Students watch a video about the Devils Lake Basin, and then discuss the geographical concepts they learned from the video. Students draw a diagram showing the formation of Devils Lake Basin.
This lesson is part of Great States | North Dakota Unit 2: Geography & Climate, an exploration of how physical geography impacts human life and how human life impacts physical geography.
4.2.6: Describe the daily lives (e.g., roles, shelter, significance of buffalo) of the first inhabitants of North Dakota
4.5.3: Identify the location and characteristics of significant features of North Dakota (e.g., landforms, river systems, climate, regions, major cities)
8.5.1: Describe the location and characteristics of the three regions of North Dakota including the Red River Valley, the Drift Prairie, and the Missouri Plateau
- Video: Mother Nature in Charge | Geography of Devils Lake Basin
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other screen to show videos to class
- Plain white paper
Provide students with plain white paper. Tell students they will be watching a short video about how glacial movements formed features of North Dakota, and that they should pay attention to formations shown in the video. If needed, they can use one side of the paper to take notes as they watch.
Play the video, Mother Nature in Charge | Geography of Devils Lake Basin [1:11].
Have students list the geographical concepts they learned in the video:
Ice expanding to create a basin
Ice melt creating a lake
Sand deposits creating moraines around the lake
Ask students to describe areas of the state they have seen that show evidence of glacier-made formations. Remind them that the first part of the video showed the glaciers covering North Dakota and forming land/water structures as they moved and/or melted. Answers will vary depending on your students’ exposure to the state.
Direct students to draw and label the formation stages of Devils Lake Basin.
Important pieces of the drawing should include:
Ice melt (water in the basin)
Moraines (low hills of sand)
Extend the Lesson (take-home):
Have students research and write a paragraph about the first people to settle in North Dakota (American Indians or European/Eastern Americans) and how Devils Lake fit into the new settlement patterns.