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Grade Level: 4

Time: 3 weeks

Geographic Theme:

Five themes for Florida Geography


Introduce students to the five themes of Geography as they relate to Florida.


Social Studies Curriculum- Fourth Grade

1.1 Diagram the shape of Florida.
1.2 List and locate the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Panhandle, and the Peninsula.
1.3 Locate major lakes, rivers, and bays of Florida.
1.5 Identify major landforms of Florida.
1.6 Recognize change in landforms.
1.7 Associate a landform with a description of its environment.
1.11 Recognize that latitude and longitude play a role in the climate and weather of a region.
1.20 Use appropriate sources to locate information.
1.21 Use maps and globes as sources of information.
1.22 Organize and present information and ideas by designing and producing materials.


  • Video- National Geographic Society Geography Five Themes for Planet Earth 1992.
  • Magazines- Old National Geographic, Florida Wildlife, etc., to cut out pictures for a collage.


  1. Initiate the lesson by showing students the above-mentioned video. Tell students they will hear about 5 themes. Listen for them and try and name the 5 themes when the viewing of the video is over.
  2. Guided questions and discussion about the video. Example: What were the 5 Themes of Geography? What do you think the themes mean? How do these themes help our understanding of Florida?
  3. Copy outline on the 5 Themes of Geography.
  4. Cooperative groups- Divide class into 5 small groups. Put papers numbering 1-5 into a bag. Have each student select a number from the bag. All the students that select #1 will work together, #2, etc.
  5. Group assignment-
    1. Each group member has an assigned job.
      1. Manager- Keeps group on task.
      2. Reader- Reads resource material to group.
      3. Evaluator- Keeps notes on group processing and social skills.
      4. Go-For- Gets materials and equipment and runs errands for the group.
      5. Recorder- Writes down group responses.
    1. Each group will research their assigned theme.
      Example: Location- as it relates to our state, Florida. They are encouraged to use atlas, encyclopedia, almanac, magazines, etc.
    2. Design a map of the state of Florida, include a compass rose, important features and land forms, and you may use lines of latitude and longitude.
    3. Have your design approved by your teacher.
    4. Draw your group's approved map on large chart paper. Color. Stencil your group's theme on the map and color in the letters. Select pictures from old magazines that help explain your theme. Make a collage by artistically arranging the cutout pictures onto your map.
  1. Culminating activity- Each group shares their finished projects. Explain the theme and why they selected certain pictures for the collage. Display students' murals.
  2. Review the 5 Themes of Geography Outline. Possibly view the video for a second time followed by guided question and discussion.
  3. Evaluation
    1. Fill in the blank outline test.
    2. Essay question- Select any one of the 5 themes (you can use the one you did your project on) and explain:
      1. What it is,
      2. What it means
      3. How could you use what you learned to help you understand about a new location?

GEOGRAPHY: Five Themes for Planet Earth

  1. LOCATION-Where are places located?
    1. Absolute-exact position.
      1. Your home address.
      2. Global address- Daytona Beach is located at 29 N, 81 W.
    2. Relative- relationship of one place to another.
      1. Jullington Creek Elementary is just South of Jullington Creek.
      2. Go East on Race Track Road about 7 miles to highway U.S. 1.
  2. PLACE-What makes a place special? What are the physical and human characteristics?
    1. Physical- We have loose sandy soil and our region is in a coastal lowland.
    2. Human- We have boat docks on Jullington Creek.
    3. Historical- Nearby, St. Augustine, is our nation's oldest city.
  3. HUMAN/ ENVIRONMENTS-How do people adjust to their environments?
    1. Depend- We depend on the St. John's River and underground aquifers for fresh water.
    2. Modify- We use air-conditioning to keep us cool and dry in the hot weather.
    3. Adapt- We wear lightweight clothes in the hot/humid summers.
  4. MOVEMENT-People are scattered unevenly over the Earth.
    1. People- My parents commute to Jacksonville every day to work.
    2. Goods- Foods in our local supermarket may have come from dozens of different countries.
    3. Ideas- Telefax, newspapers can communicate ideas around the world.
  5. REGION- Areas that have unifying characteristics.
    1. Physical- landform, climate, soil, and natural vegetation.
    2. Cultural- political, linguistic, agricultural.


Five Themes for Planet Earth

Outline Test

Word Box

  • Human/Environment
  • Region
  • Location
  • Place
  • Movement
  • Depend
  • Relative
  • People
  • Physical(2)
  • Human
  • Absolute
  • Goods
  • Ideas
  • Modify
  • Cultural
  • Historical
  • Adapt
  1. _______________________
    1. _______________________
    2. _______________________
  2. _______________________
    1. _______________________
    2. _______________________
    3. _______________________
  3. _______________________
    1. _______________________
    2. _______________________
    3. _______________________
  4. _______________________
    1. _______________________
    2. _______________________
    3. _______________________
  5. _______________________
    1. _______________________
    2. _______________________


Florida Relief Map

Using play dough or baker's dough make a relief map of Florida showing the four regions: Coastal Lowlands, Marianna Lowlands, Northern Highlands, and the Central Highlands.

Use a rigid cardboard base: dimension of base should be exactly 8 inches by 10 inches. Use a different color for each region.

Include a legend and compass rose.

Label the three bodies of water around Florida.

Label the two states that border Florida.

Use textbook Florida page 26 as a guide for the project.

Include the St. John's, Suwannee, Apalachicola, and the Chattahoochee Rivers.

Show Lake Okeechobee.

Hand in on time.

Recipe for bakers play dough: It will be equal parts flour and salt and the amount of water varies depending on the amount of flour/salt: Example: 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, and about 1/2 to 1 cup of water. Slowly add water until the dough is a nice consistency to work with. Dough may be divided into groups and food color added to it for color. It becomes very hard when it dries.

Due Date:

Have fun and learn!

Copyright © 2010 The Florida Geographic Alliance