Lesson Plans

GLOBE Regional Connections: Earth Systems at a Regional Level, Defining Regional Boundaries



Students discuss their current understanding of what Earth systems are and how they work and consider how to identify the boundaries of a region for Earth system study. In small groups, they select a region for recommendation to the class, and they make a list of characteristics and features that can mark the boundaries of regional systems. After presentations by each group, the class chooses one region for study as an Earth system. Then they mark the boundaries of their chosen region on their Landsat image, topographic map, or other maps.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to

  • define “region” as an area which has similar features throughout;
  • identify a specific region for study as an Earth system by finding boundaries; and
  • describe the region’s boundaries so that others can find them on a map.

Materials Required

  • Landsat image of your school
  • Topographic maps and/or others such as vegetation, physical, soil maps of the region covered by the Landsat image (as available)


  • Review the Landsat image and maps.
  • Make student copies:
    • Worksheets:

      • Identifying a Region for Study

      • Student Self-reflection Log: Identifying a Region

      • Assessment rubric for this activity (You may want to share with students.)

Technology Requirements

  • Standalone Lesson (no technology required)

Background Information

General "Earth As a System" Documents


See the link here to access the full lesson plan and student worksheets.

Defining Regional  Boundaries