Social Studies - 2018-19

USI.2c - Major Bodies of Water

The student will interpret maps, globes, photographs, pictures, or tables to

c) locate major water features and explain their importance to the early history of the United States: Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Missouri River, Ohio River, Columbia River, Colorado River, Rio Grande, St. Lawrence River, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico;

Adopted: 2015



The United States has access to numerous and varied bodies of water.

Bodies of water support interaction among regions, form borders, and create links to other areas.


Major bodies of water

 Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific

 Rivers: Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Columbia, Colorado, Rio Grande, St. Lawrence

 Lakes: Great Lakes

 Gulf: Gulf of Mexico

Trade, transportation, exploration, and settlement

 The Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts of the United States have provided access to other parts of the world.

 The Atlantic Ocean served as the highway for explorers, early settlers, and later immigrants.

 The Ohio River was the gateway to the west prior to the Louisiana Purchase.

 Inland port cities grew in the Midwest along the Great Lakes.

 The Mississippi and Missouri rivers were used to transport farm and industrial products. They created links to United States ports and other parts of the world.

 The Columbia River was explored by Lewis and Clark.

 The Colorado River was explored by the Spanish.

 The Rio Grande forms part of the border with Mexico.

 The Pacific Ocean was an early exploration destination as a route to Asia.

 The Gulf of Mexico provided the French and Spanish with exploration routes to Mexico and other parts of America.

 The St. Lawrence River forms part of the northeastern border with Canada and connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.


Updated: May 16, 2018