United States West Region


In this lesson, students learn about the states that make up the western region of the United States. They will be able to identify important landmarks and characteristics and discover how diverse the landscapes are among the different states.

The western region is home to many national parks, such as Yellowstone and Zion. This feature alone makes some of these states popular tourist attractions. Speaking of tourists, students will get to create posters to attract tourists to a certain state. They will also study many other facts about these unique places.

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What our United States West Region lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: The United States is most commonly divided into five regions. In the United States West Region lesson, students will learn about the western states. They will identify landmarks and characteristics of the region that set it apart. The West divides into the Mountain area and the Pacific area. Students will learn to identify which states correspond to each area. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Options for Lesson

The “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page lists a number of suggestions for ideas and activities you could incorporate into the lesson. This lesson is one of five lessons that correlate with the national and state standards for Geography. All of the lessons have an identical format. Each lesson highlights a different region. A suggested activity for the lesson is to complete all the lessons for all five areas and create U.S. Booklets from the materials and reports. Students can work in groups by region or individually. This is an excellent way for students to learn the 50 states and state capitals as well as something about each region!

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. This lesson is one in a series about the regions of the United States. You don’t have to follow any particular order. However, you might consider starting with the region in which you and your students live. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.


States in the West Region

You may have noticed that sometimes when you travel or meet someone from a different place in the U.S., they may seem different from you. Sure, they play the same games, have the same interests, and probably like many of the things you do. Yet, maybe when they talk, they have an accent; or perhaps you notice the clothes they are wearing are different from yours. These differences are known as regional differences.

A region is an area like a part of a country that has definable characteristics. A region also has unifying characteristics. Regions overlap and do not have exact boundaries like state boundary lines. Generally, geographers have identified at least five major regions in the United States. A map on the first content page shows the states in each of the five regions.

It lists the 11 states in the West. These are the states many geographers say are compose the west or western region of the United States. As you might expect, there are many common characteristics that apply to a region. Physically speaking, these states share common landforms, climate, soil, and natural vegetation. They are also similar when it comes to economic, social, political, architectural, and cultural areas.

As you can see, the states have similar characteristics that bond them. Some of the traits are easy to see, like the architecture of buildings. Others are more difficult to observe. For example, a region may share a similar heritage or history. The founders of the area may have come from the same place. As a result, they have a cultural heritage that is unique to the region.

What to Know about the West

There are several things you need to know about the west region of the United States. The west region is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west coast. Alaska is the largest state in the region western region. Los Angeles, California, is the largest city with nearly 4 million residents. In total, the region covers about half of the land area of the entire United States.

According to the Census Bureau, more than 97 million people live in the region. Nearly one-half of those people, however, live in California. The climate of the West is semi-arid. Parts of the region get high amounts of rain or snow. Other parts are true deserts, which receive less than five inches of rain per year.

The climate changes frequently. Areas that are normally wet can be very dry for years at a time. The soil is sandy, clay soil that is suitable for agriculture. In addition, the region experiences many earthquakes and volcanoes. Hawaii has the most active volcanoes, and the most extinct volcanoes.

The West is famous for the film and music industry in southern California, gambling in Nevada, the high-tech computer industry, and aerospace production in Washington. Agriculture and farming industries continue to anchor the economies of the region as well. It is also known for leading the U.S. in environmental regulations and efforts to control climate change.

Alaska is the furthest state north, east, and west. California has more Indian tribes than any other U.S. state. It is also the fifth largest economy in the world. Nike was founded in Beaverton, Oregon. The world headquarters is remains in Oregon since the company was founded in 1964. The California Gold Rush began at Sutter’s Mill, near Coloma, on January 24, 1848. And one more fun fact: the region includes both the largest and smallest states in terms of population.


The United States West Region lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


During the activity, students will create tourism posters to market the west region. They will use what they learned during the lesson and draw or download pictures. After they complete the activity, they will answer questions about the region. For instance, they will explain which state they would most like to visit and why. The activity can be graded with a point system.


The practice worksheet will require some memory work. Students have to list the states of the western region in alphabetical order. Then, they will try to list the states from most to least populated. After that, they will write the capital city of each state. Finally, they will have to answer several questions about random facts from the lesson.


The homework will test students’ knowledge and memory again. They will match the states to corresponding facts, landmarks, or cities. Then they will have to describe the significance of seven different numbers. For instance, 1849 is a date related to a significant event in the west region. The number 134 is the highest recorded temperature somewhere. They will have no information apart from the number.

Worksheet Answer Keys

If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Social Studies

State Educational Standards

NCSS. D2.GEO.1.3 – 5, NCSS.D2.GEO.2.3 – 5, & NCSS.D2.GEO.5.3 – 5

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.