Social Studies - 2018-19

USI.2b - Geographic Regions of North America

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

b) locate and describe major geographic regions of North America: Coastal Plain, Appalachian Mountains, Canadian Shield, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Basin and Range, and Coastal Range; 

Bloom's Level: Remember

Adopted: 2015


Regions are areas that are alike in some way or another.

Geography determines what resources are available to use. 

Big Themes/Concepts: Place, Location, Region, Climate, Boundary


Geographic regions have distinctive characteristics.

Where are the geographic regions of North America located?

What are some physical characteristics of the geographic regions of North America?


Geographic regions’ locations and physical characteristics 
Coastal Plain
o Located along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
o Broad lowlands, providing many excellent harbors 
Appalachian Mountains
o Located west of the Coastal Plain, extending from eastern Canada to western Alabama; includes the Piedmont
o Old, eroded mountains (oldest mountain range in North America) 
Canadian Shield
o Wrapped around the Hudson Bay in a horseshoe shape
o Hills worn by erosion and hundreds of lakes carved by glaciers 
 Interior Lowlands
o Located west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Great Plains
o Rolling flatlands with many rivers, broad river valleys, and grassy hills 
Great Plains
o Located west of the Interior Lowlands and east of the Rocky Mountains
o Flat lands that gradually increase in elevation westward; grasslands 
Rocky Mountains
o Located west of the Great Plains and east of the Basin and Range
o Rugged mountains stretching from Alaska almost to Mexico; high elevations
o Contains the Continental Divide, which determines the directional flow of rivers 
Basin and Range
o Located west of the Rocky Mountains and east of the Coastal Range 
o Varying elevations containing isolated mountain ranges and Death Valley, the lowest point in North America 
Coastal Range
o Located along the Pacific Coast, stretching from California to Canada
o Rugged mountains and fertile valleys
o Includes the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades

Analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms. (USI.1f)

Distinguish between parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. (USI.1g)


Updated: May 16, 2018