You are going to locate and describe the important physical features throughout North America! These features will be located on maps and globes. You will then tell how these physical features have affected the development of the United States of America and how they are still affecting us today.  


For our lesson this week, you will be creating a map to show your understanding of the physical layout of the North America.  You will label any and all important features on your map. These important features will be made clear to you as you progress in the making of your map. Your map should be legible and accurate.  In this way, you will present to your fellow classmates and me your map, showing that you have a clear understanding and appreciation of the United States of America, located in North America. 


*This is not an art contest. 


To accomplish this task, you must research and gather information concerning North America and important features that make up and surround it.

- First, you will be assigned groups.  Within your groups, you will research and record any/all valuable information that you can discover about the geographical features of North America. This may include regions, bodies of water, surrounding continents, etc. Eight Regions of North America is a website where you can find some vital information about the eight regions of North America through a slide show. Within this World Atlas you can find a lot of valuable information about North America and its surrounding features.

-Then, each member of your group will create their own graphic organizer to condense their research of North America.  On the “Credits” page, you will find a printable graphic organizer that you may use if you wish.

-You will then use your notes that you have condensed on your graphic organizer to play this quiz about the different regions of North America.  You will also take this quiz to help you learn more about the continents and oceans that surround us.

-Next, you will draw, to the best of your ability, your own map of North America.  You will then label the following:

  • United States of America
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Geographical Regions (color, using a different color for each region)
  • Map Key
  • Great Lakes (location as a whole, not each individual lake)
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • West Virginia

- Finally, you will write one paragraph (using complete 4th grade sentences) on the back of your map about what you have discovered about how these physical features have affected the development of the United States of America and how they are still affecting us today. 


You will be graded on teamwork you show during the research process, the recorded information gathered on your graphic organizer, the accuracy of the information labeled on your map and on the presentation of your hand-drawn map of North America.



Now that you have completed your map of North America, you have learned so much about where you live!  At this point, you should know what geographical region that you live in, what geographical regions surround your region, what ocean you are closest to, and many more neat facts about North America!




- What else would you like to know about North America?


- What could you tell someone who had never been to North America but was considering visiting?


- What is the most interesting thing that you have discovered about North America during this learning process?


Here is a list of websites that may help you in during the process of your research and in creating your own map.




This interactive website contains information (along with a world map) about the seven contents and the five surrounding oceans, in the form of a quiz.  You simply look at the map and answer the questions about the map.




This website contains a slide show that presents some very valuable information about the eight regions of North America.




This website talks a lot about the history of North America.



Teacher Page

On this page you will find an overview of the purpose, objectives, and learner description, along with the standards students will meet when they complete this WebQuest. This guided lesson plan will support teachers as they introduce students to the WebQuest activity.


The Geography Around Us WebQuest is intended to support student learning in a variety of ways. First, the WebQuest encourages students to examine the continent and country in which they live. A second purpose for this WebQuest is to educate students on different resources for research. Finally, the WebQuest transitions students from passive receivers of content into active producers of materials, an important skill heading into the 21st century world.


Building an understanding of the geography of North America, at the same time, researching information about this subject helps students become critical evaluator.

Learner Description

This WebQuest is appropriate for West Virginia students in ABC or LMN grade beginning to study Social Studies, the concept of Geography.


Students embarking on the Social Studies: Geography Around Us WebQuest should demonstrate the following:

  • Basic Internet navigation skills
  • Reading on a 4th grade level
  • General understanding of working in a small group
  • Understanding of researching to obtain knowledge

Instructional Objectives

Upon completion of this WebQuest, students will have the ability to:

  • Identify important geological features of North America
  • Identify surrounding continents and oceans (South America, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean)
  • Identify the United States of America, West Virginia, Canada, Mexico
  • Create a map that can be used to show the knowledge learned 

Standards Addressed

The focus of this WebQuest is on addressing the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives one but no more than two content area in West Virginia Schools. Specifically, the standards targeted by the activity cover a specific subgroup if there are subgroups (Social Studies) indicators in ABC and LMN grade. See pages   of the West Virginia Department of Education Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives website or the Teach 21 website for the Interactive CSOs which consists of the 21st Century Content Standards, Learning Skills and Technology Tools for WV Schools 

Grade 4

SS.4.G.1            describe and locate examples of the major physical features of the United States (e.g., bodies of water, mountains, rivers, grasslands, oases, etc.) using references and technology (e.g., atlas, globe, Global Information System, etc.)

SS.4.G.4            plan and construct maps to demonstrate the effect of geographic conditions on historical events (e.g., colonization, industry, agriculture, major engagements in the Revolutionary War, Westward, Expansion, etc.)

Subject Matter Description

You will find the following sections in the WebQuest for students to refer to when completing the activity.

  • Introduction: In this section, students will be given an overview of the activity with a basic framing of the activity.
  • Task: On this page, students will encounter an outline of the WebQuest.
  • Process: As students encounter this page, they will learn the extent of the project and the steps for completing the WebQuest successfully, as well as the resources to guide them through the activity.
  • Evaluation: The rubric for scoring each students’ participation and presentation.
  • Conclusion: This page offers students a tidy warp-up of what they have completed and some additional questions to think about as they move on.


The product of this WebQuest for students includes something that the students will create to demonstrate their learning (concept map, illustration, journal, reenactment…). Student work will be assessed on several measures, including group teamwork, overall development, and their ability to present what they have learned through creating their own map.