Stage 1- Desired Results
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
1. Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts, and writing and speaking about them.
2. Build a strong base of knowledge through content rich texts.
3. Obtain, synthesize, and report findings clearly and effectively in response to task and purpose.
4. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
5. Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence.
6. Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
7. Come to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading, listening, and collaborations.
  • MA History and Social Sciences Frameworks: CS.3.4: Use cardinal directions, map scales, legends, and titles to locate places on contemporary maps of New England and Massachusetts.
  • CS.3.5-Describe the difference between a contemporary map of their city or town and the map of their city or town in the 18th, 19th, or early 20th century.
  • HSS.3.1-On a map of the U.S., locate the New England states and the Atlantic Ocean. On a map of Massachusetts, locate major cities, towns, Cape Ann, Cape Cod, Connecticut River, Merrimack River, Charles River, and Berkshire Hills.
  • HSS.3.8-On a map of Massachusetts, locate the class’s home town or city and its local geographic features and landmarks.

ELA Frameworks:
  • RI.3.7-Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • W.3.3-Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Essential Questions

How does geography affect where people live?

What is geography?

How can I use a map to determine distance between two points?
Big Ideas

Enduring Understandings


People move towards natural resources to help them survive.

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments.

Maps and globes are used to communicate location. Cardinal directions are used to help navigate location.
Students will know…
  • Massachusetts is part of the New England states.
  • geographical features can be used to identify a place.

Vocabulary: compass rose, cardinal directions, map scale, legend, title, geography, state, city/town, continent, country
Students will be skilled at …
  • locating the New England States and Atlantic Ocean on a map of the United States.
  • locating places on maps of New England and Massachusetts using cardinal directions, map scales, legends, and titles.
  • locating and drawing local geographic features on a map of Massachusetts.
  • describing local features and landmarks in Massachusetts.
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks:
#1: Imagine that you are a travel guide and someone has contacted you for advice on where to visit within the Massachusetts area. They cannot decide on which region of Massachusetts to vacation to. Your goal is to familiarize them with the area and guide them on the best possible region to travel to. You must use the word bank to appropriately label a blank map of Massachusetts to share with your new client. You will be responsible for labeling the features of a map, along with the regions, major cities, and rivers. Create a brochure that includes the map as well as important features of each region. Your brochure will allow your client to familiarize themselves with the highlights of each region and decide their preference. Make sure to include three to four details that best describe each region and your recommendation.

See link for blank Massachusetts map template:

Summative: Students will demonstrate their knowledge in a Summative Assessment at the end of the unit in Chapter 2 where they will label the features of a map, along with the regions, major cities, and rivers. They will also create a travel brochure that includes the map as well as important features of each region.

Student Self-Assessment: Geography and Map Features Performance Task Rubric serves as Student-Self Assessment.
Stage 3- Learning Plan
Lesson: Me on a Map- In this lesson, students will learn the difference between a city, state, country, and the world and be able to explain how they are different.
  • Carousel- Students record what they know about a city, state, country, and world on chart paper.
  • Me on a Map read aloud- Read the story (or have it read to them online) to help students understand the difference between a city, state, country, and world. Then record what each are with a visual on poster paper
  • Using GoogleEarth, have students use GoogleEarth to zoom in from Earth to Melrose
  • Students work collaboratively to draw a picture and record the definition of a city, state, country, and world.
Lesson: Maps
  • Students will collaboratively discuss the map of Massachusetts on pages 36-37 in Chapter 2, Lesson 3 in Massachusetts Our Home.
  • Students will compare the map of a city from different centuries on page 151 in Chapter 7, Lesson 1 in Massachusetts Our Home.

Lesson: Comparing Maps of New England


  • Massachusetts our Home- Chapter 2
  • Me on the Map- Joan Sweeny
  • Where do I Live?- Neil Chesanow