Students will examine maps of Minnesota showing its terrain and population distribution. On a blank map of Minnesota, they will label important cities and geographical information.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 1: Minnesota’s Three Geographical Regions" where students will look at what makes Minnesota special. Students will study Minnesota’s unique geographical features and how they have changed over time.
126.96.36.199.1: Explain how geographic factors affect population distribution and the growth of cities in the United States and Canada.
188.8.131.52.1: Locate, identify and describe major physical features in Minnesota; explain how physical features and the location of resources affect settlement patterns and the growth of cities in different parts of Minnesota.
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show images to the class
- Image: Minnesota Terrain Map
- Image: Minnesota Population Map
- Image: Contemporary Minnesota Map
- Class set of The Cities of Minnesota handout
- Project Minnesota Terrain Map. Ask students to indicate what region of the state appears to be most conducive to human settlement. Point out the area of the state that is flat and on a river.
- Next, show the Minnesota Population Map. Indicate that the population hub of the state is located in the plains by the Mississippi River, a major trade artery.
- Show the Contemporary Minnesota Map and distribute the The Cities of Minnesota map handout. Have students place city names by the appropriate dots.
- Then, show the terrain map again. Guide students to the understanding that human settlement is most readily achieved in flat areas with access to fresh water for drinking, trade, and transport.
- Ask students what other physical factors might influence where people settle (e.g., climate, natural resources, flat land, fertile soil).
Cities are Minneapolis, St. Paul (starred), Duluth, Brooklyn Park, and St. Cloud