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Activity Overview

The geography of the Southwest is unique due to its vast amount of desert, plateaus, and canyons. Very little of the land is useful for farming, but the Central Plains have rich and fertile soil. The major waterways in the Southwest are the Colorado River and the Rio Grande, which forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. In this activity, students will research the geography of the Southwest and create an informative poster that includes geographical features, facts, and colorful illustrations.

You can find more travel poster templates to add to this assignment to give students a variety of choices for their poster!

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a poster highlighting the geographical features of the Southwest.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start assignment”.
  2. Using school resources, conduct research about the geography of the West.
  3. Create a poster about Southwest geography, including facts and illustrations.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Poster Rubric
Create an eye-catching, creative poster to demonstrate your understanding! These can be hung around the class or presented digitally!
33 Points
22 Points
Needs Improvement
11 Points
The text on the poster includes important facts, is accurate and is pertinent to the topic demonstrating a solid understanding of the subject.
The text on the poster includes some important facts, is mostly accurate and is pertinent to the topic demonstrating an emerging understanding of the subject.
The text on the poster does not include enough important facts. The information is not accurate or is not pertinent to the topic.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen enhances the poster by symbolizing or illustrating important facts. Time and care is taken to ensure that the design is neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen is mostly accurate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. The design constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen is too limited. The design appears rushed and incomplete.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Storyboard text is difficult to understand.

How to Seamlessly Integrate Southwest Geography Research into the Curriculum


Curriculum Alignment and Objective Setting

Review the curriculum standards and learning objectives related to geography and social studies. Identify specific outcomes that can be addressed by integrating Southwest geography research. Define clear learning objectives for the integration, specifying what students should know and be able to do as a result of this research. These objectives should align with curriculum standards.


Selecting Resources and Materials

Identify suitable resources and materials for the integration. This could include maps, books, online sources, and other references that students can use to research Southwest geography. Consider technology tools, like interactive maps, or hands-on resources, like physical maps or geographical models, to make the research engaging.


Integrating Southwest Geography Research into Lessons

Determine how the Southwest geography research will be integrated into existing lessons or units. This could include activities within social studies, language arts, science, or other relevant subjects. Develop a sequence of activities that guides students through the research process, which may include brainstorming, research, data analysis, and the creation of informative posters or presentations.


Assessment and Evaluation

Establish assessment criteria and rubrics to evaluate student performance in meeting the learning objectives. This might include evaluating their research, data analysis, and final presentations. Plan formative assessments to gauge student progress during the research process and provide opportunities for feedback and improvement. Implement summative assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the integration, including the quality of students' informative posters or presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions about US Regions Southwest - Geography

What are the climate and weather patterns in the Southwest region, and how do they affect daily life and outdoor activities?

The Southwest experiences an arid and semi-arid climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. Daily life is influenced by these weather patterns, as residents adapt to the region's extreme heat. Outdoor activities are often planned around the weather, with people enjoying the milder winter months for activities like hiking and camping while being cautious during the scorching summer heat.

What types of worksheets can be used to teach students about the diverse mountain ranges in the Southwest, and how do they encourage a deeper understanding of this geography?

Worksheets can include activities like labeling major mountain ranges on maps, researching the highest peaks and their elevations, and comparing the climate, flora, and fauna of different mountain regions. These worksheets encourage students to explore the geographical diversity and significance of the Southwest's mountain ranges.

What are some storyboarding ideas and worksheets to teach about the water resources and management challenges in the arid Southwest?

Storyboarding ideas could include visually depicting the flow of the Colorado River, the impact of dams on water supply, and aquifer recharge methods. Worksheets can include tasks like calculating water usage, examining the consequences of prolonged drought, and proposing solutions for sustainable water management. These resources help students understand the critical importance of water resources in the arid Southwest and the challenges of managing them.

Image Attributions
  • 2542340 • Jen Healy • License Free To Use / No Attribution Required / See for what is not allowed
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