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Locating and describing Virginia's Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau.



  • Briefly, review the borders of Virginia by handing out cards with the names of the states and bodies of water. Ask the students to arrange themselves and the cards according to where each is located in relationship to Virginia.

  • Explain to the students that Virginia consists of geographic regions that have distinctive characteristics. Virginia can be divided into five geographic regions. These regions have distinctive characteristics based on their landforms and bodies of water.

  • Have the students describe the types of landforms and bodies of water in the region where they live. List the responses on the board, helping the students to understand the characteristics of the different landforms and bodies of water. Ask the students if they have traveled to places in the state, such as Virginia Beach, and ask them about their observations of the land. Did they see mountains and hills, or was the land flat? Ask the students about characteristics of the land and water in other regions they have visited in Virginia. Post the responses of the students.

  • Identify and locate each of the five regions of Virginia, using a wall map of Virginia. Label each region, and discuss its physical characteristics. (Select one color for the name and one color for the characteristics.) Students will color the regions on their map and make a map key.

  • Locate and identify the Fall Line on a map of Virginia. Explain that the Fall Line is an imaginary line where there is a natural border between the Coastal Plain (Tidewater) and the Piedmont regions. Also, the Fall Line is where waterfalls prevent further travel on the river. Attach yarn or string to the wall map so that the students can easily locate the Fall Line. Use a black crayon to draw the Fall Line on the students’ maps and label the Fall Line. Refer to the Virginia Atlas CD for photographs of the Fall Line.

  • Label the five regions of Virginia on the unlabeled map of the Geographic Regions of Virginia.

  • Make a three dimensional map of the regions of Virginia.

  • Use children of differing heights to stand before the class to represent the different elevations of the regions.

  • Create flip charts on the five regions of Virginia to include products, climate, Indians, elevation, and landforms.

  • Create Jeopardy questions for fellow classmates.

  • Design a travel brochure highlighting important areas of Virginia.

  • Optional: Make up body motions to characterize the landforms of each region and the water forms for the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Have the students travel from east to west starting with the Atlantic Ocean and ending at the Appalachian Plateau.

  • Optional: Play an “I Am Thinking” game. State the characteristics of a region and have the students guess which region you are thinking of by holding up index cards with the name of the region.

  • Optional: If pictures of places within each region are available, have the students discuss the characteristics of the land and identify which region it depicts.



Produced by Prince William County Public Schools in collaboration with
the Virginia Department of Education. All rights reserved. Filnet Inc.
Updated on August 11, 2008.