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      Activities: Help with Fundamentals

      These activities can help you address the fundamentals with your students.

      Identify Geographic Features

      Use maps to identify physical characteristics of a geographic region. Have students identify features such as mountain regions, deserts, plains, coastlines, and bodies of water. Have students make generalizations and draw conclusions about how these physical features helped to define the region.

      Ask students:

      • How did these physical features limit the region/country economically, culturally and physically?
      • How did these features benefit the region/country economically, culturally and politically?

      Students can consider:

      • Viability of land for agriculture
      • Physical features that might isolate the region culturally or economically
      • Proximity to other regions or countries
      Explore Causes and Consequences of Geographic Change in our Country

      Help students understand the different types of human activity that might lead to geographic changes in the United States. Ask them to consider geographic changes that have occurred, what human activity caused these changes, and the consequences. Assign groups to find and explore examples of geographic changes that have resulted when people have moved due to economic, political, environmental or social/cultural change. Ask each group to share an informal presentation on the particular geographic change that they have discovered and researched.

      Some possible geographic changes for groups to explore include:

      • Causes and consequences of the growth of cities in the United States in early 20th century;
      • Causes and consequences of The Dust Bowl;
      • Geographic changes in the United States brought about by Hurricane Katrina.
      Understand Migrations

      Provide students with historical examples of migration. Students can consider examples like:

      • The migration from Ireland due to the potato famine;
      • The migration of African Americans from the South to the North following World War I;
      • The migration of European Jews to Palestine and the U.S. before World War II.

      Have students meet in groups to discuss each migration and identify what caused it. Was it social, political, economic or environmental? What combination of factors was at play? Ask each group to consider the reason for the migration, the conditions leading to the migration, and the overall geographic pattern or change that resulted from the migration.

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