Teaching students about the five regions of the United States can stretch into an entire unit. There are a variety of approaches that will allow your children to learn about the region and how it interacts with other regions. Once you have taught about all the individual regions, take the time to compare and contrast the regions with each other and talk about how they are connected.
One of the easiest ways to begin the course of study is by beginning to teach the geography of each region. This can begin by teaching which states belong in each region, but you should also extend it to include the climate and geographical formations such as mountains or plains. Then you can discuss how this affects the life and industry in the area. For example, because the Southwest is composed primarily of desert, there is not much farming that happens there. You can also talk about the water issues between states and regions.
People and Culture
Another interesting way to examine each region is to take a close look at the different cultures and people that are in each region. It is interesting to look at the types of food that they eat and the dominant type of music that they listen to. Another thing to consider is the common pastimes for kids. This would be a great time to look at the crafts and handiwork of each region and compare the styles with each other. The Southwest would have different color choices than the Northeast in art. The children can learn about how things differ from location to location. You can extend this to include your language arts study by reading a book that is based in each of these regions.
Take a close look at the history of each region and how it affected the United States in the future. For example, the Midwest was settle primarily by pioneers, but it also was a throughway for people who wanted to continue West. The western United States was settled for both farmland and because of the Gold Rush. The Northeast played a big part in the initial settlements in the United States and the South played a role there as well as in the Civil War. You can teach about the five regions while you teach your history or teach the five regions at the beginning or the end of the year. If you do it at the beginning, it is easy to refer back to what your students already know as you talk about specific events in United States history.
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