1. Introduce the concept of natural characteristics of places.
Explain to students that certain things in nature help to define a place. Write the following list of natural characteristics on chart paper:
- weather and temperature
- land and soil
- plant life
- animal life
Have students brainstorm and add their ideas to the list.
2. Introduce the concept of cultural characteristics of places.
Explain to students that the people and cultures in a place also help to define a place. Write the following list of cultural characteristics on chart paper:
- where people settle
- how people get from place to place
- how money is exchanged
Have students brainstorm and add their ideas to the list. Students may include number of people, how people dress, what they eat, and more. Post the list in the classroom for students to refer to in future activities.
3. Have students identify these characteristics in your community.
Tell students to think about their own community and what defines it as a place. For each of the natural and cultural characteristics in Steps 1 and 2, discuss them as a class. Ask: What is this like in our community?
Extending the Learning
Have students pick one natural characteristic and one cultural characteristic of their community to illustrate. Ask them to draw those features. When students are finished, have each show their drawing to the class and explain what feature it shows and why they chose that one. Display the drawings.
- describe natural and cultural characteristics of places
- identify natural and cultural characteristics of their community
What You’ll Need
Materials You Provide
- Chart paper
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Large-group instruction
A place is defined by its natural and human features. You can learn a lot about what defines a place by looking at your own community.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry human features Noun
characteristics of the environment created by human beings.
natural feature Noun
characteristic of a geographic region that was not created by humans.
area having unique physical and human characteristics.