Unit 3 Lesson 2 Places and Regions

Unit 3 Lesson 2
Places and Regions
Lesson Synopsis:
This lesson introduces students to the characteristics of place, and the different types of regions.
Students compare and contrast a formal region, functional region, and perceptual region. The
emphasis is on defining a region using cultural and physical characteristics and providing examples
for each.
Key Understandings and Guiding Questions:
Unique physical and human characteristics define places and regions and often change
over time.
— What unique physical and human characteristics define a place or region?
— How are places or regions affected by human perceptions and how do they change
over time?
Vocabulary of Instruction:
Background Information:
Places and regions are identified by unique physical and cultural characteristics. A place is part
of a larger region. Places are compared to other places both for their unique traits as well as
regional characteristics. A place can be part of more than one region depending on the
definition of the region. A region is an area that is grouped together based on a common
characteristic – population density, language, birthrate, education, religion, physical features,
climate, biome, etc. Regions are defined by humans. Some definitions are clearer than others.
For example: Regions based on climate, biomes, etc. are rather clear. Regions based on human
characteristics may differ with a person’s perspective. This is not to say that all regions based
on human characteristics can change based on perspective. Example: A region based on
disease, education, and other demographic data usually form clear regional areas. Areas on the
edge of a region are transition zones that may include characteristics of other regions.
Transition zones in regions based on cultural traits may also be a region or area of conflict.
Formal Region: A region marked by a certain degree of homogeneity in one or more
Functional Region: A region marked by its dynamic internal structure
Perceptual Region: A region that is marked by unique human ideas or perceptions
Do all regions or places have unique social, political, and economic
What are some of the possible reasons for a region’s social, political, and/or
economic characteristics change over time? (Possible answers may include: natural
disasters, wars, failing economy, etc…)