Southwest Region of the US Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 All About the Southwest
  • 1:37 Southwest History
  • 2:16 Amazing Southwest Facts
  • 2:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Deserts and rattlesnakes and heat, oh my! The Southwest region of the United States is a fascinating area filled with lots of sand and very few people. This lesson will teach you all about this hot, dry region of the U.S.

All About the Southwest

What comes to mind when you think of the Southwest? Cowboys and ghost towns? Deserts and big green cacti? What about gunslingers and guys with big sheriff badges in the shape of a star? The Southwest has a very unique culture, climate, and geography. It's made up of the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Famous sheriffs like Wyatt Earp and outlaws like Billy the Kid once made their living in the Southwest.

This part of the United States has an arid climate; that means that it's very dry. It's also very hot for a large portion of the year. Temperatures in the summer can reach over 110 degrees. Most of the region is a desert and receives very little rain. There are mountains, mesas (or tabletop hills), and huge areas of flat plains. Plants like cactus, sagebrush, and yucca plants are commonly found because they can adapt to small amounts of water. Coyotes, wolves, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, lizards, and scorpions are all animals that make their home in the region.

Because of the lack of water, desert climate, and scorching summer heat, much of the Southwest is very sparsely populated. Most of the people in the region live in the major cities where resources are easier to get. Texas has the largest population of the states in the region, and much of their population lives in cities such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Phoenix, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, are other heavily populated areas in the region.

Southwest History

Before settlers from Spain made their way north into the region, the Southwest was home to many different Native American tribes. The Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Apache, and the Navajo were some of the tribes living in this region. These tribes were able to build structures out of the clay, sand, and rocks that dominate the region.

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