PLACES AND REGIONS: Physical Characteristics
A Sample Study Guide using the type of questions found on state assessments.
For use with pages 1-10 of Why People Live in New Orleans
Geographers and other people use the term “region” to help us locate an area of land whose shared characteristics set it apart from other places. For example, geographers identify ten regions of the world, including the continent of North America, which is where we find the United States, Louisiana, and New Orleans. We also use “region” for smaller areas, when we say that Louisiana is in the southern region of the United States, and New Orleans is in the region of southeastern Louisiana.
Can you name other regions to which your location or New Orleans belongs?
Shared Characteristics: Physical
Physical features of a region are made by nature, such as land forms, bodies of water, vegetation, animals, climate, and weather. The three North American countries are Canada, the United States, and Mexico. They form a continuous stretch of land. The Rocky Mountain range runs through western North America, in both Canada and the United States. The range’s highest peak is in Colorado, 14,440 feet (4,401 m) above sea level. The mountains do not extend to Louisiana, but one of their resources often does.
What might the Rocky Mountains send all the way to New Orleans and what physical feature would carry it there?
The three countries of North America share the Pacific coastline. What other coastlines do these countries share?
Louisiana also shares characteristics with areas outside North America.
In fact, what do more than half the world and half the U.S. population have in common with the greater New Orleans area?
a. They all have frigid climates.
b. They are within fifty miles of coasts.
c. They have little water nearby.
d. They have very few natural resources.
Louisiana is part of another region that has been in the news a lot since April 2010, the Gulf Coast.
What are some of the physical features that the states and countries in the Gulf Coast region share?
Use what you’ve answered above, and information you’ve read in pages 1-10 of Why People Live in New Orleans to discuss these questions and support your answers:
- What physical features of the New Orleans area do interviewed residents value?
- What physical features make the New Orleans area important to people who live elsewhere?
- Why should you and the rest of the world care about what’s happening to southeast Louisiana?
- Who do you think should help decide about future oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? Support your answers with what you know about places and regions.
- What actions can you and your classmates take that would help damaged physical features of your location, New Orleans, coastal Louisiana, or another region of your choice? How will it benefit you?
- If you choose a region other than your own, how could you connect with the people of that region to gain information and work cooperatively? If you chose your own, how can you connect with other groups in that area who want the same results as you?