Regions of the United States: The West

Regions of the United States: The West

I can describe the West in terms of the 5 themes of Geography.

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Regions of the United States: The West

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Explore the states of the West using The Five Themes of Geography. Students will have an opportunity to practice state locations as well as states and capitals. Weblinks and videos add to the many facts students will learn from this lesson.

Learning objective

Students will be able to describe the West in terms of the 5 themes of Geography.


In a group activity, students answer 5 questions as they are revealed. They are instructed to compare answers with classmates and discover someone they have at least 3 things in common. This is then related to how regions are grouped by the things they have in common.


As each theme is discussed, students will relate it to the West. For Location, students will be introduced to the states as either Mountain on Pacific states. A variety of self-checking activities allows the students to practice state locations and states and capitals. Unique to this area are volcanos. A video clip shares information on Mount St. Helens and information is also shared on the largest volcano on the island of Hawaii. The effects of elevation on climate is another topic that is discussed. Earthquake safety tips are reviewed as this area is most frequently affected by them. In the area of Human-environment interaction, students will learn about the Gold Rush and its part in bringing settlers west. The theme of Movement shares facts on the transcontinental railroad. Students will also discuss products manufactured in Silicon Valley and how they affect communication. The theme Regions explores the many National Parks of the West.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions.


Students will learn how the rapid growth of towns during the Gold Rush created Boom Towns and Ghost Towns. A video clip of the preserved Ghost Town, Bodie, California, encourages students to reflect on what they are like. The students are then instructed to think of a name of their own Ghost Town, draw a picture of it and describe it in several paragraphs to share with the class.

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