Lesson 3: The Southeast

Getting Started

The southeastern United States is known for its southern hospitality, hot and humid summers, and geographical variety. In this region, you can find the Appalachian Mountains, the Florida Everglades, the bayou of Louisiana, and the beautiful beaches of Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The Southeast is not as heavily populated as the Northeast, but many people do live in this part of the country. One reason is that many of the eastern states have a coast. Imports from all over the world come into the ports along the eastern seaboard, and exports leave through these ports to reach destinations all over the world. The ports created jobs and industry in the early years of our nation and continue to do so today. Agriculture has always been an important industry in the Southeast. Many of the first people to live in the Southeast lived on farms called plantations.

Stuff You Need

  • Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller
  • colored pencils or markers* (Activity 2 - Option 2)
  • journal

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed

Ideas to Think About

  • How are the state regions within the United States similar and different?
  • What do the state regions of the United States offer their citizens?
  • What relationships exist among the different regions of the United States?

Things to Know

  • The states of the Southeast include Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Louisiana.
  • The southeastern U.S. has a variety of ecosystems.
  • People in the Southeast are known as "southerners" and often speak with a southern accent.
  • In the summer, the weather in the Southeast is hot and humid.


  • Compare and contrast the physical and cultural characteristics of regions within the United States. (SS)
  • Describe the absolute and relative location of major landforms, bodies of water, and natural resources in the United States. (SS)
  • Compare and contrast the physical and cultural characteristics of regions within the United States. (SS)
  • Analyze how people in different parts of the United States earn a living, past and present. (SS)

Introducing the Lesson

Tell your child that today he will continue his adventure across the U.S. into the Southeast. Let your child locate the states in the Southeast on his "State Regions of the United States" map (from Lesson 1).
Reading and Questions
Materials: Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller, journal
In Smart About the Fifty States read about the Southeast. As you read about each state listed below, use the "States of the Southeast" pages to decorate the states' names. The book's illustrator also did this, but use your own ideas based on what you learn about the state. Some of the information for these pages will come from Smart About the Fifty States, but you should also use other sources such as the Internet or an encyclopedia.
  1. Arkansas
  2. Alabama
  3. Mississippi
  4. Georgia
  5. Kentucky
  6. South Carolina
  7. North Carolina
  8. Florida
  9. Virginia
  10. Tennessee
  11. West Virginia
  12. Louisiana
Southeastern States
Your child will decorate the names of the states in the region to reflect information he learns from Smart About the Fifty States. Check your child's illustrations and ask him to explain how they reflect each state.