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Grade 4 2-2

Page history last edited by pam merrill 2 years, 4 months ago

Oklahoma Academic Standard 2The student will examine the physical geography and environments of the United States.

Objective 2.2 Identify major physical features in the United States and analyze how physical processes shape places.

A.  Identify and describe the physical characteristics of places, including the major landforms, bodies of water, vegetation and climates in the United States.

B.  Describe the location and characteristics of the major ecosystems in the United States.

In a Nutshell

The United States, like all places on the Earth’s surface, can be divided into physical regions, based on similar characteristics such as ecosystems, climates, landforms, or vegetation. Students should be able to identify and compare the major landforms and bodies of water in each region of the United States, all of which have been shaped by natural processes such as wind and/or water erosion, weathering, and deposition.

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Assist students to describe the human and physical environment through the use of geographic representations.

  • Provide routine opportunities for students to ask and answer geographic questions about regions of the United States such as what living and nonliving things may be found in each regional ecosystem. 

  • Create a physical map to explain spatial relationships of physical places within the United States.

  • Explain how environmental factors affect and continue to impact contemporary human activities within each region.  

Key Concepts 


Physical Processes:

  • wind/water erosion, weathering, deposition, plate tectonics, natural disasters (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc.)

Climate (basic types): tropical, dry, temperate, cold, polar

Natural Vegetation Zones: tundra, grassland, desert, forest 

Major Physical Features (by region):

  • Northeast: Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Appalachian Mountains, Niagara Falls

  • Southeast: Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Arkansas River, Great Lakes, Appalachian Mountains, The Everglades

  • Midwest: Great Plains, Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Missouri River, Ohio River, Badlands

  • Southwest: Arkansas River, Colorado River, Rio Grande, Gulf of Mexico, Great Plains, Painted Desert, Grand Canyon

  • West: Pacific Ocean, Columbia River, Colorado River, Missouri River, Great Salt Lake, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Rocky Mountains,  Cascade Mountains, Continental Divide, Death Valley, Great Basin, Mojave Desert, Redwood Forest

  • Students may hold many misconceptions about how physical processes shape places because they tend to see the Earth as stable and unchanging.  

  • Students may have the tendency to view natural landforms or bodies of water as exclusively located within on region rather than understanding how such natural features are interrelated, crossing man-made regional and sometimes national boundaries.

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to the learning standard and objective.


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