Lesson Plan

Physical Features of Latin America

Visually dynamic exploration of the places in Latin America
Lisa B.
Classroom teacher
Hershey Middle School
Hershey, United States
Show More
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to locate and describe key physical features in Latin America. 

Students will be able to explain how the physical features have influenced settlement patterns and human characteristics of Latin America.

Social Studies
Grades 5 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Drawing

Give students a map with the general outline of Latin America, like this one.  Working with a partner, they should try to complete the following tasks just based on prior knowledge and educated guesses:

  • Label the map 'Latin America'
  • Draw a compass rose
  • Draw and label the equator
  • Label the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean 
  • Label the Gulf of Mexico 
  • Draw and label the Andes Mountains
  • Draw and label the Amazon River
  • Draw and label the Rio Grande 
  • Label any countries they know in Latin America 

Show them an actual political map of Latin America and highlight some of the physical features on that map. 

2 Partner Practice

Activity: Drawing

On a blank map, students will need to label the major physical features based on a list of the latitude and longitude coordinates

3 Individual Practice

Free, Paid

Students will practice identifying each of the physical features and the countries they already learned by using the Learn Mode in Quizlet

4 Application

Free, Paid

Geography is not just about maps, it is about the stories of the places. By using Nearpod, the students will demonstrate their understanding to the teacher and the teacher will be able to show the actual places to the students. 

One slide will ask them to identify the place on a map using the draw feature. Students should be looking at the map they labeled; this is a chance to check that everyone did it completely and correctly. The next slide is a 360° image of the actual place. Mixed in are teacher traveler photos. While the students are looking at the images, tell them the story of the place. What country (or countries) is it located in? What makes it special? Why is it important to people in the region? 

Nearpod Join Code: XOWTA

5 Closure

Ask the student which one place was their favorite on Answer Garden. If time permits, let some of the students explain WHY it was their favorite.