In a story-like manner, teach students that the land regions were formed before the first inhabitants of Alabama arrived by saying: “Let me tell you about something that happened long before you were a baby, long before I was a baby, long before the ‘Choctaw-Chickasaw-Cherokee-Creek,’ and even before the Paleo-Indians reached Alabama at the end of the Ice Age - not the movie. There were no counties, no cities, just the land. Alabama had formed naturally into five major land regions.
Think about land regions and about what you think they are. I am going to show you some maps that might help you to get a better understanding of what a land region might be.”
Show primary source maps. Teach students that a land region has geographic, political, or cultural characteristics that distinguish it from others whether it exists in only one state or country or extends over several.
Primary source maps:
Step 1 Show map of Alabama land regions from the following Web site: http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/assets/PDFs/Physiographic%20Sections%20Figure%202.pdf
Give an overview of the five regions and point out land forms.
Step 2 Instruct students that although the work will be completed in groups, each student will be responsible for knowing the characteristics of all five regions, and each group will be responsible for a presentation on one region (Jigsaw).
Divide students into five groups and distribute Alabama Land Regions handout. Students may also utilize information in textbooks and on the internet. Students will work in groups to find important facts about each region such as its natural resources, its land forms, and its flora and fauna. Students should also note the role of the fall line in the geography of the state and that some counties cross land regions. Groups will present learned information in jigsaw fashion.
As this information is presented, each student will write facts about each region on sticky notes.
Step 3 On an anchor chart, each group will place its sticky notes on the appropriate region.
Step 4 The students will play the game “Which Region Is it?” in which students divide into teams and attempt to identify the various land regions of Alabama based upon clues taken from the handout, “Land Regions of Alabama.”
• Students will be divided into teams of three or four and they will select a team spokesman.
• Each team will create and label index cards with the names of the land regions of Alabama.
• After the teacher reads a clue about the land regions of Alabama, the team will discuss and select an answer.
• The team spokesman will hold up the correct answer.
• Remember that certain characteristics may be found in more than one land region, such as growing cotton. The team with the most correct answers wins.
Step 5 The students will use salt dough to make 3-D maps of Alabama using different colors of dough to depict each land region. Students will label the maps after they have dried and write a description of the five land regions of Alabama in their journals.