Identifying Physical and Human Characteristics

What makes places distinct? Students identify physical characteristics (such as landforms, climate, and natural resources) and human characteristics (such as food, clothing, industry, and recreation) of distant places. They analyze images of life in another country to make inferences about how geography shapes life in that part of the world.


Analyzing Photos

Students read One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley, a photo essay with minimal text representing scenes from daily life around the world. They determine the author’s purpose and message, then read the detailed captions at the end of the book to get more context on where, when, how, and why some of the pictures were taken to see how this changes their thinking. Use this lesson to practice the skill of image analysis and to stress the importance of considering the source and context when making interpretations.


Investigating Physical and Human Characteristics

What are the relationships between people and places? Students continue to gather evidence to draft claims about how geography shapes culture. Scanning is reinforced as an effective and efficient strategy for finding relevant information in dense texts.


Investigating Physical and Human Characteristics (Digging Deeper)

In this teacher-guided work session, students continue to research their assigned countries. Choose this lesson to deepen research skills and explore additional sources. This lesson can be repeated as needed when students need time to work with some structure and accountability.


Finding Supporting Details

In this lesson, students read nonfiction texts that highlight the different ways people meet their basic needs in different places. They focus on locating supporting details within the text that support the main idea that geography shapes daily life, using words that signal comparison to help them with the task.


Travel Plan (Checkpoint Assessment)

Students use research findings to create a Travel Plan that includes a claim about how geography shapes culture in their assigned country.


Travel Plan (Digging Deeper)

Students share their “Travel Plan” handouts to demonstrate their growing understanding of how geography shapes culture. They reflect on how learning about other cultures helps people become more knowledgeable and engaged global citizens.


Global Connections

Image by Markus Spiske

Essential Question

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How is culture shaped by geography?

How does where you live impact how you live? Students analyze maps, photos, and texts to identify important characteristics of a country, and then write a Travel Plan that reflects what they've learned about how geography shapes culture.