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Fifth Grade - Geography - Overview - January

January's Geography unit consists of two lessons, 12 and 13. Lesson 12 is devoted to Russia. Lesson 13 is devoted to Japan. Both geography lessons provide the background for January's History unit. The history of both countries is influenced by their physical geography.

Lesson 12 is titled "Early Growth and Expansion." The theme is Russia's search for warm-water ports. This search is a result of Russia's largely central location on a continent that extends to high latitudes. The result of Russia's location is a harsh climate, which compounds the scarcity of seaports. Russia's location and climate have thus contributed to the country's isolation from the rest of the world. First, use the geography lesson on Russia, Lesson 12. Then, teach the two World History Lessons 20 and 21.

Japan is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Its insularity has shaped the country's history in that Japanese history is dominated by the theme of isolation. Lesson 13 on the geography of Japan must be used before the two History lessons (Lessons 22 and 23) that follow. The geography lesson on Japan provides the background for the lessons on Japanese history.

Both lessons in this unit may be done by students working independently, in groups or individually. The lessons may also be used as teacher-directed activities.
 

Fifth Grade - Geography - Lesson 12 - Russia: Early Growth and Expansion
 

Objectives

Locate Russia on a map of the world.

Locate the Black, Caspian, and Baltic seas on a map of Russia.

Locate and label the grasslands known as the steppes on a map of Russia.

Locate the region known as Siberia on a map of Russia.

Locate the Ural Mountains on a map of Russia.

Locate the Volga and Don rivers on a map of Russia.

Locate the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg on a map of Russia.

Locate some neighboring countries; Sweden, China, Japan.
 

Materials

Classroom-size map of the world

Colored pencils (one per student)

Physical and political map of Russia, attached (for transparency and one copy per student)

Physical and political map of Russia annotated for teacher (attached)

Political map of the world annotated, attached (for transparency and one copy per student)

Instruction sheet, attached (one copy per student)
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Finney, Susan. The Revised Soviet Union: Independent Learning Unit. Carthage: Good Apple, 1993. This book contains lots of activities on such topics as location and culture that can be done independently by students.

Flint, David. Russia: On the Map. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaugn, 1993. This book is written in simple language. It presents the geography of Russia very succinctly. In addition, it contains striking color photographs of natural and historic sites as well as photographs of aspects of everyday life. It may be used as a visual aide in class.

Lye, Keith. Passport to Russia. Danbury: Franklin Watts, 1996. This book is written in simple language. It contains color photographs of contemporary Russian life. It may be used as a visual aide in class.

Russia Then and Now. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1992. This book is written in simple language. It combines history and geography and contains several color photographs of Russia. It may be used as a visual aide in class. It was prepared by the Geography Department of Lerner Publications.
 

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Chicago: Nystrom, 1995.
 

Teacher Background

This is a lesson on the physical and political geography of Russia. It provides the background for the two History lessons (Lessons 20 and 21) of Russia that follow. For that reason, it must be used first.

This activity can be done independently by students working individually or in groups or it can be a teacher-directed activity. Distribute the blank maps as well as the instruction sheets. If you direct the activity, use a transparency of the blank map (attached) and have students read the instructions aloud, then guide them in labeling their individual maps. Either way, this activity should take twenty minutes.

In Third Grade World Civilization (Eastern Roman Empire), students were introduced to the idea that Russia became the new center of Byzantine culture after 1453. In Second Grade Geography, students were introduced to the location of Russia. Russia's location was presented briefly in Lesson 89 in Reading Mastery V. In Fifth Grade Geography, students learned the location of the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and Sweden.
 

Procedure

Tell students they are about to study the geography of Russia. Distribute copies of political map of the world. Tell the students that Russia is a country that is partly in Europe and partly in Asia, then invite a volunteer to identify Russia on the classroom-size map of the world. Ask students to identify Russia on their copies of the political map of the world and use their colored pencils to trace Russia's borders. Invite other volunteers to identify the following neighboring countries: Sweden, China, and Japan, etc. on their copies of the political map of the world or on the classroom-size map of the world.

If you are leading the activity, distribute the instruction sheet and the blank map of Russia, attached, and put up a transparency of the blank map. Explain that the exercise includes directions on how they should label the areas they choose as well as clues to guide them to the correct answer. Ensure that students have all the materials they need, including colored pencils and copies of the instruction sheets as well as copies of the blank maps. Ask for a volunteer to read the instructions aloud to the class and to provide the correct answer. (See annotated map for teacher for answer key.) Ask for reactions to the student's response from the rest of the class. Reinforce the correct answer by labeling the area on the transparency. In case of a wrong answer, ask for another volunteer to correct the problem. Insert the correct answer on the transparency and ask the students to do the same on their copies of the map. If this is to be completed by students working independently, tell students that they are to read the instructions.

Instructions

You should have an instruction sheet and a blank map of Russia for this activity. Read through the entire activity (1-12) before you start labeling. Completing the activities correctly in the order in which they appear will provide additional clues.

First, read the instructions for the numbered activity. Second, read the clues in the des-cription. Third, select the appropriate area of the map to label. Fourth, label and/or shade the selected area according to the key suggested. (Labeling with an erasable pencil is recommended.)
 

1. On your map, write 'Russia' to mark the area that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling. Next, use a colored pencil to trace over the borders of Russia.

Russia is the largest country in Europe and Asia. Russia stretches from eastern Europe eastward into Asia. Russia has a coast on a sea to the west and a coast on the Pacific Ocean to the

east. Russia stretches from the Arctic Ocean in the north, but in the south, Russia has a land border with China. On this map, borders are marked by solid black lines.
 

2. On your map, write 'Baltic Sea' to mark the area that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

The Baltic Sea is to the northwest of Russia near Sweden. Because the Baltic Sea is so far to the north, it freezes in winter. As a result, shipping in the area is difficult during the winter months.
 

3. On your map, write 'Black Sea' to mark the area that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

The Black Sea is a body of water in southwest Russia. It touches the Mediterranean Sea. The Black Sea is closer to the equator than is the Baltic Sea. As a result, it is warm all year round and shipping is not hampered by cold weather. Russia has warm-water ports on the Black Sea.
 

4. On your map, write 'Caspian Sea' to mark the area that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

The Caspian Sea is really a salt lake. It is totally surrounded by land. The Caspian Sea is east of the Black Sea and lies on the southwest border of Russia. The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world.
 

5. On your map, write 'Ural Mountains' to mark the area that fits the description below. Use the symbol from the map key to mark the area of the Ural Mountains.

The Ural Mountains are a mountain range that extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Caspian Sea in the south. The Ural Mountains form a natural boundary between the European and Asian parts of Russia. To the west is Europe. To the east is Asia. The highest peak of the Ural Mountains is over 6,000 feet (over 2,000 meters) tall.
 

6. On your map, write 'Steppes' to mark the area that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling. Use the symbol from the map key to mark the area of the steppes.

The steppes (steps) are level treeless grasslands just like the prairies in the USA. The steppes are a vast low-lying area in the southeastern part of European Russia (west of the Ural Mountains) and in the southwestern part of Asian Russia (east of the Ural Mountains).
 

7. On your map, write 'Siberia' over the area that fits the description below.

Siberia is a northeastern region of Russia. Siberia stretches from the Ural mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east.
 

8. On your map, label the Volga River. On this map, rivers are shown as solid lines that end in a sea or lake.

The Volga (VOL-guh) river is the longest river in Europe. It is over 2,000 miles (nearly 4,000 kilometers) long. The Volga River is in western Russia (west of the Ural Mountains). It flows east and then south to the Caspian Sea.
 

9. On your map, label the Don River. On this map, rivers are shown as solid lines that end in a sea or lake.

The Don River flows mostly south into the Black Sea.
 

10. On your map, draw a box around the dot that marks the location of the city of Moscow. Then, write 'Moscow' and draw an arrow to point to the site.

Moscow is an inland city in western Russia. Moscow has been the capital of Russia for hundreds of years.
 

11. On your map, find the dot that fits the description below, write 'St Petersburg' and draw an arrow to point to the site.

St. Petersburg is a coastal city in northwestern Russia. It is a port city on the Baltic Sea coast. St. Petersburg was built on lands conquered from Sweden. St. Petersburg is named after Peter the Great and was called a "window on the west" because it gives access to western Europe.
 

12. What kind of map is this? Read the paragraph below and write the word 'Physical,'

'Political,' or the words 'Physical and Political' on the line at the top of this map.

If this map shows mainly physical features such as rivers, mountains, etc, then label it 'Physical.' If this map shows mainly political features such as countries, towns, boundaries, then label it 'Political.' If the map shows a combination of both physical and political features, label it, 'Physical and Political.'
 

Fifth Grade - Geography - Lesson 13 - Japan
 

Objectives

Locate Japan on a map of the world.

Locate the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan on a map of Japan.

Identify the four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu on a map of Japan.

Label the areas affected by typhoons and summer and winter monsoons on a map of Japan.

Locate Tokyo on a map of Japan and describe the city's location.

Locate the neighboring countries; Russia, China, North Korea, and South Korea.
 

Materials

Classroom-size map of the world

Physical and political map of Japan, attached (for transparency and one copy per student)

Physical and political map of Japan annotated for teacher (attached)

Instruction sheet, attached (one copy per student)
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Allen, Carole. Japan: Traditions and Trends Independent Learning Unit. Carthage: Good Apple, 1992. This is an activity book for students. It contains interesting information on the geography and culture of Japan.

Coates, Bryan E. Japan: Our Country. New York: The Bookwright Press, 1991. This book is written in language that is appropriate for independent student reading. It emphasizes everyday life in Japan.

Flint, David. Japan on the Map. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1993. This book contains color photographs of geographical and historical sites of Japan. It may be used as a visual aide in class. It is also appropriate for independent reading by students.
 

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, E. D., Jr. ed., What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Chicago: Nystrom, 1995.
 

Teacher Background

This is a lesson on the physical and political geography of Japan. It provides the background for the two History lessons (Lessons 23 and 24) on Japan that follow. For that reason, it must be used first.

This activity can be done independently by students working individually or in groups or it can be a teacher-directed activity. If you direct the activity, use a transparency of the blank map (attached) and have students read the instructions aloud, then guide them in labeling their individual maps. If this lesson is done independently by students, in groups or individually, distribute copies of the blank maps as well as the instruction sheet. Either way, this activity should take twenty minutes.

In prior lessons, in Fifth Grade World Civilization, students were introduced to the history of Dutch trade with Japan and volcanic activity of the Ring of Fire. In Fourth Grade Science, students were introduced to the science of earthquakes and in Geography, to the link between tectonic plate boundaries and the formation of mountains and the presence of volcanic activity. In Second Grade Geography, students were introduced to the location of Japan. Japan's location was presented briefly in Lessons 54 and 55 in Reading Mastery III, and in Lesson 60 in Reading Mastery IV.
 

Procedure

Tell the students they are about to study the geography of Japan. Distribute copies of the political and physical map of Japan. Tell the students that Japan is a country in Asia. Invite a volunteer to identify Japan on a classroom-size map of the world. Ask students to identify Japan on their copies of the map of Japan and draw a circle around the archipelago. Ask students to observe the broken lines to the north and south of the islands. Explain that these lines mark a sea boundary with Russia to the north and South Korea to the south. Ask students to make these lines part of the circle they are drawing around Japan. Then, ask for volunteers to identify these neighboring countries on that map; Russia, China, North Korea, and South Korea and ask the other students to do the same on their copies of the political and physical map of Japan.

Ask: What are the islands of Japan? (tops of mountains) Tell students that Japan lies on the edge or rim of a tectonic plate and that plate edges are areas of volcanic activity, earthquakes, of submergence of land towards the earth's interior, or of the emergence of land above the sea. Explain to students that the islands of Japan represent the tops of mountains that were forced upwards when two tectonic plates collided over millions of years ago. Remind students that this explains why Japan has volcanic mountains, many still active and others now dormant, and that Japan has suffered catastrophic earthquakes in the recent past. Remind students that Japan lies to the north of the Spice Islands which they learned about in earlier Geography lessons. Have them recall that the Ring of Fire, which includes the Spice Islands, and Japan are a result of that tectonic plate's edge or rim. Tell students that if they have heard Japan referred to as a country on the Pacific Rim, it means that Japan owes its formation to tectonic plate activity in the Pacific Ocean.

If you are leading the activity, put up a transparency of the blank map. Explain to the students that the exercise includes directions on how they should label the areas they choose as well as clues to guide them to the correct answer. Ensure that students have all the materials they need, including copies of the instruction sheets. Ask for a volunteer to read the instructions aloud to the class and to provide the correct answer. (See annotated map for teacher answer key.) Ask the rest of the class to decide whether that response is correct, then reinforce the correct answer by labeling the area on the transparency. In case of a wrong answer, ask for another volunteer to correct the problem. Insert the correct answer on the transparency and ask the students to do the same on their copies of the map. If this is to be completed by students working independently, tell the students they are to read the instructions.

Instructions

You should have an instruction sheet and a blank map of Japan for this activity. Read through the entire activity (1-12) before you start labeling. Completing the activities correctly in the order in which they appear will provide additional clues.

First, read the instructions for the numbered activity. Second, read the clues in the description. Third, select the appropriate area of the map to label. Fourth, label the selected area according to the key suggested. Labeling with an erasable pencil is recommended.
 

1. On your map, write 'Japan' next to the circle you have drawn around Japan.

Japan is an island nation. Japan is an archipelago. The archipelago consists of four main islands, and thousands of smaller islands. Japan is the country farthest to the east in Asia. Since the sun rises to the east, Japan is called "the land of the rising sun." Japan is to the east of China.
 

2. On your map, write 'Honshu' to mark the Japanese island that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

Honshu island is the largest of the four main islands that are part of the Japanese archipelago.
 

3. On your map, write 'Hokkaido' to mark the Japanese island that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

Hokkaido island is the second largest of the four main islands that are part of the Japanese archipelago. Of the four main Japanese islands, Hokkaido island is farthest to the north.
 

4. On your map, write 'Kyushu' to mark the Japanese island that fits the descriptionbelow. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

Kyushu island is the third largest of the four main islands that are part of the Japanese archipelago. Of the four main islands, Kyushu lies farthest to the south.
 

5. On your map, write 'Shikoku' to mark the Japanese island that fits the description below. You may draw an arrow to point to the area you are labeling.

Shikoku island is the smallest of the four main Japanese islands. Shikoku lies between Honshu and Kyushu islands.
 

6. Look at your map of Japan. A dot marks the location of the capital, Tokyo. Observe the location and write one sentence about Tokyo that explains why it is a good site for a city. Your answer must come from your observation of the map. Continue the sentence at the base of the map that begins "Tokyo ..."
 

7. On your map, over the area that fits the description below, write 'Pacific Ocean.'

The Pacific Ocean is to the east of Japan.
 

8. On your map, over the area that fits the description below, write 'Sea of Japan.'

The Sea of Japan is the body of water between the east coast of Korea and the west coast of Japan.
 

9. Place a typhoon symbol to mark the area they strike most often, and write, 'Typhoon' next to the symbol. In brackets next to 'Typhoon' write the Japanese word that means 'divine winds.' See the key on the map.

Typhoons are destructive storms that strike the southeast coast of Japan in summer. They are circular storms with winds of about 75 miles an hour. In the 1200s, the typhoons sank Mongol leader Kublai Khan's fleets on several occasions. On every occasion, Khan's fleets were about to invade Japan. The Japanese people saw the sinking of Khan's fleets as a blessing from God. They called these winds 'divine winds,' meaning 'winds from God.' The Japanese word for 'divine winds' is 'kamikaze' (Kah-mih-KAH-zee).
 

10. On your map of Japan, write the words 'Summer Monsoon' and draw a pair of arrows to show the direction of the summer monsoon and the area of Japan they affect most. See the key to the map.

Monsoons are seasonal winds. Summer monsoons blow from the southeast. Summer monsoons cross the Pacific Ocean and bring rain to south and central Japan.
 

11. On your map of Japan, write the words 'Winter Monsoon' and draw two arrows to show the direction of the winter monsoon and the area of Japan they affect most. See the key to the map.

Winter monsoons start in Russia. They blow cold toward northwestern Japan. They absorb moisture in the Sea of Japan and drop snow on the northwestern mountains of Japan. Hokkaido and northwest Honshu are cold and damp as a result of the winter monsoons.
 

12. What kind of map is this? Read the paragraph below and write the word 'Physical,' 'Political,' or the words 'Physical and Political' to the title at the bottom of the page.

If this map shows mainly physical features such as rivers, mountains, etc, then label it 'Physical.' If this map shows mainly political features such as countries, towns, boundaries, then label it 'Political.' If the map shows a combination of both physical and political features, label it, 'Physical and Political.'

Bibliography

Student Resources

Allen, Carole. Japan: Traditions and Trends Independent Learning Unit. Carthage: Good Apple, 1992. (0-86653-684-1)

Coates, Bryan E. Japan: Our Country. New York: The Bookwright Press, 1991. (0-531-18392-0)

Finney, Susan. The Revised Soviet Union: Independent Learning Unit. Carthage: Good Apple, 1993. (0-86653-738-4)

Flint, David. Russia: On the Map. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaugn, 1993. (0-8114-2941-5)

________. Japan on the Map. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1993. (0-81142490-7)

Lye, Keith. Passport to Russia. Danbury: Franklin Watts, 1996. (0-531-14384-8)

Russia Then and Now. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1992. This book was prepared by the Geography Department of Lerner Publications. (0-8225-2805-3)
 

Teacher Resources

Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993. (0-385-41119-7)

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Chicago: Nystrom, 1995. (0-88463-480-9)