All About North America

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The lesson introduces students to a familiar continent, North America.  Students are familiar with the seven continents but may not know everything about their neighbors in North America, the other countries, people, attractions, and information about the continent.  This is one lesson in a series of lessons related to each of the seven continents, when students can “travel” around the world learning about other cultures and peoples.  It is recommended students view one or more videos to enhance their “trips” to the continent.

All About North America Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about All About North America
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson provides students with information about their home continent that they likely do not know. It begins with the discovery of North America by Amerigo Vespucci.  Then the lesson covers some of the history of the Aztecs and Mayans as it relates to the continent. The varied geography and animals that live in North America are also discussed.  Several countries are listed with their flag and interesting facts, such as Cuba and Panama. Finally, North American attractions such as Niagra Falls and the Panama Canal are described with illustrations.  This is one lesson in a series of lessons related to each of the seven continents, when students can “travel” around the world learning about other cultures and peoples. It is recommended students view one or more videos to enhance their “trips” to the continent.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:  

  1. Ask students: How many countries are in North America?  (Many students will not guess the true number—23) Ask students to name as many as possible.
  2. Allow for responses and list all countries. Once students have guessed as many as possible, go through each country and a North America map, identify each of the listed countries on the map-ask students if they still agree it is a part of North America.
  3. Ask students if they are surprised by the number of countries in North America and why.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce All About North America.
  5. Distribute All About North America content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use a North America continent map during the content discussion/reading, identifying various places for students.  A map of N.A. may be distributed to students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students and distribute supplies.  Allow students access to the Internet and time to complete the posters.  Review each poster rough draft before allowing students to complete a final poster.
  7. Once completed, students present the poster to the class. Once all students have presented, students cast a private vote sharing the country where they would like to visit based on the presentations.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: Imagine in the future the United States no longer exists, what other country in North America would you move to and why?

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3, 7

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:  

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Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies