|Social Studies Curriculum
|Kindergarten through Grade 6
|Grades 11 & 12
Social Studies Curriculum
Grade 7 - World Geography
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Unit: South America
Time frame for unit: 2nd Quarter--3 weeks
National Standards for Geography:
Standards #1-#18 (See end of this document)
Alaska State Geographic Content Standards Addressed:
Standards A-F (See end of this document)
Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions
- The five themes of geography allow us to explore patterns in location, place, human environment interaction, movement,
- Geography has a range of helpful tools that can assist us in understanding our earth and its patterns.
- South America is powerfully influenced by the legacies of cultural assimilation and colonization.
- To what extent are the cultures of South America influenced by colonization?
- How would the Americas have been different without European contact?
- South America is rich in cultural diversity, a feature that both benefits and challenges its people.
- How are South America’s cultures diverse?
- How has cultural diversity benefited and challenged the people of South America?
- The cultures of indigenous populations in South America reflect both ancient traditions and ways of life as well as
- How are ancient traditions and ways of life reflected in the lives of indigenous South American populations?
- How do indigenous populations use traditional knowledge in their daily lives?
The student will be able to define / apply the following terms:
Andes Mountains, Amazon River, Caribbean Sea, “slash and burn” agriculture, cordillera, llanos, El Dorado, malaria, caudillos,
pardos, indentured servants, Pampas, estuary, Tierra Del Fuego, Patagonia, gauchos, encomienda, El Niño, selvas, Cape Horn,
Inca, creoles, junta, guerilla, glasswort, altiplano, Atacama Desert
The student will be able to explain the significance of the following concepts:
- Latitude and longitude as a determinate of climate, vegetation, and land use.
- To what extent the cultures of Latin America were influenced by colonization.
The student will be able to describe the following:
- Major cultural influences of Portugal and Spain on the region.
- How altitude influences vegetation.
- How climate changes with elevation.
The student will be able to:
- Map land use and identify how it correlates to climate and physical features.
- Label landforms, cities, and bodies of water of this region on a map.
- Take notes of oral and written material.
- Interpret special purpose and thematic maps, graphs, and charts to better understand this region.
- Determine locations of importance using latitude and longitude.
- Use scale to determine distance and relative size between maps.
Example Performance Task:
Students will design a travel brochure about a South American country. Included should be information a tourist would want to
know such as culture, food, festivals, climate, weather, language, physical geography, etc.
- Mental mapping quizzes.
- Quizzes of facts related to South America.
- Use key words in context.
- Compare/contrast essay comparing the physical geography of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
- Written responses to the Essential Questions.
Example Learning Activities:
- Read and discuss Chapters 8 -10 Holt text.
- Create, label, and analyze maps of South America.
- Create a collage of photos.
- Create a timeline of events, for example comparing Incas, Aztecs, Mayans.
- Read and summarize either a book or short stories: “The Gaucho Martin Fierro” (p. 221 Holt) from the book Fervor de
- View and discuss a video, for example, “Lost Civilizations: the Incas.”
- Write a comparison paper, for example, the “slash and burn method” v. crop rotation.
- Read current events in the newspaper, summarize, and share orally.
- Choose a South American country and design a modern road system as efficient as the Incan road system.
- Conduct research on the spread of potatoes (or other items in the Columbian Exchange) from South America to the rest of
the globe. Create a map tracing these routes.
- Have a food festival and students bring in traditional South American foods. Optional: dress in traditional clothing.
- Conduct research on how South American immigrants have influenced customs, religion, politics, language, and food of a
particular U.S. region
- Provide students with opportunities for self-evaluation such as reflective writing, rubrics, and peer discussions.
- Review unit data through games such as bingo, jeopardy, and group competitions.
* These are suggested activities. Other assessments, performance tasks, and learning activities may be