U.S.: Southwest Region


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The lesson introduces students to the Southwest region of the United States.  The United States is commonly divided into five regions, though some websites may divide the states into four, six, or more geographic regions.  It is important for students to become familiar with each region of the country, which will help them when current events are discussed, weather events announced, etc.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to the United States.

U.S.: Southwest Region Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about the U.S.: Southwest Region
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-5 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson introduces students to the Southwest Region of the United States. The region includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The lesson describes several of the geographical features of the region, including landscape features like mesas and plateaus, as well as features such as the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest. Finally, a few interesting facts about each state are listed. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to the United States.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Display a list of the Southwestern states. Ask students:  What do each of the states have in common?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to share as much as they know about the Southwestern states.  Display a list of facts and information, which may be referred to later.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce S.: Southwest Region to the class.
  4. Distribute S.: Southwest Region content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use a state or regional map during the lesson.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use a video resource to “tour” the Southwestern states.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Allow access to the Internet for students to complete further research about each state for their poster.  Remind students the poster should be creative, and the goal is to share as much information as possible for each state.  Allow sufficient time for completion of the poster or discussion question.
  6. Once completed, the students will share their poster with the class or another pair of students. In addition, conduct a class discussion related to the questions.  Display posters in the “Southwest” corner of the classroom.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Discuss the final question with the class.
  9. In closing, ask students: What would be most and least enjoyable about living in a desert town? Why?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Students should give specific reasons for their responses.

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

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

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

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

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Social Studies

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Thank you once again for such an excellent resource. It is much appreciated.

Ryan F.

Southwest Region

The item was very informative. It demonstrated the appropriate grade level activities and materials. These lesson plans have been very helpful for teaching science to my students. Thanks for very much for all your hard work in creating these lesson plans.