Ch. 1 Lesson 2 The Land

The Land
Ch. 1, Lesson 2
Lesson Objectives
 Identify and describe the landform regions of the
United States.
 Locate the landforms of North America on a map.
Landform region
Mountain range
Landform Regions
• To better study the land of the United States, we
divide our country into landform regions, or regions
that have similar landforms throughout.
• Dividing the country into landform regions makes it
easier to compare and contrast different parts of the
• Robert Louis Stevenson – early explorer of the United
States. Stevenson studied the landforms of the
country and its climate, or the kind of
weather a place has over a long time.
The Coastal Plain
• The Coastal Plain is a broad, tree lined plain
along the Atlantic Ocean that stretches from
Massachusetts to Florida.
The Appalachians
• West of the Coastal Plain lay the Appalachian Mountain Range,
which stretches from southern Canada to central Alabama.
• A mountain range is a group of connected mountains.
• The Appalachians are the oldest mountains in the United States,
but their peaks have been worn down by glaciers, rain, and wind.
This gradual wearing away of Earth’s surface is called erosion.
• The Appalachians are made up of many smaller mountain ranges,
Great Smoky
Blue Ridge
The Interior Plains
• West of the Appalachian Mountains lay the Interior Plains, a large
area of land stretching across the middle of our country from the
Appalachian Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the
• The Interior Plains can be separated into two different areas; the
Central Plains and the Great Plains.
• In the Central Plains the land is mostly flat or rolling, and is
sometimes called a prairie because it is covered by grasses.
• In the Great Plains the land becomes even flatter, and there are few
rivers and almost no trees.
The Rocky Mountains and Beyond
• The Rocky Mountains are the country’s largest and longest
mountain range, and stretch from Mexico through Canada and into
• The Rockies are much younger than the Appalachians and because
of this, their peaks appear sharp and jagged due to a shorter period
of erosion.
• The Intermountain Region a large area of dry land that is between
the Rocky Mountains on the east and other mountains farther west.
• Part of this land is the Great Basin. A basin is a low, bowl-shaped
land with higher land all around it.
Intermountain Region
More Mountains and Valleys
• Just inside California is the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
• The Cascade Mountain Range is north of the Sierra Nevada in
Washington and Oregon.
• West of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges are three
large, fertile valleys.
• Along the Pacific Ocean in California, Oregon, and Washington
are the Coast Ranges, which are low mountains that give the
Pacific Coast a rocky, rugged look.
Beyond the Rockies