Students use an interactive map to identify North Dakota Historical Sites in the state’s major regions—the Red River Valley, Drift Prairie, and Missouri Plateau.
This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota | Unit 8: Modern North Dakota" where students will learn about the concerns and challenges that the people of North Dakota face today.
4.5.3: Identify the location and characteristics of significant features of North Dakota (e.g., landforms, river systems, climate, regions, major cities)
- Interactive: North Dakota Historic Sites
- A projector or computer stations (3)
- Class set of the Regions of North Dakota map handout
- Black or blue pens
Provide students the Regions of North Dakota map handout.
Divide the class into three groups and assign one geographical area to each group: Red River Valley, Drift Prairie, and Missouri Plateau. Briefly discuss defining characteristics of each geographic region:
Red River Valley: Naturally, this is the valley of the Red River. The land is flat and wet with fertile soil with very few trees. It is the lowest elevation in the state.
Drift Prairie: This middle section is marked with hills and small ponds amidst its rocky soil. The scattered ponds attract a lot of wildlife.
Missouri Plateau: This land is bordered along the east side (bordering the Drift Prairie) by the Missouri Escarpment—a rocky ridge, and on the west by the badlands—rocky formations exposed and shaped by wind and water. This region has the highest elevation in the state.
Project the interactive North Dakota Historic Sites Google map (either click on the Expand icon in the upper right hand corner of the map, or click the “View State Historic Sites of North Dakota in a larger map” link located along the bottom left corner). Have groups take turns clicking on the map in their approximate geographical area to identify five historical sites within the area. (If computer stations are available, each group can search the interactive simultaneously.) Have groups roughly mark the location of each of the five sites with an “x” and a number; instruct them to write the name of the site next to the corresponding number on the right hand side of the handout.
Have each group share their findings with the class.