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Period ____________
Physical Regions of the United States
Us Lesson 1.1 Page 3 for help
1. Label the following places on your map. Use your book or a reference map to locate and
label the following places.
2. Read the clues for each physical region and use different colors or different patterns to
shade the nine physical regions of the United States.
3. Make a key on your map.
4. After making the map, answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
Cascade Mountains
Mississippi River
Pacific Ocean
Lake Erie
Lake Superior
Lake Michigan
Atlantic Ocean
9. Appalachian Mountains
10. Sierra Nevada
11. Lake Ontario
12. Alaska
13. Lake Huron
14. Rio Grande
15. Rocky Mountains
16. Gulf of Mexico
Physical Region Clues
The nation’s western-most physical region
About 2,400 miles west of California
It is a cluster of islands that grew out of volcanoes.
Pacific Coast
 Located along the United States’ Pacific Coast.
 It has a series of rugged mountain ranges that run from Alaska south to Mexico.
 This includes the Coast Mountains, the Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevadas.
Intermountain Region
 Head eastward from the Pacific Coast to the Intermountain region.
 The northern half is the Great Basin that hollows out to a plateau.
 South of the Great Basin is deserts. (Death Valley)
Rocky Mountains
 At the eastern edge of the Intermountain region, the elevation soars upward into the Rocky
 It runs southward from northern Alaska to Mexico.
 In Mexico they are called the Sierra Madre, or “mother range”
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Interior Plains
 East of the Rockies, the land opens into a huge level to rolling expanse.
 The land opens into dry grassland called the Great Plains.
 The eastern part of the Interior Plains is called the Central Lowland.
 This is still a major grain-producing region today.
Canadian Shield
 This region covers a large part of Canada but extends over a small area in the north central
United States.
 It lacks rich soil for farming but has a wealth of buried minerals like iron ore.
Appalachian Mountains
 The Eastern Interior Plains end at the Appalachian Mountains.
 The mountain range is old enough to be the grandfather of the Rockies even though the
peaks are much smaller due to weathering
Coastal Plains
 This area runs along the east coast of the United States beginning as a narrow band in
Massachusetts and expanding into the lowlands of the Southeast.
 It has fertile soil and many Atlantic ports.
 To the south, it extends to the mouth of the Mississippi River and major port cities.
Ozark Highlands
 Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma
This area is forests or woodland
 About 20 percent is pasture, grasses and legumes.
 About 10 percent is cropland. (Corn, feed grains, and hay for dairy cattle and other
livestock are the principal crops.)
 Summer droughts and steep slopes are major land use problems.
 Limestone plateaus have narrow rolling ridge tops that break sharply to steep side slopes.
Valleys are narrow and have steep gradients.
Answer the following questions in complete sentences.
1. Which river runs north –south? ______________________________________.
2. Which physical region is the largest? ___________________________________.
3. Based on your map, which regions of the United States are probably sparsely populated and
4. Based on your map, which regions are probably densely populated and why?
Period ____________