Human Geography Lesson Plan for Middle School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Introduce geography requirements as it relates to human settlement. Students will view a short video and reinforce key concepts through an engaging activity. Check for understanding using a printable worksheet.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand how geography influenced the location of early settlements
  • explain the relationship between physical environments and lifestyle
  • describe how animals contributed to the success of a civilization


1 hour


  • Dice


  • climate
  • domesticate
  • landforms

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


  • Ask students to help you create a list of the things they would look for if they were trying to find a place to create a community.
  • Show the video: How Physical Settings Supported Early Civilizations. Pause at 2:12.
  • Create a chart with students that lists the advantages and disadvantages of building in the following areas:
  1. 1 Swamp
  2. 2 Hills
  3. 3 Flatland
  4. 4 Mountains
  5. 5 Near rivers
  6. 6 Near lakes/ponds
  • Have each student roll a die. Students will be assigned to a landform based on which number they roll.
  • Have students create a concept map. In the center of the map, have students write a fictitious name for their civilization. Have students extend a stem and create a circle that contains their assigned landform. Have students extend several stems from the landform that describe living conditions on that landform.
  • Have students continue watching the video. Pause at 3:09.
  • Add the following climate conditions to the advantages/disadvantages chart:
  1. 1 Cold
  2. 2 Hot
  3. 3 Rainy
  4. 4 Dry
  5. 5 Sunny/Mild
  6. 6 Seasonal

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