Missouri Regions — Shaped by Land
Forms and Geology
||The students will use various resources to compare and
the geology of each Missouri region to complete a chart. The lesson
provides students with cooperate opportunities to review in groups
and expand content knowledge.
||SC 4.1.D.6; 5.1.A.6,8;5.2.A.6;5.3.A.6
||Science, Social Studies
||Performance Standards – 1.4, 1.6, 1.8
||Knowledge Strands – SC 5, 8; SS 7
|Observation, analysis, synthesis, inquiry, compare and
||2 class periods (50 minutes)
||Topography, geography, geology, Ozarks, karst, Southeastern
Lowlands (Bootheel), Osage Plains, St. Francois Mountains, Dissected
The land forms, geology, and topography of each Missouri
region both defines and outlines the watershed boundaries within each
region. The watershed boundaries, in turn, define the stream and river
flow patterns within them. This lesson provides students with the opportunity
to access their present knowledge of Missouri geography and expand their
knowledge of the state’s natural resources.
- Students live in a designated region of the state.
- Land forms and topography of each region determine
the watershed boundaries.
- The geology of a region partly affects the groundwater
quality and quantity.
- The mined minerals and energy resources in a region
affect land use practices and, thus, surface and subsurface water quality.
- Humans are dependent on water and natural resources.
Upon completion, students will be able to . . .
- Identify the five physiographic regions of Missouri.
- Compare and contrast each region's basic
topographical and geological characteristics.
- Identify the major geological natural resources
of each region.
Students Need to Know:
- The general location of Missouri in relation to other
central states in the USA.
- General land forms in their surrounding geographical
- Differences between plains, plateaus, flood plains,
hills, and mountains.
- The earth provides natural resources that humans
use for the production of goods and services.
- How to read information from various resources and
chart the contents.
Teachers Need to Know:
- The locations, geographical and geological information
about the five physiographic regions of the state of Missouri.
- How to outline watershed boundaries given stream/river
patterns from a map.
(The location of the various regions can be identified
by the Physiographic Regions of Missouri map provided in this
The following materials are available from the Missouri
Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey,
P.O. Box 250, Rolla, MO 65402, (573)368-2125.
Missouri Geology—Three Billion
Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion
Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri
Available from the Missouri Department of
Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, P.O. Box 250,
Rolla, MO 65402, (573)368-2125.
Introduction to the geologic History
Missouri's Hidden Waters
Fact Sheets/8.5" x 11" Maps Can be
found on-line at the addresses listed below:
Physiographic Region of Missouri
Geologic Map of Missouri
Mineral Resources Map of Missouri
Topographic Relief of Missouri
Land Relief of Missouri (Surface elevation)
Wall Maps/Scale 1:500.000 – 42" x 54"
Shaded Topographic Relief Map of Missouri
(one per group if possible) Available from USGS in Rolla, MO they are
Website for DNR publications:
Materials Needed for Lesson:
Missouri's Regions and Their Geology Chart—copy provided
Missouri's Hidden Waters Obtained from DNR
Physiographic Regions of Missouri Map—copy
Mineral Resources Map of Missouri—DNR
Shaded Topographic Relief map of Missouri
Five large sheets of butcher paper or
Five different colored markers
Part One: Missouri Bird's Eye View
- Display the shaded relief wall map of Missouri.
- Have students identify their town/city.
- Have students discuss the topography of their area.
- Describe specific land forms and compare those to
the shaded relief map.
- Allow students to share their travel experiences
to other areas of the state and compare and contrast their travels to
the shaded relief map and their home area.
- Allow students to examine the shaded relief map
closely. (If possible, provide one map per group of three to four students).
- Have students identify areas that have similar and
different shaded relief on the map. (Students should be able to recognize
the differences in the shaded relief patterns of the Ozarks, Bootheel
and Dissected Till Plains).
- Direct students to look closely at the river patterns
on the map. (This will help them identify the three different distinct
- Provide students with copies of the Physiographic
Regions of Missouri map.
- Have students identify the three easily recognized
regions—Ozarks, Bootheel, and Dissected Till Plains —and
compare these regions to the two other less obvious regions—St.
Francois Mountains and Osage Plains—to the shaded relief map.
(Point out the flood plain areas along the Missouri and Mississippi
rivers. Note how these rivers are a rough outline for some of the regions).
- Option—Have students color each region a different
color on the Missouri physiographic map, cut out the regions, and practice
putting it all back together.
Part Two: Fact Finding Mission
- Pass out copies of the brochure Missouri's Hidden
Waters and the Mineral Resources Map of Missouri.
- Read and discuss pages 1—4 as desired.
- Pass out copies of the handout Missouri's Regions
and Their Geology Chart.
- Have students work in pairs, teams, or as individuals
to find the designated information for the chart using the brochure
and map. The degree of detail transferring information from the maps
to the chart will vary according to grade.
- Discuss findings.
Part Three: Region Rotation
- Divide students into five groups and review the information
they have collected on the charts.
- Using five large sheets of paper or poster board,
place the name of each one of Missouri's region at the top.
- Give each group a different colored marker.
- Rotate the region sheets among the groups (or rotate
groups to sheets).
- Tell students that they are to list everything that
they can remember about the region on the sheet in one word descriptions
or short phrases
- Give students only a few minutes to write down information
before calling for the groups to stop and rotate (either sheets or groups).
- When students are rotated to a new region sheet,
they cannot repeat any information recorded by previous groups. (However,
they can make corrections by writing what they think is correct next
to any information they perceive as incorrect).
- Encourage students to take turns writing.
- At the end of the activity, go over each sheet with
the class and review points made by each colored marker group.
- Optional—Keep track of correct facts for each
colored marker group and award one point for each correct fact.
(Note: Students will find that this activity gets increasingly
harder as the sheets get rotated and class knowledge becomes exhausted.
All students should have the opportunity to read their first region sheets
and look at the additional knowledge the other groups added to theirs).
Have students choose one of the following assessments
using their completed and corrected charts:
- Create a concept map which compares and contrasts
- Write a story or describe what a bird would see
as it flew over each region of the state.
- Write a poem, rap, song, or newspaper article about
one or more of the regions.
- Write a one page paper comparing and contrasting
- Have students either independently or in small groups,
create a collage, poster, or mobile on a given region.
- Have students write a paper on land uses of a particular
region (i.e. differences between soil, users—commercial, residential,
- Invite the county soil scientist from the
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to come to class and demonstrate
the use of stereoscopic photos and the use of a field stereoscope.
The Watershed Knowledge Questionnaire
Previous knowledge and preconceived notions are both
important factors when evaluating the approach an educator will take when
initiating course work on a subject as complex and diverse as the module
on Watersheds and Geology.
A Watershed knowledge Questionnaire will help in evaluating
preconceptions and previous knowledge your students may have on the subject
of watersheds. This tool can help in determining the direction your lessons
- Explain to the students that the Watershed Knowledge
Questionnaire is not a test and will not effect their grade. Explain
that there will be questions on subject matter that you have not discussed
in class before.
- Have the students complete the Watershed Knowledge
- Evaluate the previous knowledge and any preconceived
ideas your students have on the material to be taught in this module.
- Can be used as a scoring guide if given again
Watershed Knowledge Questionnaire
On a separate sheet of paper please answer these questions
in complete sentences.
- What is a watershed?
- What kinds of test are performed to determine the
health of a stream?
- What things in the natural environment do you think
would influence the health of a stream?
- What human made things do you think would influence
the health of a stream?
- If you suspect abuse to a water source, who or what
organization should you contact?
- What is the difference between a riparian zone and
- What is a relationship between surface water and
- By collecting and studying macroinvertabrates, what
can they tell us?
- What does GIS stand for and what is it?
- Why is stewardship to our environment so important?
- What are storm drains used for and where do they
- Where does wastewater go?
- Give a brief description of what you know about
- What natural surrounding will help maintain a healthy
- What is the difference between point and non-point
- What is/are evidence of a healthy watershed?
- What are problems with surface runoff?
- What are ways you can conserve water?
- What can you write about the hydrologic cycle?
- Why do we need to conserve water when we have so
much here in Missouri?
Suggested Scoring Guide:
Missouri Regions – Shaped By
Land Forms and Geology
Teacher Name: ________________________________________
Group Name: ________________________________________
||Group defined own approach, effectively managing activity.
||Defined useful roles not mentioned before hand. Group adjusted roles
to maximize individual capabilities and interests.
||Group made specific efforts to involve all group members.
||One or more students in the group did not participate in or contribute
to the activity
||Each student in the group can clearly explain what information is
needed by the group, what information s/he is responsible for locating,
and when the information is needed.
||Each student in the group can clearly explain what information s/he
is responsible for locating.
||Each student in the group can, with minimal prompting from peers,
clearly explain what information s/he is responsible for locating.
||One or more students in the group cannot clearly explain what information
they are responsible for locating.
|Worked together as a team and all ideas were valued
||Group independently identifies at least 4 reasonable, insightful,
creative ideas/questions to pursue when doing the research.
||Group independently identifies at least 4 reasonable ideas/questions
to pursue when doing the research.
||Group identifies, with some adult help, at least 4 reasonable ideas/questions
to pursue when doing the research.
||Researchers identify, with considerable adult help, 4 reasonable
ideas/questions to pursue when doing the research.
Rubric Made Using: RubiStar (http://rubistar.4teachers.org)
Missouri’s Regions and Their Geology Chart
Directions: Complete the following chart
with single words or short phrases using the provided reference sources.
Physiographic Regions of Missouri
Missouri Water Atlas (map updated 1997), Missouri Department
of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey