Utah State University - 4th Grade Social Studies Computer Lesson

DeAnn G. Lichfield - Mapping of Utah
Regions of Utah - Mapping

Approximate Time: 30 Min.

Anticipatory Set:
Alejandroís Gift by Richard E. Albert - a story of a man who develops an inviting place in the desert. Lonely in his house beside a road in the desert, Alejandro builds an oasis to attract the many animals around him. Letís see if you can find a place within our state where Alejandro could have lived. We will discuss several different regions in the next few days.

Establish Context:
We will be preparing topographical maps of Utah in the coming weeks. Todayís computer lesson will give you some background for the regions of Utah and what is unique within each of the three areas.

Discuss the new vocabulary.

Compass Rose - give the directionality of the map using North, South, East, and West with crossed arrows

Rocky Mountain Region - two distinct ranges of mountains, Wasatch Mountains running North and South; and Uinta Mountains running East and West.

Colorado Plateau- An area lifted up, mostly flat, carved over time by water and wind. It includes the state's hottest desert. There are many unusual rock formations carved in the limestone and sandstone. Plateau means large high mountain plain.

Great Basin- a basin is an area of land that is low like a bowl. The Great Basin is a desert region, getting less than ten inches of water a year. It is the area that  Lake Bonneville once covered.

Topographical map - a map including the surface features of a region. - Utah From Space

Through direct instruction and discussion, the students will be able to draw a rudimentary map of the state of Utah, dividing it into the three regions: the Great Basin, the Colorado Plateau, and the Rocky Mountain Region.

Guided Learning:
In the computer lab - drawing a state map of Utah
Draw this on the chalkboard as the students go through the process.
    Label the regions on the chalkboard.
     ï    Using the drawing program (ie.: Claris Works), sketch a tall rectangle that fills the page from top to bottom
     for the longer sides and is shorter at the top and bottom.
     ï    Find the center of the rectangle and put a dot there.
     ï    Look at the top edge of the rectangle and mentally divide it into thirds. One third of the way in from the right top corner, ëclick and dragí another smaller rectangle, only moving a short distance down from the top. This is a part of the state of Wyoming.
     ï    Mark where your city is on the map of Utah.
     ï    Make a Great Salt Lake image in its approximate location, centered in the upper left section of the map. Use your thumb as a size guide for the lake.
     ï    Draw a cross mark, compass rose in the right hand top corner, where the piece of Wyoming nestles into Utah.
     ï    Make a squiggly line that starts above the top/middle of the rectangle (and east of the Great Salt Lake) and connects at the center dot.
     ï    Continue that line down around Cedar City and St. George. Curve it off of the west (left) side of our map, an inch or so above the bottom of the rectangle.
     ï    From the center point draw another line that extends up and off of the east side of the state, slightly below the small rectangular area.
     ï    Change to typing mode and label the three regions: The Great Basin, The Rocky Mountain Region, and The Colorado Plateau.
     ï    Label the compass rose - N, S, E, W - appropriately.
     ï    Label your city.
     ï    Print your name at the bottom of the page, then print your map.

Appropriate Practice:
Possible questions -
1. What are the directions that we should name on this compass rose?
2.  What state nestles into the northeast corner of Utah?
3.  Into what other states do these three regions pour over?
3.  What ancient lake filled the Great Basin?
4.  What region do we live in?

Seat those needing help near the front of the classroom and check on their progress throughout the step by step instructions.
The students work at their own computers within the school computer lab. Give verbal instruction and visual demonstration of the mapping skills.
Move freely around the room and watch for those who need help.

When students feel they are ready to print, have them raise their hands before sending the map to the printer with the ëprintí command. Give additional instruction as needed.

Were the students able to successfully construct their own simple rendition of the State of Utah map, identifying the three main regions?