World Regional Geography - Traverse Field Trip


The Traverse Lesson Plan Outline

This document was last updated on 08 May 2000. (Ver. 1.1)

Lesson Plan concept Greg Nelson

Field Trip Traverse Suggestions

I - 80 Traverse
During the 19th century, English geographers traveled around the countryside by steam train, taking notes, sampling the local brews and foods at the local pubs and writing boring papers for obscure journals. It wasn't the most exciting thing in their lives, but it got them out of their homes, into the countryside for fresh air, friendship and a bit of fun. We hope to recreate a bit of that today. Use this handout as a reference guide and for further notes.

Obviously, we don't have time today to complete a railway traverse, nor an English pub crawl! Today's traverse will be in our van or car as we motor towards Omaha. This activity gives us an opportunity to scope out the landscape, use our OSAE skills, as well as seek examples of the five geographic themes and the national geography standards.

How do we get started ?
1. Looking out the window, write down a word or phrase which best describes the landscape. Be as specific as possible. If it's trees that you see, then write the type of trees, if you know. Ditto for field crops, human activities, physical features, or whatever you see. Always look in the same direction as you look for objects to describe. The driver calls out the mile marker (M.P. 414, etc) to begin the exercise. A timekeeper tells students when to look and write. On your handout, write down the mile marker (Absolute Location) where you begin each traverse.

2. How often do I look out the window and write down what I see? Every five seconds for a minute. That's twenty times in a minute you write down your observations.

3. How often do I repeat this process enroute to Omaha? Three times. The first time should be after leaving Lincoln, then once near the Platte River and again as you approach Omaha.

4. What do I do next? You look at your notes and summarize your viewing of the landscape. Try to describe what you saw in three complete sentences, one for each viewing period.

5. What do I do next? While in Omaha, look for examples of the Five Geographic Themes. Which ones are most evident today? How do you know? Attach this portion of your assignment to the Field Trip Summary Report.

6. As it says on the handout, be sure to complete an O.S.A.E. activity and turn it in with your other written work. Be prepared to identify three of the national standards at our next class meeting. Why are each one an example of a standard?

7. Consider games that children and other good geographers can play while driving through the countryside. Write down three or more concise ideas for games.

8. Trace on the map (on the back of the handout) the route we take today in Omaha. Keep the handout; however, you don't have to turn it in next time.

9. We'll begin our Omaha tour at the main entrance to Henry Doorly Zoo. Meet us there.

10. Good luck and Have fun today ! Mr. Nelson


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