Lesson 3: Finding Locations


Inquiry and Design, Earth Science, Basic Geographic Literacy, Physical Characteristics of Places and Regions

Standard Statements:

3.2.4 A, C; 3.5.4 A, B; 3.5.4 D; 7.1.3A,B; 7.2.6A

Content Objectives:

For this activity, students will:

  1. Find specific locations on different maps for comparison.
  2. Compare different maps to see correlation between topography and actual use of the land.
  3. Use specific longitude and latitude locations for comparison of different cities.

Assessment Strategies:

“Compare Those Maps” worksheet, “Physical Features and Land Cover Quiz” (Note: two different quizzes are provided for the varying abilities of your students.)


This activity is a continuation of the last lesson. It provides the student with an opportunity to compare land cover and topography of an area identifying how one affects the other. Following a group introduction, the students will work in cooperative groups to find specific locations and compare how land cover was affected by the topography and geology of the area. It will provide the students with the opportunity to become familiar with both maps and different locations in Pennsylvania.

Suggested Level:

Grades 4-6

Standards Category:

  • Science and Technology
  • Geography


Each group will need:

  • Digital Shaded-Relief Map of Pennsylvania (DSR map)
  • Land Cover Map of Pennsylvania (LC map)
  • Sample maps of Pennsylvania (Suggestion: Distribution of Pennsylvania Coals, PaGS Map 11)
  • Wipe-off marker
  • Overlay from Lesson 2
  • Meter or yardstick
  • “Compare Those Maps” worksheet

Instructional Strategies:

  • Whole class
  • Cooperative groups 

Group Work

Using the plastic longitude/latitude sheet created in the last lesson, the LC Map, and the DSR Map, and a wipe-off marker, students should work in their small groups to complete the  “Compare Those Maps” worksheet independently.  (Remind students to be accurate when transferring the plastic sheet from one map to the other!)  Provide each group with extra sample maps of Pennsylvania to promote further discussion and discovery.

Students will discuss their findings in the small group as they complete their worksheet.

Whole Group Instruction

Following completion of the worksheet, the whole class should be gather to discuss and compare their discoveries. 

Individual Work

As an assessment, “Physical Features and Land Cover Quiz” should be administered to the students individually. 

Student Worksheet

Compare Those Maps  - Group Work

Name: ____________________________________

Part 1: Think about what physical features are usually chosen for farming?

Find the claw shaped, yellow area crossing 77o longitude on the Land Cover Map.

a.  Using your marker, outline the yellow claw.

b.  Using the key

Yellow represents ______________________

Green represents _______________________

c.  Move the overlay to the digital relief map.

d.  Circle one:

1. There is mountainous land to the  east   west  of the line you drew.

2. There is flatter land to the east  west  of the line you drew.

e.  Circle one:  

Agricultural land is usually

1.      flat
2.      mountainous

f.  Mountainous land is usually

1.      forests
2.      farms

Part 2:  Find the grid square between 78o and 77o longitude and between 40o and 41o latitude.

a. Find State College in the northwest corner of this square.  State College is in the middle of an agricultural area.

b. With your marker, outline this yellow area – you can go outside the grid square.

c. On the southern border of the grid square, you will find the agricultural area with “CUMBERLAND” on it. (Think about how I know it is agricultural!)

d.  With your marker, outline this area.

e.  What do you predict is the difference between the agricultural area and the deciduous forest?  Which area will be flat and which will have mountains?

The yellow will be ______________________.

The green will be _______________________. 

Explain your answers in detail.

.        Move the overlay to the digital shaded-relief map.  Was your prediction correct?  If not, what did you find to be the difference?

Part 3: Use the Digital-Shaded Relief map and find the grid square between 77 degrees and 76 degrees longitude and 40 degrees and 41 degrees latitude. 

a.  Place an “X” in the square on a spot where you believe a farm might be.

b.  Why did you put the “X” where you did?

c.  Place a “Y” in the square on a spot where you believe will be forested.

d.  Why did you put the “Y” where you did?

e. Move the overlay to the LAND USE MAP.

f. Was your “X” in an agricultural area?    YES        NO

g. Was your “Y” in a forested area?           YES        NO

h. Farms are usually found on _______________ land.

Student Worksheet

NAME: ____________________


1.  What kind of land is good for farming?  Why?

2.  Cities usually grow up close to:

     a. ____________________________

     b. ____________________________

3. Using two examples, explain how physical features determine how people use the land.


4. Cities are usually found:

a. near rivers

b. on mountains

c. near a mountain pass

d. both a and c

5. Flat land is used for:

a. roads

b. cities

c. farms

d. all of the above