ocean causes a small range in temperature and a high total rainfall.
 

3. This response explains that weather is the changing conditions of the atmosphere whereas climate is the average weather conditions of a place as measured over a very long period.
 

4. This response explains that Florida is warmed by the Gulf Stream to the point that it is warmer than many other American states. This has helped give rise to tourism which benefits Florida

economically.
 

This response may also cite the economic benefits of fishing and agriculture due to the Gulf's warming effect on the climate.
 

5. This response explains that ocean currents may carry an object thousands of miles across the ocean.
 
 
 

Name: _______________________________________________________________________
 

Activity 1

Multiple Choice

Directions: Circle the letter of the correct answer.
 

1. Which best describes the weather of a place?

A. Morning temperature B. Afternoon temperature

C. Conditions in the atmosphere at 8:00 AM D. Morning rain
 

2. Which best describes the climate of a place?

A. Average weather for over thirty years B. Daily temperature range

C. Average weather for a year D. Average weather for a month
 

3. Which climate zone lies on the equator?

A. Temperate B. Frigid

C. North Frigid D. Tropical
 

4. Which climate zone lies near the North and South Poles?

A. Temperate B. Frigid

C. Tropical D. All of the above
 

5. An oceanic climate occurs in one of these places.

A. On a sea coast B. Deep within a continent

C. At the top of a high mountain D. On the bank of a river
 

6. Ocean currents are generally one of these types.

A. Strong or weak B. Warm or cold

C. Wet or dry D. Deep or shallow
 

7. One of the following helps push ocean currents along.

A. Winds B. Rainfall

C. Altitude D. Seasons
 

8. The coast of one of the following states is warmed by the flow of the Gulf Stream.

A. Florida B. Oregon

C. California D. Hawaii
 

9. The Gulf Stream brings many of these.

A. Snowstorms B. Tornadoes

C. Hurricanes D. Squalls
 

10. A continental climate occurs in one of these locations.

A. Deep within a continent B. On a sea coast

C. At the top of a high mountain D. On the bank of a river
 
 
 

Name: ________________________________________________________________________
 

Part Two

Fill-in-the-Blanks

Directions: Fill in the blanks in the sentences below with these words. You will not use any word more than once, and you should not have any words left over.
 

gulf strait island ocean

peninsula archipelago longitude latitude

altitude hemisphere
 

1. An _______________________________ is a landmass that is surrounded by water.
 

2. An _______________________________ is a group of islands clustered together in an ocean.
 

3. An ______________________________ is one of the large bodies of saltwater covering most of the earth.
 

4. The word ____________________________ means half of a sphere.
 

5. Lines of ______________________________ run parallel to the equator on a map.
 

6. _____________________________ means elevation or height above or below sea level.
 

7. A ______________________________ is a narrow water passage connecting two oceans or seas.
 

8. A _____________________________ is a piece of land jutting into the sea.
 

9. A _____________________________ is a portion of an ocean or sea that is partly enclosed by land.
 

10. Lines of _________________________________ run north to south on a map.
 

Part Three: Mapwork

Directions: Some locations, symbols, and geographical features on the attached map are marked with letters. Write the letters of the location, symbol, or feature in front of the word or phrase that identifies it.
 

1. _____ gulf 5. _____ Gulf Stream

2. _____ peninsula 6. _____ archipelago
 

3. _____ sea 7. _____ area experiencing oceanic climate
 

4. _____ continent 8. _____ northeasterly wind
 

Name: ________________________________________________________________________
 

Activity 2

Part One: Short Answers

Directions: Answer each of the following questions by writing at least one complete sentence.
 

1. Describe how latitude affects the climate of a place.
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

2. Explain what is meant by an oceanic climate. Cite one place which experiences an oceanic climate.
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

3. Explain the difference between climate and weather.
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

Name: ________________________________________________________________________
 

4. Explain how the state of Florida benefits economically from the Gulf Stream.
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

5. Use your knowledge of world ocean currents to explain to a sailor on the Chesapeake Bay why by tossing a milk jug into local waters he may also end up polluting the waters of the North Atlantic.
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

______________________________________________________________________________
 

Fifth Grade - American Geography - Lesson 18 - Regions of the USA
 

Objective

Recall that the USA is divided into regions of various types.
 

Materials

Classroom-size political map of the USA

Classroom-size map of the world

Map of the regions of the Continental USA, attached (for transparency)
 

Teacher Background

For this lesson, students recall the regions of the Continental USA from prior American Geography lessons in Fifth Grade.
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Bacon, Josephine. The Doubleday Atlas of the United States of America. New York: Doubleday,

1990. This atlas contains color photographs and information written in simple English on each state. Recommend it to your independent readers.

Novosad, Charles. The Nystrom Atlas of Our Country. Chicago: Nystrom, 1996. This atlas contains simple passages and color pictures that make it easy to read. Recommend it to your students.
 

Procedure

Tell the students during this lesson, they will recall the regions of the USA. Ask: What is a region? (area with common features) Ask: How are regions decided? (according to location, climate, history, way of life, etc.) Ask: Why is it necessary to divide the USA into regions? (better identify or describe specific areas and distinguish them one from the other)

Ask for a volunteer to locate the USA on a map of the world. To ensure that all major regions of the USA are included, ask the students to identify the oceans in which US territory is located (Atlantic, Pacific). Ask: What is the name of the region or state which is made up of islands within the Pacific Ocean? (Hawaii) Ask for a volunteer to locate Hawaii on the map. Ask: What word in geography means a very large landmass? (continent, mainland) Ask: What name refers to the regions of the USA that are located on the North American continent? (Continental USA) Ask: What name is given to that region of the Continental USA that does not include Alaska? (Contiguous USA) Ask: What is the meaning of "contiguous"? (touching one another) Ask: Can a state be a region? (yes) Ask: Can you identify the two major regions of the Continental USA? (Alaska, Contiguous States of the US) Ask: Can you cite another example of a region that is also a state of the US? (Hawaii) (Please be sure to explain that Hawaii is not part of the Continental USA.)

Remind the students that in a prior American Geography lesson they discussed the regions of the Contiguous USA. Ask: Can anyone recall the names of some of the regions of the USA? (New England, Mid-Atlantic, South, Pacific Northwest, West, Southwest, Midwest, Great Plains) Write these names on the board. Ask the students to observe that these regions are made up of more than one state. Ask: What does the division into regions tell you about the USA? (large, diverse) Put up the transparency of the map of the regions of the Contiguous USA. Remind the students that this is one of many ways of dividing the USA into regions.

Ask: What does the name "New England" tell you about the history of that region? (settled by people from England) Ask: What is England? (country in Europe) Ask for a volunteer to identify England on a map. Ask: Why might the region have been called "New" and not just

England? (Students may suggest that it reflects a desire for a new start or new home on the part of settlers.) Ask: Where is England located in relation to New England? (eastward, across the ocean) Ask: How did the settlers from England get to New England? (by sailing ships across the ocean) Ask: What does the fact that New England and England are linked by ships or the ocean tell you about the location of New England? Or, is New England located on a coast or deep within a continent? (coast) Ask the students to identify the sea coasts of the Contiguous US (Pacific, Gulf, Atlantic). Ask: Where is each of these sea coasts located? (Pacific, west; Gulf, southeast; Atlantic, east) Tell the students that the New England region's name comes from its history. Ask: Based on its location on the Atlantic, can you suggest another name for the New England region? (North Atlantic) If students suggest the word "Atlantic" alone, point out that a Mid-Atlantic area is listed.

Tell the students to locate the region that is called the Mid-Atlantic? (south of New England or North Atlantic) Ask: Can you justify this region's name? (midway on Atlantic coast) Tell the students that this region owes its name largely to its location or geography.

Ask for a volunteer to locate the South region on a map. Ask: Can you justify that region's name? (located in south of USA) Ask: Can you describe its location in relation to the Mid-Atlantic region? (south of Mid-Atlantic) Ask: What do the South and Mid-Atlantic regions have in common in terms of location? (on Atlantic) Ask: Can you suggest an appropriate name to reflect its location on the Atlantic Ocean? (South Atlantic) Ask: What does the name "The South" suggest in American history? (Civil War, agriculture, etc.) Ask: Can you tell what this present South region has in common with the historical South? (covers part of the historical South) Ask: What name would you propose for a large region that would include the present New England, Mid-Atlantic, and South regions? (Atlantic, East, East Coast) Ask: What would be the advantage of combining these into one large region? (more simple, more precise) This may be a good time to ask: Have you ever wondered who named these regions? (Answers may vary.) Tell the students that geographers (people who study geography) and cartographers (people who make maps) are some of the people who name regions. Ask: What information do geographers use to name and decide regions? (landforms, history, climate, location, economy, etc.) Ask: Who, apart from cartographers and geographers, might have an interest in dividing the country into regions? (national corporations and businesses such as airline, railway, shipping industries, etc.) Ask: How would dividing the country into regions help a business or industry? (Answers may vary.)

Have the students locate the Pacific Northwest, West, and Southwest regions. Ask: What do these three regions have in common? (on west coast, Pacific) Ask: What does the name Pacific Northwest say about the region? (located on Pacific Ocean, located in Northwest section of USA)

Ask: Can you evaluate how appropriate the name "West" is? (Answers may vary.) Ask: Can you suggest an improvement on the existing name for the West region or offer or a new name that would be more accurate? (Answers may vary.) Ask: How did this region get its name?

(location) Ask: Does the name have anything to do with the historical West? (includes part of historical west) Ask: If you combined the North Pacific, West and Southwest regions into one larger region, what would you call it? (West) Ask: Would the name Pacific region be appropriate for a combination of these three regions? (no) Ask: Why? (presently includes areas on the Gulf of

Mexico) Ask: What would be gained by combining the three regions into one? (simplification)

Ask: What would have been lost? (accuracy of the names)

Ask: Can you locate the Midwest on the map? Ask: Can you justify this name? (middle of the country; not as far west as California, etc.) Ask: Can you use the location of that area to propose a more appropriate name for the region? (Great Lakes Region, North Central Region) Ask: What would be the advantage of this new name? (Answers may vary.)

Ask for a volunteer to locate the Great Plains region. Ask: What are the Great Plains? (expanses of low-lying grassland) Ask: Does the name of this region owe its origin to the geography or history of the area? (geography) Invite the students to observe the boundaries between regions and ask: What other boundaries are used to specify the regions? (state boundaries, natural boundaries such as sea coast) Ask: Why? (for simplicity, ease of use) Ask: Does any regional boundary divide any single state into two or more sections? (no) Ask: Why? (to avoid confusion) Ask the students to observe the boundaries of the Great Plains region and comment on its shape (almost rectangular). Tell the students that some areas of the region's boundaries appear to be straight lines. Ask: Do you suppose that the boundary of the Great Plains region are where the Great Plains begin or end? (no) Ask: Might the plains extend beyond the border of this region? (yes) Ask: Might the Great Plains regions include other features besides plains such as hills? (yes) Ask: Can you comment on the purpose of dividing the country into regions? (to locate areas precisely) Ask: Can you comment on whether most people might agree on the divisions and boundaries of the regions presented here? (unlikely) Ask: What kind of information was used to divide the Contiguous USA into regions under this present system? (geography (location), history) Ask: Is the present system of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions useful? (yes) Tell the students that there are many other ways of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions, even using history and geography as guides for dividing them. Ask: How would you simplify the division into regions based on location? (East Coast, West Coast; East Coast Middle, West Coast; North, South, etc.)

Ask the students to locate their home state within the appropriate region on the map (Answers may vary). Ask the students to locate on the map at least one state in every region (New Hampshire, New England, etc.).

Ask the students to recall what they know about the history and geography of the USA in order to carry out the following task orally. Invite the students to use the existing system of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions to locate the following. Ask: In which regions can you swim in the warm waters of the ocean for much of the year? (parts of South, Southwest, West) Ask: Would a deep sea fisherman move to the Great Plains region to fish? (no) Ask: Why? (no sea present) Ask: Where might a deep sea fisherman live? (parts of New England, Mid-Atlantic, South, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest) Ask: Which region would a cattle rancher be attracted to? (Great Plains, Southwest, Midwest, West) Tell the students that areas experiencing continental climates receive little rainfall and are located deep within continental landmasses. Ask: Which regions are likely to have continental climates? (Midwest, parts of West, Great Plains) Ask: In which region might an architect who specializes in earthquake-proof buildings find work? (parts of West) Ask: To which regions might an archeologist (one who studies ancient artifacts) go if he wanted to search for items that date from the period of Western Expansion? (Midwest, Great Plains, West, Pacific Northwest) Ask: To which regions might archeologists searching for remains of the earliest European settlements go? (New England, Mid-Atlantic, South)

Ask the students to be prepared to discuss dividing the Contiguous USA into regions based on criteria that are different from those mentioned above. Ask: Suppose you were given the task of dividing the Contiguous USA into a desert and a non-desert region? (desert West and Southwest; rest, non-desert) Ask: Suppose you were given the task of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions using outdoor leisure activities; skiing, sailing, etc.? (skiing, New England, Mid-Atlantic, West; sailing, parts of New England, etc.)

Ask the students to recall other ways of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions (time zones, elevation, population centers). Finally, ask the students to think of their own ways of dividing the Contiguous USA into regions and share these with the class.
 

Fifth Grade - American Geography - Lesson 19 - States and their Capitals
 

Objective

Prepare a political map of the USA locating the fifty states, their capitals, and Washington DC.

Materials

Classroom-size map of the world

Classroom size map of the USA

One copy per group

Directions, attached

Map of the United States of America--States Named (attached)

Map of the United States of America--States and Capitals (attached)

Blank map of the United States of America, attached (attached)

Map of the United States of America--States Numbered (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Bacon, Josephine. The Doubleday Atlas of the United States of America. New York: Doubleday,

1990. This atlas contains color photographs and information written in simple language on each state. Recommend it to your independent readers.

Novosad, Charles. The Nystrom Atlas of Our Country. Chicago: Nystrom, 1996. This atlas contains simple passages and color pictures that make it easy to read. Recommend it to your students.
 

Teacher Background

For this lesson, students recall the regions of the USA from Lesson 17 and the states of the USA and their capitals from prior Fifth Grade lessons in American Geography. Carry out this lesson with a lively pace.
 

Procedure

Put up a map of the world and ask for a volunteer to locate the USA. Tell the students that in this lesson, they will locate the states of the USA, state capitals, and the national capital. Put up a political map of the USA. Ask: On what continent is the USA? (North America) Ask: What foreign countries share borders with the USA? (Canada, Mexico) Ask: Which foreign country borders the contiguous USA to the north? (Canada) Ask: Which foreign country borders the contiguous USA to the south? (Mexico)

Ask: How many states are there in the USA? (fifty) Ask: How are state boundaries shown on a map? (solid line) Ask: How many states are located on the continent of North America? (forty-nine) Ask: What is the name given to these forty-nine states of the US? (Continental USA) Ask: How many states touch one another? (forty-eight) Ask: What is the name given to the states that touch each other? (Contiguous USA) Which state is a continental state but not a contiguous state of the USA? (Alaska) Ask for a volunteer to locate Alaska on the map. Ask: Is Alaska an island or a peninsula? (peninsula) Ask: Which state of the USA is an archipelago? (Hawaii) Ask for a volunteer to locate Hawaii on the map.

Remind the students that the USA is a grouping of states with a federal government shared by all the states and a government for each state. Tell the students that cities have governments and the head of a city government is called a mayor. Ask: What is the head of the federal government of the USA called? (president) Ask: What is the head of the state government called? (governor) Tell the students that the president of the USA and governors of each of the fifty states work from offices located in specific cities. Ask: What is the name given to the cities where the state governors and the president work? (capital) Ask: Does the capital have to be the largest city in the state? (no) Ask: Which is the largest city in the USA? (New York City) Ask: Is New York City the capital of New York state? (no) Tell them it is not. Emphasize that the capital city is where the head of government works. Ask: What is the capital of the USA? (Washington, DC) Tell the students that Washington, DC is not the largest city in the USA, New York City is, but it is the city where the president of the USA works and that makes it the national capital. Ask: How are cities that are not capitals shown on the map? (Answers may vary depending on the maps used.) Ask: How are state capital cities shown on the map? (Answers may vary depending on the map.) Ask: How is the national capital shown on the map? (Answers may vary.) Tell the students that a physical map shows the height of the land, the location of rivers, trees, etc. Ask: What is the name of a map that shows mainly political boundaries? (political map) Ask: What is the title of the map you are using? (Answers may vary but titles may include the type of map [political or physical] and the place shown.)

Tell the students that they are to work in groups to prepare a political map of the USA on which they will locate the states of the USA, their capital cities, and the national capital. Ask the students to observe the classroom-size maps on display and recall what a complete map must include. Ask: What must be included on the map you are to prepare? (title) Ask: What does the title tell the reader about the map? (its purpose) Ask: What will your maps show? (location of states, state capital cities, and national capital) Ask: What else must a map contain? (key) Ask for a volunteer to identify a key on the classroom-size maps on display. Ask: What does the key tell the map reader? (what symbols on map mean) Ask: On the map you are about to prepare, what will the symbols you select mean? (national capital, state capitals)

Assign students who sit close to each other to groups of four. Ask each group to select from among them a reader who ensures that his or her group understands the task, a checker who ensures that the group completes the task with participation from everyone, a runner who collects and passes out materials, and a recorder who writes the group's responses.

Ask the runner in each group to collect the materials for the task. They are directions for the task, a map of the United States of America--States Named, a map of the United States of America--States and Capitals, a map of the United States of America--States Numbered, and a blank map of the USA. Ask for a volunteer to read the directions.

Demonstrate how the exercise should be done by displaying a copy of the worksheets and the attached maps. Explain that for Step A, students will write the names of the states and their capitals next to the appropriate numbers. Do number 1 as an example with the class. Tell the students that number 1 on the numbered map is written over the northwesternmost state. Refer to the map of the United States of America--States Named and show the students that number 1 matches the location of the state of Washington. Tell them that they will write "Washington" next to number 1. Tell the students they will read the map United States of America--States and Capitals to locate the capital of Washington state. The answer is Olympia. Explain to the students they will write "Olympia" in the "Capitals" column next to Washington. They will then repeat the activity for all fifty states. Tell the students that for Step B, they will write a title and prepare a key with symbols for the blank map of the United States. For Step C, the students will use the key to mark the location of state capitals and the national capital on the blank map. For Step D, they will transfer the abbreviation for each state onto the blank map of the USA. Tell the students, for example, the abbreviation for Washington state is "WA."

At the end of the exercise, ask the students to identify a selection of state capitals. For example, ask: What is the capital of Utah? (Salt Lake City) Ask: What is the state whose capital is Helena? (Montana)

An answer key for the attached activity is provided below.
 

Answer Key

Activity 1: Step A
 

STATES CAPITALS STATES CAPITALS

1. Washington Olympia 26. Nevada Carson City

2. Idaho Boise 27. Utah Salt Lake City

3. Montana Helena 28. Colorado Denver

4. North Dakota Bismarck 29. Kansas Topeka

5. Minnesota St Paul 30. Missouri Jefferson City

6. Wisconsin Madison 31. Kentucky Frankfort

7. Michigan Lansing 32. West Virginia Charleston

8. New York Albany 33. Virginia Richmond

9. Vermont Montpelier 34. Maryland Annapolis

10. New Hampshire Concord 35. Delaware Dover

11. Maine Augusta 36. Arizona Phoenix

12. Oregon Salem 37. New Mexico Santa Fe

13. Wyoming Cheyenne 38. Texas Austin

14. South Dakota Pierre 39. Oklahoma Oklahoma City

15. Nebraska Lincoln 40. Arkansas Little Rock

16. Iowa Des Moines 41. Tennessee Nashville

17. Illinois Springfield 42. North Carolina Raleigh

18. Indiana Indianapolis 43. Louisiana Baton rouge

19. Ohio Columbus 44. Mississippi Jackson

20. Pennsylvania Harrisburg 45. Alabama Montgomery

21. New Jersey Trenton 46. Georgia Atlanta

22. Connecticut Hartford 47. South Carolina Columbia

23. Rhode Island Providence 48. Florida Tallahassee

24. Massachusetts Boston 49. Alaska Juneau

25. California Sacramento 50. Hawaii Honolulu
 

Activity 1

Directions: Prepare a political map of the USA locating the fifty states, their capitals, and the national capital Washington, DC, using the maps of the USA.
 

Step A

Fold a sheet of lined paper in half lengthwise to make two columns. Head the first column "States" and the second column "Capitals." Number the paper from 1 to 50. Then, match each number to the state on the map United States of America--States Numbered, and write the names of the states and their capitals found on the map United States of America--States and Capitals in the blank spaces.
 

Step B

Write a title and prepare a key with symbols for the blank map United States of America.
 

Step C

Use the symbols from the map key to locate the national and state capitals on the blank map United States of America.
 

Step D

Transfer the abbreviation for each state onto the blank map United States of America.
 

Bibliography

Student Reference

Bacon, Josephine. The Doubleday Atlas of the United States of America. New York: Doubleday, 1990. (0-385-26395-3)

Clark, John. Hands On Science: Seas and Oceans. New York: Gloucester Press, 1992. (0-531-17368-2)

Engel, Leonard. Young Readers' Nature Library: The Sea. Alexandria: Time-Life Books, 1979.

Hargreaves, Pat, ed. Seas and Oceans: The Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Morristown: Wayland, 1980. (0-382-06468-0)

Mason, John. Our World: Weather and Climate. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Burdett, 1988. (0-382-24225-4)

Novosad, Charles. The Nystrom Atlas of Our Country. Chicago: Nystrom, 1996. (0-7825-0589-9)

Rothaus, Don P. Oceans. New York: The Child's World, Inc., 1997. (1-56766-286-2)
 

Teacher Reference

Barton, Robert. Atlas of the Sea. New York: The John Day Company, 1974. (0-381-98267-X)