The Southeast Activity by Harcourt Achieve Inc

The Southeast Activity

Nine states make up the Southeast region. It is found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The region has beaches, hills, and mountains. The Southeast has roots in many different countries— Spain, France, and Great Britain.

The Southeast – History

The first people to live in the Southeast region were Native Americans. The forests and the rivers were good places to hunt. The different Indian nations shared the land. European explorers arrived around 1500. Spanish, French, and English all claimed rights to the land.

The Spanish built the first settlement in North America in 1565. They had traveled from Mexico into present-day Florida looking for gold. In 1607 Jamestown, Virginia, became the first English settlement in North America. As more people came to the New World, they followed the rivers, looking for land to farm. There were constant battles between the Native Americans, French, Spanish, and English. By 1700, the English claimed all the land to the east of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity

Sample PDF Activity

Four of the original colonies—Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia—were from the south. Tobacco and cotton became important crops for these colonies. Farmers cleared more and more land in an effort to grow crops. The large farms were called plantations. People from Africa were shipped in to work in the fields. The plantation owners became wealthy. They went to parties and traveled. They did not like it when the English made them pay taxes. They wanted to form their own country. During the American Revolution, little fighting took place in the south.

After the American Revolution, people began to move west. They wanted their own land. Eventually, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama joined the United States. Florida, after much trading between Spain and the United States government, joined the country in 1845. The Civil War began soon after. The final southeast state, West Virginia, joined the Union at this time. Most of the Civil War took place in the south. The plantations and the land were destroyed. It took many years for the region to rebuild. It has only been in the last half of this century that African Americans have been given their civil rights: the right to vote, equal housing and jobs, and equal pay.

The Southeast – Landscape

There are three main areas of landscape in the Southeast. The land along the Atlantic Ocean is flat. It is called the Coastal Plain. The soil is sandy and fertile. Some of the land near rivers is swampy. Moving to the west, the land becomes hilly. It is known as the Piedmont Plateau. Many rivers flow through it. Finally, the Appalachian Mountains cover some part of every state, except Florida. Forests cover much of the region.

The Southeast – Climate

The Southeast has a temperate climate. This means the summers are warm, but the winters are mild. Breezes from the coast keep the winters warmer. There is little snow on the plateaus and plains. The mountains can have snow, though. The Southeast has hurricanes. Hurricanes have strong winds and lots of rain. They blow in from the ocean. Hurricanes can kill people and blow away homes.

The Southeast – Natural Resources

Water is an important resource in the Southeast. The Atlantic Ocean is a good water resource. It provides millions of fish each year. Rivers flow across the land. They also provide fish as well as places for people to play while on vacation.

Forests still cover many parts of the region. Soil in the region is sandy and good for farming. In the western part, the soil is more rocky. Many mountains contain coal, natural gas, and iron ore. There is less farming in the western part.

The Southeast – Economy

People in the Southeast earn a living in many ways. Farming is still an important job. Crops include tobacco, soybeans, and peanuts. Animals include poultry and hogs. Fishing along the Southeast coast provides much seafood for the world. Some people work in office jobs, such as in finance, real estate, or insurance. Most people work in service jobs. Service people help other people. Service people work in stores, restaurants, and hospitals. Since the climate is mild and there is a variety of land, many people come to visit the Southeast. Service people also help tourists who visit the region. Technology and research are becoming important in the Southeast. Many companies that work with computers, electronics, and medicines are building in the Southeast.

The Southeast – Higher Education

Many important colleges in the nation are in the Southeast. Tuskegee Institute first started as a school to teach freed slaves to read, write, and learn a trade. It is now known worldwide as a research center for agriculture.

South Carolina is home to the Citadel, a military college. And of course, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the school at which Michael Jordan played. There are many other fine colleges and trade schools in the region.

The Southeast – The Southeast Today

The growth of the Southeast has been slow. Civil rights for all people, from African Americans, to Native Americans, to West Virginian miners, has been a struggle. Many people still live in small towns. It has just been in the last twenty years that manufacturing and research have become an important part of the Southeast. Some large cities grow around these companies. With new jobs comes more money. People can travel. Coastal cities have become booming tourists’ sites. In all of the changes, people still remember their roots and traditions. They are proud to be a part of the Southeast.

The Southeast Worksheet

Circle the letter of the correct answer.

  1. Native Americans, Spain, France, and __ claimed land in the Southeast.
    a. Mexico
    b. Great Britain
    c. Maine
    d. Ireland
  2. The eastern part of the Southeast region is along the __.
    a. Atlantic Ocean
    b. Pacific Ocean
    c. Rocky Mountains
    d. Mississippi River
  3. The first English settlement in the New World was in __.
    a. Virginia
    b. Florida
    c. Georgia
    d. South Carolina
  4. The two most important crops in the Southeast were __.
    a. poultry and hogs
    b. coal and natural gas
    c. tobacco and cotton
    d. corn and rice
  5. Plantations are __.
    a. large farms
    b. the Native Americans’ hunting land
    c. small mines
    d. Spanish settlements
  6. The only Southeastern state that does not have mountains is __.
    a. North Carolina
    b. West Virginia
    c. Georgia
    d. Florida
  7. Hurricanes have __ and lots of rain.
    a. snow
    b. strong winds
    c. sleet
    d. soft breezes
  8. Tuskegee Institute started as a school for __.
    a. Native Americans
    b. English settlers
    c. freed slaves
    d. poor farmers
  9. People who work in stores and restaurants have __ jobs.
    a. service
    b. manufacturing
    c. fishing
    d. farming
  10. Manufacturing and __ have become important industries in the Southeast.
    a. fishing
    b. farming
    c. mining
    d. research

The Southeast Answer Key

  1. b
  2. a
  3. a
  4. c
  5. a
  6. d
  7. b
  8. c
  9. a
  10. d

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