Atlantic Coastal Plain Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Expert Contributor
Christianlly Cena

Christianlly has taught college Physics, Natural science, Earth science, and facilitated laboratory courses. He has a master's degree in Physics and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree.

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is located along the eastern and southeastern areas of the United States. In this lesson, learn about the land, wildlife, and features of this coastal area. Updated: 10/28/2021

What Is a Plain?

Are you up for a road trip? Let's head to the beaches of the eastern and southeastern United States.

As we head east, you'll notice that the land becomes very flat. That's because this area that borders the Atlantic Ocean is a plain. A plain is a landform that is a large section of land that is level, without hills or mountains. Plains found near beaches are called coastal plains.

The flat land from up in Massachusetts down to Florida and over to Texas is called the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Let's find out more about this large section of flat coast.

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  • 0:04 What Is a Plain?
  • 0:40 Coastal Plain Formations
  • 1:03 Atlantic Plain Features
  • 1:48 Coastal Wildlife
  • 2:25 Lesson Summary
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Coastal Plain Formations

So how did this large plain develop? It took millions of years, actually. To the west of the plain is a mountain chain called the Appalachians. Over time, rocks and dirt from those mountains would be moved by weather and, eventually, they would collect at the Atlantic Ocean. This rock and dirt is called sediment and as it collected, it would spread out in a flat manner.

Atlantic Plain Features

You can probably guess on our road trip that you will see many beautiful beaches and lots of flat land, but what other things might you see? The soil of the Atlantic Coastal Plain is generally poor, but it can grow certain crops like cotton and tobacco. Plus, the warm temperatures far south make Florida perfect for growing citrus fruit like oranges.

Off of the shores of states like Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas, a major resource found in the coastal plain is petroleum. This is a natural material found underground that can be drilled and used to make fuels like the gas in your car. On our road trip, you might see a large off-shore drilling site where petroleum is gathered.

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Additional Activities

Atlantic Coastal Plain: True or False Activity

This activity will help you assess your knowledge of the features of Atlantic coastal areas.

Directions

Determine whether the following statements are true or false. To do this, print or copy this page on a blank paper and underline or circle the answer.

True | False 1. Plains refer to a large, leveled landform where no mountains are present.

True | False 2. A large collection of fine particles, particularly rock and dirt, makes up a hill.

True | False 3. Crocodiles are most likely found in the northern part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

True | False 4. Seagulls and herons flock in the Atlantic coastal plain to look for food.

True | False 5. There are large off-shore drilling sites found near the Atlantic coastal plain.

True | False 6. Mountains that have been subjected to extreme weather conditions may produce sediments.

True | False 7. Plain landforms could be found in the western and southeastern coasts of the United States.

True | False 8. The sediments from the Apachian Mountains, deposited over time, created the Atlantic Coastal Plain.


Answer Key

  1. True
  2. False, because the correct statement is: A large collection of fine particles, particularly rock and dirt, makes up a plain.
  3. False, because the correct statement is: Crocodiles are most likely found in the southern part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
  4. True
  5. True
  6. True
  7. False, because the correct statement is: Plain landforms could be found in the eastern and southeastern coasts of the United States.
  8. False, because the correct statement is: The sediments from the Appalachian Mountains, deposited over time, created the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

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