Physical Geography Teacher Resources
Find Physical Geography educational ideas and activities
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Students create different landforms by using play dough. In this landforms lesson plan, students make hills, plains, mountains, lakes, and more.
Using Geography to Learn About History
Students study how geography has affected the outcome of events and daily life in historical cultures. They study out Greece's elevation zones, precipitation, and average temperatures, and predict how these factors might have influenced daily life, warfare, and trade in ancient Greece; research and take notes on how Greece's physical geography affected daily life, warfare, and trade.
Mending the Rift
Students determine what factors identify a country's political borders. After reading an article, they investigate questions surrounding the Great Rift Valley. On a map, they trace the valley from Asia through Africa and research the countries in which the Valley runs through. They write reflective essays on their own interpretations of borders and boundaries.
The Three Little Pigs in Earthquake Land
Students explore the basics of earthquakes and volcanoes. Using this information, they brainstorm how people in cities must prepare for these types of disasters. They are read the story "Three Little Pigs" and discuss the importance of having sturdy buildings. They draw pictures or write a letter to the pigs telling them how to prepare their home for an earthquake.
Mission Geography: Europe
Students work together to research the history and culture of countries in Europe. They create an itinerary that highlights the characteristics of the country they are researching. They present their brochure to the class.
American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins
Students research how early colonists lived. They investigate late 17th century colonist's lives from Massachusetts and Delaware. Using their research, students write historical fiction in the form of friendly letters between the two colonies.
The Ring of Fire
High schoolers review the theory of plate tectonics and the history of the Earth geologically. Using the internet, they research the area known as the Ring of Fire. They create maps predicting what the Ring of Fire region might look like in one hundred million years. They write paragraphs to explain their drawings.
High schoolers role play as tour operators by planning a group tour to a country in Africa, Asia, or South America. They research the culture, physical geography, and history of one of the countries to highlight their tour destinations. They develop a brochure or booklet that describes their three week tour itinerary.
Why Here? Why Not There?
Students analyze a map and graph information on eleven countries. Using the characteristics of the countries, they determine if they should host the summer or winter Olympic games. After viewing a video, they locate the latitudes of the six continents and examine the relationship between latitude and climate.
American Indians of the Local Region
Students describe the American Indian nations in their local region long ago and in recent past. They research religious beliefs, customs, and various folklore traditions.
Geography And The Gulf War
High schoolers develop maps, tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams to depict the geographic implications of current world events, and analyze major human conflicts to determine the role of physical and cultural geographic features in the causes, conflict, and outcomes. Pupils conduct research on the Internet or in the library to obtain data and information on the Gulf War that can be used to construct maps, tables, graphs, or diagrams representing changes in the geography of the Middle East.
From Sea to Sea
Students role-play Chamber of Commerce employees to inform visitors about local communities. They research local cities and write informative brochures. They examine the economics of trade and its impact on local communities.
The Sounds of Samba
Students research the origins of Samba in Brazil using the internet. After defining new vocabulary, they locate the cities in Brazil using latitude and longitude which practice the Samba. In groups, they compare and contrast the different types of Latin American dances and music and write an essay to end the instructional activity.
Students create a map using the physical geography, such as, borders, cities, towns, mountains, lakes, rivers, and oceans and identify different parts of the map and its physical geography. They compare and identify others' cookie maps.
Regional Landforms and Native People
Third graders study the Native American tribes of Maidu and Miwok by studying Internet artifacts, culture, language, music, storytelling, architecture, food, clothing, crafts and geology.
The Geography of the Long March
Students explore physical geography in China. In this world geography lesson plan, students examine the geography of China and how it fits into the end of the dynastic system and the rise of communism in China.
Mission Geography: Continents
Students study the cultural and geographic characteristics of the continents by examining stories and images. They describe geographic characteristics and identify each continent.
The Travels of Ibn Battuta
Young scholars, in groups, research the different areas that the 14th century Islamic traveler Ibn Battuta visited. They review some of the basics of Islam, and create posters illustrating what they have learned about Ibn Battut.
American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins
Students explore daily life and its influences in the late 1700s for two families in different colonies- Delaware and Massachusetts by becoming historical detectives. After gathering information from artifacts to make inferences about the lives and times they represent, students write historical fiction in the form of letters.
Physical Geography of Africa
Fifth graders investigate the topography of Africa. In this physical geography lesson, 5th graders research the six regions of Africa and complete a physical map. Students locate various landforms in Africa. Students use their research information to make a travel brochure.