1. Brainstorm kids’ territories in your town or neighborhood.
Ask students to think about territories within their town or neighborhood. Ask:

  • What places do you like to go?
  • What places might be considered kids’ territories?
  • What places might be considered adults’ territories?
  • What places are for both kids and adults?

Have students think about local parks, libraries, restaurants, and other places they have been. Write their responses on the board.

2. Have students imagine their territory is threatened and discuss students’ reactions
Explain that people within a community do not always agree about how places should be used. Ask students to imagine the following scenario: There is a playground in their town that all the kids like to go to. A group of adults wants to build an office building where the playground is. Ask:

  • How would this make you feel?
  • How could you avoid arguing about it?
  • What could you do to convince the adults not to do this?


3. Have students write or draw pictures with possible solutions.
Have students work in groups to draw a park that would be ideal for both kids and the adults in this scenario. They should consider how everyone can be happy with their territories within the park. Have students draw their parks on large pieces of paper and clearly outline where the territories within are for kids only, adults only, or both groups.

What You’ll Need


Background Information

Everyone has personal territory, or space, that he or she is comfortable in. Understanding personal territory helps you to understand the reasons for conflicts over territory.


Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry



a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.



land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.

Learn More


Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.


Betsy Hedberg


Christina Riska, National Geographic Society

Educator Reviewer

Mark H. Bockenhauer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography, St. Norbert College


adapted from the National Geographic Xpeditions lesson “What’s Your Territory?”

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