Geography

VA SOL - USI.2

Study Guide and Resources

What are the seven continents?
Continents are large land masses surrounded by water.

Continents:

  • North America
  • Africa
  • Antarctica
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Europe*

    *Europe is considered a continent even though it is not entirely surrounded by water.  The land mass of Europe and Asia is frequently called Eurasia.

Continent Review Games:

World Continents and Oceans        Test Your Knowledge        Hangman

Where are the geographic regions of North America located?
What are some physical characteristics of the geographic regions of North America?
Geographic regions have distinctive characteristics.

Coastal Plain

  • Located along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico

  • Broad lowland providing many excellent harbors

Appalachian Mountains

  • Located west of Coastal Plain extending from eastern Canada to western Alabama

  • Old, eroded mountains (oldest mountain range in North America)

Canadian Shield

  • Wrapped around Hudson Bay in a horseshoe shape

  • Hills worn by erosion and hundreds of lakes carved by glaciers

  • Holds some of the oldest rock formations in North America

Interior Lowlands

  • Located west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Great Plains

  • Rolling flatlands with many rivers, broad river valleys, and grassy hills

Great Plains

  • Located west of Interior Lowlands and east of the Rocky Mountains

  • Flat land that gradually increases in elevation westward; grasslands

Rocky Mountains

  • Located west of the Great Plains and east of the Basin and Range

  • Rugged mountains stretching from Alaska to Mexico; high elevations

  • Contains the Continental Divide, which determines the directional flow of rivers

Basin and Range

  • Located west of Rocky Mountains and east of the Sierra Nevadas and the Cascades

  • Area of varying elevations containing isolated mountain ranges and Death Valley, the lowest point in North America

Coastal Range

  • Rugged mountains along the Pacific Coast that stretch from California to Canada

  • Contains fertile valleys

Region Review Games:

Geography Terms        Rags to Riches        Order the Regions

What are the major bodies of water in the United States?
The United States has access to numerous and varied bodies of water.

Major Bodies of Water

  • Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific

  • Rivers: Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Columbia, Colorado, Rio Grande

  • Lakes: Great Lakes

  • Gulf: Gulf of Mexico

What are some ways bodies of water in the United States have supported interaction and created links to other regions?
Bodies of water support interaction among regions, form borders, and create links to other areas.

Atlantic Ocean

  • served as the highway for explorers, early settlers, and immigrants

  • located east of the United States

  • has provided access to other areas of the world

Pacific Ocean

  • an early exploration route

  • located west of the United States

  • has provided access to other areas of the world

Mississippi River

  • transportation artery for farm and industrial products

  • links to ports and other parts of the world

  • flows through the Interior Lowlands into the Gulf of Mexico

  • part of the longest and most important river system

Missouri River

  • transportation artery for farm and industrial products

  • links to ports and other parts of the world

  • flows through the Great Plains, the Interior Lowlands into the Mississippi River

  • part of the  longest and most important river system

Ohio River

  • was the Gateway to the west

  • flows into the Mississippi River

Columbia River

  • explored by Lewis and Clark

Colorado River

  • explored by the Spanish

Rio Grande River

  • forms the border with Mexico

Great Lakes

  • there are five Great Lakes

  •  inland port cities grew in the Midwest along the Great Lakes

  • form part of the border between the United States and Canada

Gulf of Mexico

  • provided the French and Spanish with exploration routes to Mexico and other parts of America

Review Game:

Bodies of Water Pop-Ups

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF U.S. GEOGRAPHY

Jeopardy        Double Jeopardy