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Geography Of CanadaGeography-Of-Canada

  • Subject: Geography
  • |
  • Grade(s): K-5
  • |
  • Duration: One or two class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • use the video Geography of Canada , the Internet, and library sources to learn about the provinces of Canada;
  • create maps of Canada, indicating the provinces, major urban centers, and territories of Canada; and
  • compare and contrast the provinces of Canada by writing descriptive paragraphs of each province.


  • Pencils, erasers, and rulers
  • Fine point black pens (optional)
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers (optional)
  • Blank maps of Canada (one per student)
  • Lined writing paper
  • Computer with Internet access (optional)
  • Geography of Canada video and VCR
  • Geography texts and other library sources


  1. 1. Introduce the lesson by discussing Canada's political and geographic divisions and the unique features of each of Canada's provinces. Based on the content of the Geography of Canada video, discuss the provinces of Canada, their geography and terrain, and the similarities and unique aspects of each province.
  2. Explain to students that they will be filling in blank maps of Canada, indicating each province and territory, and all of Canada's major urban centers. Talk about making a key for the maps, indicating a particular type of line or color of line used to show provinces or territories, as well as the symbol they have chosen to indicate major urban centers. Each territory, province, and urban center should also be labeled with its correct name. Students may choose to make their map as colorful as they wish, or include more information such as rivers, lakes, and forests, if they would like, as long as the maps are clear and readable and indicate the three main things you are looking for: provinces, territories, and urban centers.
  3. Tell students that once they have finished their maps, they will then have to write paragraphs describing each of Canada's provinces. Each descriptive paragraph must include the following:


    • Name of province and its meaning
    • Location in Canada
    • Population, including the general ethnic make-up of the province
    • Main industries
    • Major urban centers
    • Description of the terrain, including unique geographical features
    • One "fun fact" (could be a special food unique to the region, something about the province's history or indigenous population, an interesting animal or plant that is found in the province, etc.)


  4. Give students time in class and as a homework assignment to fill in their maps of Canada and to write their paragraphs. Students may use travel magazines, geography texts and other library resources, and the Internet to conduct their research on the Canadian provinces. The Web sites listed below have information on the provinces of Canada.

  5. Have students attach their descriptive paragraphs to the bottom of their maps and display the maps in the classroom. In a whole class discussion, compare and contrast the Canadian provinces and allow students to share some of the fun and interesting facts they found out about each province.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students actively participated in class discussions; used books and other resources wisely; made attractive, clear and readable maps that correctly included all three criteria; and wrote informative, well-organized paragraphs about each province that correctly included all seven criteria.
  • Two points: Students somewhat participated in class discussions; used books and other resources to some degree; made presentable maps that correctly included two criteria; and wrote somewhat informative paragraphs that correctly included four of the seven criteria.
  • One point: Students did not participate in class discussions; were unable to use resource materials without guidance; made incomplete maps that correctly included only one criterion; and wrote somewhat informative paragraphs that included two of the seven criteria.

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Definition: An administrative district or division of a country
Context: Canada has 10 provinces.

Definition: An administrative subdivision of a country
Context: The Northwest Territories is one of three territories in Canada.

northern lights
Definition: An atmospheric phenomenon consisting of bands or streams of light that occurs in earth's northern hemisphere; also known as the aurora borealis
Context: Northern lights shows are often seen in the sky above Canada's Northwest Territories.

Definition: composed of people or elements from all parts of the world
Context: Toronto is a lively cosmopolitan city.

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The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching social studies. To become a member of the NCSS, or to view the standards online, go to
This lesson plan addresses the following standards:
  • People, Places and Environments
  • Individual Development and Identity
  • Global Connections
The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) provides 18 national geography standards that the geographically informed person knows and understands. To view the standards online, go
This lesson plan addresses the following standards:
  • Places and Regions
  • Physical Systems
  • Environment and Society
  • Applying Geography
  • Geographic Skills

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Tamar Burris, freelance education writer and former elementary teacher

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