1. Introduce the place in the United States that students will explore.
Divide students into small groups. Tell the groups that they will explore the characteristics of one specific place in the United States. Introduce the place you have chosen and identify its location. Distribute one blank outline map of the United States per group, and have students mark the location on the map. Then ask students what they already know about that town, city, or state. List their responses on the board.
2. Have small groups discuss the natural and cultural characteristics of the place.
Provide each group with the list of natural and cultural characteristics of the place. Have them discuss the characteristics and choose the three they think someone visiting the place would consider the most important.
3. Have groups create a poster-sized travel brochure.
Provide groups with posterboard, markers, glue sticks, safety scissors, and magazines. Ask them to create a poster-sized travel brochure that includes the following:
- a title
- the labeled United States map
- information about the three characteristics
- an image for each, either hand-drawn or cut and pasted out of magazines
- the name of each student in the small group
- use factual information to create a poster of the natural and cultural characteristics of a place in the United States
- Cooperative learning
- Hands-on learning
What You’ll Need
Materials You Provide
- Glue sticks
- Safety scissors
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Optional
- Small-group instruction
Before you begin this activity, choose the specific place in the United States that you would like learners to explore. It should be very different from or far from your place and its location. Research 2-3 natural characteristics and 2-3 cultural characteristics of that place.
A place is defined by its natural and human features. You can learn a lot about what defines a place by looking beyond your own community.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry cultural characteristic Noun
feature of an area or population that identifies it. Cultural characteristics are often defined as food, language, art, clothing, religion and holidays.
natural characteristic Noun
feature that occurs naturally in a place or an organism.
area having unique physical and human characteristics.