In this lesson students work in cooperative learning groups to study pictures and determine the physical and human characteristics for one of the six geographic regions. They become experts‖ on their region and create a visual product to teach others.
Click here to download the full lesson with attached handouts. Regions and Places in South Carolina
“It is essential for students to know and identify on a map the six geographical regions (landform regions) of South Carolina: Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Sand hills, Inner Coastal Plain, Outer Coastal Plain and Coastal Zone. Students will learn about the human characteristics of the different regions in later standards and indicators as they learn about the development of the human settlements and systems throughout South Carolina history. Teachers should consistently refer to the characteristics of the geographic regions as they teach later indicators.
The Blue Ridge Region is mountainous and has many hardwood forests, streams, and waterfalls.
The Piedmont Region is the foothills of the mountains and includes rolling hills and many valleys. The region was once a productive farming area but poor farming practices led to the erosion of the topsoil. The red clay that was left is not good for farming. Waterfalls and swift flowing rivers provided the water power for early mills and the textile industry.
The Sand Hills Region is the region that in ancient times was the seacoast and therefore includes relatively flat lands with sandy soil that is not good for growing crops. The Sand Hills region follows the fall zone of the state’s rivers where a drop in elevation results in rapids.
The Coastal Plain includes the Inner Coastal Plain and the Outer Coastal Plain and makes up two-thirds of South Carolina. Large stands of trees promoted the development of timbering in the region. Well-drained soil, sufficient annual rainfall and a long growing season promoted agriculture.
The Coastal Zone is a ten mile wide stretch of land from the Atlantic coast inland. It includes barrier islands that protect the coast from erosion due to tides and storms. The coastal zone includes a number of natural harbors. It also includes marshes that were used for growing rice during the 1700s. Today, the region relies heavily on the tourism industry which includes historic sites, golf, and the beach itself.”
South Carolina Social Studies Support Document, Grade 3, 2008 http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Standards-and-Learning/Academic-Standards/old/cso/social_studies/social.html
South Carolina Standards
3-1.3 Categorize the six geographic regions of South Carolina – the Blue Ridge Mountain Region, the Piedmont, the Sand Hills, the Inner Coastal Plain, the Outer Coastal Plain, and the Coastal Zone according to their different physical and human characteristics.
3-1.1 Identify on a map the location and characteristics of significant physical features of South
Carolina, including landforms; river systems such as the Pee Dee River Basin, the Santee River Basin, the Edisto River Basin, and the Savannah River Basin; major cities; and climate regions.
1-1.2 Summarize ways in which people are both alike and different from one another in different regions of the United States and the world, including their culture, language, and jobs
2-2.2 Recognize characteristics of the local region, including its geographic features and natural resources.
- Students will categorize the six geographic regions of South Carolina – the Blue Ridge Mountain Region, the Piedmont, the Sand Hills, the Inner Coastal Plain, the Outer Coastal Plain, and the Coastal Zone – according to their different physical and human characteristics.
- Students will work in cooperative learning groups to study pictures and determine the physical and human characteristics for one of the six geographic regions. They will become ―experts on their region and create a visual product to teach other students.
Time Required Recommended Grade Level
2 class periods 3rd Grade/Elementary
- A packet of pictures depicting each geographical feature are necessary or students may use the Internet to locate the pictures. See the following.
Blue Ridge – (Pictures should show mountains, streams, forests, and waterfalls.)
- Table Rock [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,67]
- Oconee Mountains [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,49]
- White Water Falls [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,46]
- Caesar’s Head [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,247]
*See picture of a stream in the Blue Ridge Mountain Region section found at the bottom of this lesson.
Piedmont – (Pictures should show the foothills of the mountains, rolling hills, many valleys, erosion of top soil, red clay, waterfalls, and rivers.)
- House and Eroded Lands [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,43]
- Spartanburg Road to Landrum North [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,246]
- Aerial view of Graniteville Showing the River [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,40]
*See pictures of rolling hills, valleys, red clay, waterfalls, and rivers in the Piedmont Region section found at the bottom of this lesson.
Sand Hills – (Pictures should show flat lands with sandy soils, and a drop in elevation resulting in rapids.)
- Flat Rock Fall, Graniteville, SC #2 [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,37]
- Sand River [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/sk12&CISOPTR=277&REC=1]
*See pictures showing the rapids, sandy soils, and flat lands in the Sand Hills Region section found at the bottom of this lesson.
Inner and Outer Coastal Plains – (Pictures should show many forests or stands of trees, well-drained soil, and beautiful plants.)
- Berkeley County Santee-Cooper [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,34]
- Stumps and Out Buildings [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,31]
- Black and White Men in Tobacco Field [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,28]
- Planting Cotton [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,25]
Coastal Zone – (Pictures should show barrier islands, natural harbors, beaches, and marshes.)
- Isle of Palms [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,19]
- Legareville marsh [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,55]
- Beach Landscape at Folly in the 1930’s [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,22]
- Marsh and Forest [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,16]
- Sand Dunes at Myrtle Beach [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,10]
- Myrtle Beach Aerial View [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/u?/sk12,52]
- Charleston Peninsula-aerial view [http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/sk12&CISOPTR=268&REC=1]
*See pictures of barrier islands and harbors in the Coastal Region section found at the bottom of this lesson.
- Download print the PowerPoint presentation that includes all of the photographs mentioned above. Other pictures can be found at www.sciway.net .
- Go to the South Carolina Regions information page at http://studysc.org/elementary/sc-regions
- Write lesson objectives on the board.
- Analyzing Primary Sources sheet. Go to http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html for this resource. (Download the Analyzing Photographs and Prints document)
- Print the rubrics and word bank associated with this lesson plan
- The teacher should tell the children they are going to become historians by studying ―real pictures that were taken in SC. Historians must make very careful observations when looking at a primary resource document, such as pictures. Thus, the children are expected to do the same. She will remind students of the expectations for appropriate behavior. (1-2 minutes)
- The teacher should divide the class into small groups of 4. Each group will need a recorder/reporter to list the group’s discoveries and present the group’s findings to the class, a leader/encourager to ensure everyone is participating and to encourage on-task behavior, and a manager to gather and return materials. (1-2 minutes)
- Since a rubric will be used to grade the project, the rubric should be explained to the students before beginning the project.
- The teacher will explain how the students will study a set of pictures representative of a region in SC to make discoveries about the features of the region, including soil, plant growth, landforms, and land features (forests, marshes, harbors). The students may find it helpful if the teacher has previously recorded all of the possibilities on the board in random order or projects the ―word bank‖ sheet, so they will have some assistance in their investigation. A Word Bank is attached.
- Each group manager will retrieve a packet of digital pictures representing one of the regions, or they will utilize the Internet to look at various digital pictures from each geographic region in SC. Be sure each region is represented: Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Sand Hills, Inner and Outer Coastal Plains, and Coastal Zone. Every member should study each picture to determine what physical feature is being represented. Then s/he should record this information on a sheet of paper. When all pictures have been studied, the members of the group will share their findings to ensure everyone in their cooperative group has a complete list of features. (15 minutes)
- The manager retrieves the packet of pictures (or gains access to a computer where they may retrieve digitized pictures) representing the area. The students will determine and record what they would see in their region, i.e. forests via group discussions. Then they will create a poster or some other visual image (PowerPoint, Microsoft Paint, a brochure, etc.) to show their findings. The group will use the poster or other visual image to teach the rest of the class about their region during the next day’s lesson. (15 Minutes)
- Ask each student to score him/herself as to how well s/he participated in the project. Collect these sheets. As the students present the visual images, grade the project according to the rubric found in the assessment section of this lesson plan. (5 minutes)
- The reporter for each group will present the group’s findings to the class. Begin with the Blue Ridge. After all groups have presented their project, show the Regions PowerPoint. The PowerPoint contains pictures and the descriptions of each region. Remember to present only one region at a time.
- Then have the students draw a picture and write about the region presented in their Regions Books. (Approximately 10 minutes/region) The Regions Book could be three sheets of paper stapled together to form a book. It could be a step book, or it could be a notebook. It is important to have all students draw and write this information. This will enable them to recall the information at a later date, and it will accommodate more Multiple Intelligences.
- Follow the same format as above for each of the geographic regions of SC. Collect the regions books and score them using the attached rubric found in the assessment section of this lesson
Day 1—Formative—The Day 1 rubric could be used as a daily quiz grade.
Day 2—Formative—The South Carolina Regions Project rubric could be used as a daily grade or as a project grade.
Lesson Extension Options
- Choice is utilized when the students determine the type of visual to create.
- Students may extend the lesson by conducting additional research about their region at www.sciway.com .
- The Word Bank may help students having difficulties with the task.
- Students may revisit the PowerPoint and/or have a peer tutor to review previously taught information. Students may label drawings with geographic features instead of writing sentences and/or paragraphs.
- Have students locate the subject of each picture on a map of South Carolina then divide the map by regions.
Digital Collections Information
This lesson plan is based on images and/or documents derived from the K-12 Primary Sources Pilot Project Collection available from the University of South Carolina’s Digital Collections Library.