Moving to the Resources

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10138

In this lesson, learn about the importance of natural resources by using maps, and learn how the Gold Rush in the United States enticed people to move west for the promise of resources and riches!



learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look at the pictures below. What do you notice they all have in common?

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  • Did you say they were all maps?

Then you are correct!

Let's look a bit closer to find another similarity.

The first picture is a map of the Ancient Athenian Empire.

  • Did you notice how the states developed around the coast and waterways?

In the second picture, the map is showing the Mississippi River in the U.S.

  • Are there many cities on the Mississippi River? Yes!

Now, looking at the last picture, you can see the population density in the U.S. Population density shows how many people are living in certain areas.

Look at the key to see what the different colors represent.

  • Where do most of the people in the U.S. live?

Around the coastlines and in the Midwest.

  • Do you know what kind of land is in the Midwest?
  • Is it green fertile land or dry arid desert?

Yes, fertile land.

Let's look at the states they call the American Plains and the Southwest.

  • Do many people live there? If not, why not?

The land is not very fertile, and many parts of it are a desert.

From the maps we gather that people tend to live on the coasts or in the fertile land area.

  • Why do you think that is?

In history, and even today, people want to live where they can grow their own food and have enough water to do the many things done with water: drinking, cooking, bathing, feeding animals, and growing crops.

Living next to a waterway was also important for transportation of both people and goods at a time when people couldn't drive or fly.

Since the beginning of man, people have moved around to be near good resources.

  • Have you heard of the Nomads?

Nomads are people who wander, having no permanent home, following the water and food supply. They were some of the first humans, and we also call them the Hunters and Gatherers.

  • Do you know what led the Hunters and Gatherers to stop roaming and building communities of people?


  • Why would farming stop people from wandering around areas looking for food?
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