Lesson plans using ArcGIS Explorer

Lesson Title Grade Overview
Elements of Literature – Conflict Upper primary – middle school Students will study person vs. nature conflict as part of a novel study on Brian’s Return by Gary Paulsen. They have previously read Hatchet and Brian’s Winter. Using the Elevation Profile Map Tool, students will identify the elevation of their locale and then compare it to the elevation of Northern Canada, the setting of the novel. Students will make predictions on what conflict Brian may encounter during his time in the Canadian wilderness.
Exploring Maps with the Fall Line Primary The students will explore and name the major rivers and cities in Virginia as stated in the Virginia Studies Sols. Each student will have to investigate the rivers and cities of Potomac, Rappahannock, James, and the cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, and Richmond. Students will zoom in on these images and name each on a map. Using the profile tools trace the river as it runs through these cities. Draw the elevation changes for each city describing the Fall Line.
GIS Lesson Demonstrating Local Minima and Maxima High School – Math Students will find minimum and maximum elevations for a portion of Salem, VA, and then for various places in the US. They will use these findings to postulate about why Salem’s maximum elevation is not as big as Virginia’s, Colorado’s, and the whole USA. They will use this information to better understand local maxima and by induction, to better understand local minima. This is a sticking point for many of my students- Why is a value on a graph a “local” maximum when there is clearly a higher point elsewhere on the graph? Students will also choose a place where they believe will have a very high elevation and map its elevation.
Lewis and Clark Primary The student will use maps to locate the geographic regions of North America (Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and Coastal Range will be located in this lesson), as well as identify water features important to the early history of the United States: Mississippi River, Missouri River, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean will be identified in this particular lesson. The students will be able to describe the territorial expansion of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Locating Egypt on a World Map Primary This presentation will show students a whole world perspective and then help them to locate Egypt, the Nile River, and Cairo on a map.
US Geographic Regions – Physical Features Primary (can be adapted easily for Middle School) Students will explore the physical characteristics of the Coastal Ranges, Basin and Range, Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, Interior Lowlands, Appalachian Mountains, and the Coastal Plains. The Elevation Profile Map Tool will be used to make profiles of these regions and then students will draw and label characteristics of each region.
Virginia Location Review Primary The students will review the bordering states of Virginia and the five regions of Virginia.
Where (in the World) Are You? Primary This power point will show students that Salem is a city, which is located in the state of Virginia, which is part of the United States of America, which is on the continent of North America, which is on the planet Earth.
These lesson plans were provided by Judith Painter, World Geography Teacher – NBCT, Andrew Lewis Middle School, Salem City Schools, Salem, Virginia.

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