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Cayley Scanlon

Unit Plan The Land of the United States

What Makes a Human or Physical Feature Lesson
4th grade
Background Information
Expected duration: 45 minutes
Concepts: Places, Environment, Culture, Products, People
Vocabulary: Region, Urban, Suburban, Rural, Economy, and Agriculture
Skills: Compare and Contrast, Active Listening, Identifying, Analyzing, Synthesizing
Integration of Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to identify the differences between physical and human features of a region.
Students will be able to write a 5-7 sentence paragraph about a region they went to and include
physical and human features about a place they visited.
Students will read along with the textbook about regions.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique,
descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
Describe how common geographic tools are used to organize and interpret information about
people, places, and environment.
Identify the physical characteristics of places and regions.
Identify the basic physical processes that affect the physical characteristics of places and regions.
Identify the human characteristics of places and regions using the following criteria:




Economic activities

Political activities

Social studies teachers should possess the knowledge, capabilities, and dispositions to organize and provide
instruction at the appropriate school level for the study of People, Places, and Environments.
Teachers who are licensed to teach geography at all school levels should possess the knowledge,
capabilities, and dispositions to organize and provide instruction at the appropriate school level for the
study of geography.

Anticipatory Set

To start, teacher will write the vocabulary words on the whiteboard and go over their definitions
before the reading. The teacher will facilitate a discussion to fill out a compare and contrast chart
on physical vs. human features and what they know about it before we read about it in the
textbook. Teacher will call on students to place answers in the correct sides of the chart. The
teacher will ask why they feel that trait goes in either the physical or human feature side. What
makes you think it would belong there? (Look for answers such as the people built those for
human side or it is part the Earth for physical features). Once there is a decent amount of
information on the chart and students have contributed, teacher will put up on the Interactive
White board the textbook for whole class group lesson.
Teacher will read aloud the 42-45 of the textbook while it is on the Interactive White board. The
teacher will have turn and talks after paragraphs that include physical and human features and
what makes them a trait of a region. Once a student is called on to share what they found that
maybe wasnt included in the chart, the teacher will use the highlighter feature to highlight it in
the text. The teacher will also highlight vocabulary words found within the text and explain the
definition given. Once all pages are read aloud, teacher will talk about how there were more
features that we should add to the chart in another color to indicate the new facts we learned.
Teacher will ask what makes those new features go on the physical or human feature side as they
use the text to go back and look for what is new. Teacher will send students back to their desks
with the worksheets of their writing prompt. The teacher will have them focus on the whiteboard
while they model the way the paragraph should include the physical and human features of the
area they are in and what physical and human features are there, like culture of the people, how
the land has changed, how they as an individual enjoyed it, what is distributed from that place,
and how they could help that place. The teacher will model 5-7 sentences using capital letters,
correct spelling, descriptive words, and punctuation and what should be included in the paper.
The teacher will then indicate for the students to start writing their paper with all the components.
Then students will complete the atlas map of regions after. The teacher will model how to draw
the east coast region and put a map on the board for students to outline where the rest of the
regions would be. They will hand this in to the atlas map book they have been completing
through the week. If there are student who are done early, they can get a white piece of paper to
draw what human and physical features they included in their paper.
ELL/ Lower Leveled Students: Teacher will give individual charts of the differences between
physical and human features of a region when they are back at their desk so they can reference
for the writing about what region they visited.
Gifted/ Higher Leveled Students: Teacher will ask these students to include 2 vocabulary
words in their writing piece in a way that works into their story. The words will be at the top of
the writing sheet with separate directions for them.

Teacher will ask students to share their writing in a whole group discussion and share what
human and physical features found in regions they included in their writing. They will also share
their atlas map picture of the regions to the class. The students will share what makes the boarder
a region and they will hand these in before leaving for lunch. The teacher will reiterate the
difference between the features and hand out a post it for them to name one of each feature before
they leave the class.

Formative / Summative Assessment

Formative Assessment:
The teacher will listen for accurate answers to what the difference is to physical and human
features of regions while filling out the anchor chart.
The teacher will listen to turn and talk while student discuss what makes the fact a human or
physical feature of a region.
The teacher will collect students writing and check for accurate descriptions of human and
physical features within the writing of a region.
The teacher will look at the post its to show a clear understanding of an example of a human and
physical feature of a region.
Summative Assessment:
The teacher will collect students writing and check for accurate descriptions of human and
physical features within the writing of a region.
The teacher will collect the daily map sheet of regions to add on to the atlas.

Materials / Equipment
Interactive White board with textbook
Anchor Chart of physical and human features in a region
Writing Worksheet of writing prompt
2 different color markers for before and after facts
Regions Atlas Sheets
Post its for exit slips with a human and physical feature
White board for writing sample of writing prompt

An Interactive White board will be used to facilitate a whole group discussion with the textbook
and also display the map that they are creating for the region portion of their atlas.
Reflection on Planning
This lesson was relatively easy to plan once I got the ideas I wanted to include and what activities
would make the most sense to use in this lesson. It would be, I think at least, something the
students would enjoy because they are writing about somewhere they visited and get to visualize
that through the atlas map they will create. This give all learning styles a chance to show me that
they know what I taught, instead of just having the writing portion. I think it includes a lot of
strategies for the students like predicting, going back to the text for context clues, and compare
and contrast. It also uses a lot of visuals since the students will be completing a region map for an
overall compilation of the work throughout the unit. I used the writing piece given in the
textbook since I felt it was fitting to the chart I wanted the students to fill out. The post its are a
good use of an exit slip because I really want to make sure that the students get the difference
between the two features before I closed that days lesson.
Content Outline


Regions of the United States


To help us during this section remember how a compass is used for the regions of the

United States, with North, South, East, and West. Many physical and human features break up
the regions. Physical features are landforms and water and human regions are groups of people
who live there. Physical features can be mountains, valleys, plateaus, plains, wetlands,
grasslands, and forests. Religions or languages define human regions. These can change in size
to become larger or smaller over time.

What is the difference between physical and human features that divide up regions and

which can change overtime? Physical features are land and water and human features are groups
of people. Human regions can change overtime.
Students will complete an atlas map of the regions to compile into one for the end of the unit. This will be what their map will look like.


Different parts of the world have different religions. So places may practice the Mormon

religion while others are apart of the wheat belt, which is where they grow a lot of wheat. Human
regions can also be the communities people live in. Urban is a city and suburban is a smaller
town near a city. There is also areas classified as rural which is more country and open land. The
government owns public land where as private land individuals own.

What three types of communities people live in create human regions and what is each

of them like? Urban is cities, suburban is smaller towns, and rural is open land.

There are four major regions of the United States, which are the East, The South, the

Midwest, and the West. This helps locate their geographic location. States that are close allow
for the regions to be formed along their state lines. They will often share the same natural
features such as, landforms, plants, and animals. Many states in those regions depend on the
same natural resources.

Students will create a big compass and manipulate themselves around the room for N,S,E, and W,
and see what it is like to have landforms (desks and chairs) be the boarders that create these

How do we classify the regions of the United States and what allow for them to be

classified this way? They are the East, The South, the Midwest, and the West, which are classified
this way because they are groups of states together that have the same features.

Human features from the past can also link regions together creating a mutual history.

They can also be formed by the economy when they use the areas resources for their jobs. The
experiences we have in these areas can also lead to classification of them because when you
travel to their areas you think of certain things associated with them.
Lesson Plan Elements
Lesson Plan Details
Integration of Learning Outcomes/Objectives
Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography. PA Common Core
(Language Arts and/or Math), NCSS
Anticipatory Set
Formative/Summative Assessment of Students (P-12)
Materials/Equipment, Resources, Citation of Sources
Reflection on Planning
Submitted peer feedback and final on time
Content Outline

Point Value
Total /30