Geography - Regions for Kids and Teachers with learning modules, lesson plans, games, classroom activities Illustration

Geography - Regions

Regions for Kids: Unifying or Similar Characteristics

Regions are one of the five themes of geography.

 A region is an area that is defined by certain similar characteristics. Those unifying or similar characteristics can be physical, natural, human, or cultural.  A region can be very big or very small or somewhere in-between.

A place can belong to more than one region depending upon the criteria used, the basis for judging, evaluation or selecting something.

Example: Physical or Cultural: If you wanted to know what countries are part of the region of North America, Mexico would be one of those countries. If you wanted to know which countries are included in the region of Latin American, Mexico would be one of those countries. To know what is included in a particular region depends upon what criteria you have selected - what basis you used. In this example, the basis or criteria would be countries in North America (physical) or countries in Latin America (cultural.)

Example: Human: You might say today's crowed urban cities are regions of the country with large populations living in close proximity.

Example: Natural. The basis for a region might be natural. For example, if you lived on an island, and that island had a group of mountains at one end of the island, those mountains would be a mountainous region of the island.

Geographers have also identified huge world regions. Some geographers believe there are 8 geographical regions of the world - Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.

Others divide world regions into four regions and 15 subdivisions:

  • Americas (North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean)

  • Asia/Pacific (Central and South Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeastern Asia, Australia and Oceania)

  • Europe (Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Europe)

  • Middle East/Africa (Middle East, Northern Africa, Southern Africa)

Whether a region is big or small, the purpose of naming a particular region is to identify the area as having similar characteristics, something that unifies it. That helps you to more easily study it, to better understand it, and to help interact or solve problems in a particular region.

Here are some games and cartoons to help you better understand what is a region, and have fun doing it!

Types of regions, interactive cartoon

Regions Explained using an island as an example (cartoon video)

USA Regions, drag each state onto a map of regions of the United States (game, Sheppard Software)

USA Regions and States (a drag and drop game Sheppard Software)

By Region, US States and Capitals game (interactive, drag and drop)

For Teachers: Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities

A Region by any other name (lesson plan)

Oh! The Regions (lesson plan, North America, The Mint)

Australia: The Great Barrier Reef - Lesson Plan (2-3 days) with Personalities handout

India/Pakistan Dispute over Kashmir A 4-Day Mini-Unit with background and handouts

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict A Simulation for the Classroom (2 days) with background & handout.

Geography in the News Ongoing activity, daily, 5 Themes of Geography (8 weeks)

Geography Game - An Educated Guess This lesson works well anytime, but is especially useful to open a new unit. 45-55 minutes. More Geography Lesson Ideas

Free Presentations in PowerPoint format about Geography