Context for this Lesson
Focus Questions: Where are the four regions of Texas located? What are some of the distinguishing characteristics of each region, including climate, landforms, and primary industries?
TEKS: 113.15, (7) (B): Identify, locate, and compare the geographic regions of Texas (Mountains and Basins, Great Plains, North Central Plains, Coastal Plains), including thier landforms, climate, and vegetation.
Materials needed: Signs for each of the regions with facts about the regions on the back. X's on the floor that number 1 fewer than the total number of students in the classroom for "The Truth About Me." A way to project or post the map or names of the regions.
1. Engage: Today, we are going to be getting to know Texas a little better by using our bodies to create a map of Texas
2. Sharing information: There are 4 regions of Texas, known as the Coastal Plains, Central Plains, Great Plains, and Mountains and Basins. Looking at this map (either on the overhead projector, or in their books) you can see where each of the regions are. (Briefly point out the 4 regions)
Transition: Now, each of you are going to BECOME one of the regions of Texas. First, Texas is a BIG state, so we need to make enough room to fit all of Texas. (Move desks, or go out to the hall).
1) Procedure (Mapping Geographies): "First, let's figure out how our map is situated. I'm going to say that THIS (standing in a spot) is North. So if this is North, where should South be? Okay, great! So if this is North and that is South, where does East have to be? Perfect. So if we have North, South, and East, what must that direction be? West, right! Okay, we're just going to spend a moment practicing. Moving carefully and being respectful to your classmates, can everyone go to West Texas? North Texas! South! West! East! East! Great, now, I'm going to hand out these signs that show what REGION of Texas you're about to become. When you get your sign, you can start learning about your region by looking at some of the facts on the back, but let's wait until everyone has their region and I say "Go" and then we'll see how quickly we can get into our regions." (Hand out signs) "GO!"
Side-coaching: "Don't forget to use the map to help find your region in Texas. If you aren't sure where to go, find someone else who has the same region and work together!"
(Once everyone is in their region) "Okay, I want you to take just a moment and talk with the other people in your region and decide on an interesting fact to share about your region. In just a moment we're going to go around and you are going to introduce your region and tell us the fact you'd like to share about your region." (Do this)
Transition: "Great work, everyone! I'd like everyone to come meet me in the Truth About Me circle and we're going to learn a little bit more about Texas's regions."
2) Procedure (Truth About Me): "Now, I understand you've all played "The Truth About Me" before." (Quick refresher on the rules of the game, which can be found on the DBI strategies website): "One person in the center says a Truth about themselves, and anyone else for whom that is also true has to find a new spot in the circle). So today, we are going to continue to play as our regions, and the person in the center is going to use their card to say something that is True about there region. For example, can you (child) give me an example of something that is true in your region of .......? Oil is an important industry, perfect! Now everybody check your cards and see if it is also true that YOUR region has oil as an industry? Okay, good. So all of you would have to leave your spot in the circle and find a new spot, right? Okay, let's give it a try...."
After playing as a particular region for awhile, students can trade cards and play as a different region for awhile.
Students should be encouraged to use any information they have learned about their region (location, cities, etc) whether or not it appears on the card.
Transition: "That was great, everyone. Now, I'm going to come around and collect your signs and let's all return to our seats."
1) Without looking at the books or the maps, does anyone think they can name all 4 of the regions?
2) If we think about the shape of Texas, which region covers the furthest West part? How about the North? Etc.
3) Okay, now, in your small groups I want you to talk about one interesting thing you learned about one of the regions and in just a moment we're going to go around and share what interesting thing you learned.