U.S. states/Virginia/Geography

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Most geographers divide Virginia into five reigons, creating a sturdy starting point for a first unit. The five reconized reigons are named:

  • Coastal Plain (Tidewater)
  • Piedmont
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Valley and Ridge
  • Appalachian Plateu

An excellent summary of each of the reigon's features would go along the lines of the fact that the Coastal Plain reigon is mostly flat and fairly wet, and includes the Eastern Shore, which can simply be introduced as a part of Virginia seperated from the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay. The Piedmont has many rolling hills and in French means "Foot of the Mountians" which makes an excellent mini-lesson starter. The Blue Ridge Mountians consist of old, rounded mountians that appear blue from a distance, hence the name blue ridge mountians. The Valley and Ridge reigon is made up of many ups and downs, or simply, valleys and ridges. Finally, the Appalachian Plateu is relatively flat and raised.

After a short summary, a short preview project might be interesting, or you could simply continue with the lesson. A few project ideas are:

  • Having students study maps and compare reigons with a chart
  • Showing scenes from each reigon and having students create their own scenes
  • Noting the geography around the school and determining it's reigonal area
  • A mixture of these

A second lesson might include industries of each reigon. Here a video would be adaquete. If you are unable to find a fitting video, a map or chart would work. You could have students watch the video or study the graph or chart while taking notes, or simply watch the video or observe the chart or graph to gain a basic idea of reigonal industries. A simple table of Virginian Industries should at minimum reflect the one below.

  • Tidewater: Shipbuilding
  • Piedmont: Agriculture, Electronics
  • Blue Ridge Mountains: Apples
  • Valley and Ridge: Poultry
  • Appalachian Plateu: Coal Mining

This being done, some exercises and sheets would work well for the last couple of days of the unit. Questions should be moderately challenging, and ensure the student knows the necessary information. Soon, the class should then do a final project, for which several ideas are listed below:

  • Make a relief map of Virginia, labeling the reigons
  • Draw a picture of each reigon, including industries, geographical landmarks, and others
  • Write a paragraph about how each reigon is different

This should mostly conclude a geography unit, although review may be mandatory in later months.