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Literature Based Lesson Plans for Maps and Globes - Lesson Four

Natural Features as a Resource

People need the earth, sunshine, and water to meet their basic needs. Without these natural resources, crops could never be grown, and people could never get a drink. Nature provides for our basic needs of food, drink, shelter, and clothing.

Shared Book Literature Source

Heartland, Diane Siebert.

Through poetic text and illustration, Diane Siebert has captured the beauty of the Midwest in its land and its people. Life as it is described becomes mystifying, yet awesome in its uniqueness.

Other Materials Needed

  • United States Discovery Map
  • Landscape Picture Map
  • Map Markers

Suggested Lesson

As part of a pre-reading activity, introduce the children to various regions of the United States, i.e., East Coast, West Coast, South, Midwest, etc. Discuss with the children the various characteristics of each of these regions, including climate, landforms, and industry. Remind the children that the story to be read is about one of these regions. Ask students to listen to see which region is being talked about in this story. (Do not show the front cover to the students or tell them the title of the story)

In a shared book experience, read Heartland to the students. Ask the children to identify the region of the United States being described. Discuss with the children how the dependence on natural resources played a part in this story. Remind the children of the immediate effect on the farmer and the long-term effect on the consumer. Ask the children to divide the dependence on natural resources as being either the farmer and predict what might happen if this resource were no longer available. List these on the chalkboard.

Ask the children to refer to the Landscape Picture Map and locate all natural features, including land and water. Write "L" on each land feature and a "W" on each water feature.

Using sentence strips, ask the students to write a sentence about one of the features identified and tell about how the feature is used as a resource to help meet people's needs. For example, "My mother uses water when she prepares our dinner." Hang the sentence strips in the form of the appropriate letter. For example, use those sentences utilizing land resources to create the letter "L" and use those sentences utilizing water resources to create the letter "W".

The author uses poetic form to convey the feelings of one who lives in the Midwest. Ask the children to write about where they live in poetic form.


Lesson  .pdf file (Printable Lesson)

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