Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry, Writing, and Geography: Eastern USA

Geography Skills: 

Identifying different types of maps: Political, physical, topographical, economic/resources, satellite
Parts of a map: Scale, compass, legend
Do World Geography Daily Skill builders activities 1-2.


What do all maps have in common? Look at this map of Virginia made by John Smith in 1606. It's zoomable -- play around with it. What do we need to know, and what conventions to mapmakers need to use, to make a map useful? For example, do we need to know which way is North?

USA Warmup: What is America?

Print this page

From the printout: "Passports have stamp pages decorated with pictures from around America. Sixteen images were chosen to represent our country. Read the list of possible images below. Which do you think are in a passport? Which should be in a passport? Take a light colored marker and highlight the images you think should be included in the passport."

After the students do the exercise, discuss who chose what image as representative of the US and why. Were there some that everyone chose or left out?
Part of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Maine to Georgia
Photo credit: Ken Dodds

Six Things to Know About Eastern US:

1. Mountains

2. Great Lakes

3. Other Water
Gulf of Mexico
Atlantic Ocean
Hudson River
Allegheny River
Ohio River

4. Washington DC, capital city

Photo credit: Ben Clark
5. Virginia (Our state)
Historical Landmarks
   Mount Vernon
   Civil War Battlefields

6. States and Capitals East of the Mississippi

Lizard Point State Geography Practice
Shepherd Software States, Capitals, Landmarks


Print out this page: American Music East Coast Edition. Have students fill out the sheet as they listen to the following musical selections:

Gullah Music

Show Tunes


Sacred Harp

Country (Nashville)





"Niagara" by Duncan Forbes. (Use this to talk about Niagara Falls)


Time: 20 Minutes
Length: One page

Take a look at this old map of Norfolk, Virginia. You can zoom in, using the picture, to see the area where our class is meeting today. What do you think was happening in this spot 120 years ago? Write a time travel story in which the world of 2015 dissolves into the past. What would disappear and what would appear? What smells would vanish and what would emerge? How would the feeling of the place change and what things would stay exactly the same. Close your mind and imagine this place as it was in the past, and try to deliver that on the page.

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