Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Geopoem about Alaska

Joyce Honeychurch
Colleges and Universities - Florida


Students gather information on the physical and human characteristics of Alaska (geographic theme PLACE).They organize this information on a concept map to be transformed into a geopoem about Alaska.


The student identifies effective word choice, uses of dialect, and sensory or figurative language in poetry.

The student uses various map forms to process and report geographic information (for example, patterns of land use, connections between places, patterns and processes of migration and diffusion).


-Geopoem prompts 1 – 10 (see associated file)
-Geopoem Example (see associated file)
-Concept Map Template (see associated file)
-Blackboard or overhead projector
-Computers with Internet access


1.) Download and print the associated file documents.

2.) Prior to Lesson: Set up the computers so that the web pages needed have desktop icons (shortcuts) so that the students can simply click on them to get to the sites. An optional way to do this would be to just bookmark the sites listed in Weblinks.


1. Begin the lesson by asking students what two states in the United States are not attached to another state in the union. When students identify Hawaii and Alaska, ask for reasons to visit each of the two states and then announce that, “Today we go with Alaska!”

2. Explain to students that they will gather information concerning Alaska that describes that state using the geographic theme PLACE and will write a Geopoem using the information they gather.

3. Ask students to recall what they know about Alaska that makes people want to visit there. What might keep people from visiting? Share and discuss.

4. Have students go to a map of Alaska on which you can point out latitude and longitude: Point out that a geographer uses latitude and longitude to pinpoint the exact LOCATION of a city like Juneau, the capitol of Alaska. Besides LOCATION another way to identify a city or a larger geographic area is by developing a geographic theme known as PLACE which tells the characteristics and character of places on earth.

How do we describe a PLACE? We collect information about human and physical characteristics of a geographic area.

To collect information on Alaska's physical characteristics students will look for animal life, trees, flowers, mountains, rivers, and other parts of the Alaskan landscape. To collect information on Alaska's human characteristics students will look for architectural manmade monuments, buildings, houses, etc., as well as other human characteristics such as how people make a living, their language, religion, political activity and all things human.

5. Students go to the two Alaska information websites to gather information that will give them information to complete the Concept Map Template and compose a Geopoem using the Geopoem prompts 1-10. ( See associated file.) NOTE: In additon to the many -bubbles- for information on PLACE, one -bubble- asks for information on LOCATION. Encourage the students to look up the latitude and longitude of Juneau, the capitol, to attach to their concept map. This information is available on the Internet:

6. Distribute -California,- a model geopoem. Before students write their geopoems, review the 10 prompts. Students will analyze the poem “California.” Have them make comparisons to the Geoprompts 1-10 that they will be using.

7. Students are to be encouraged to access and organize information, but also to be creative in their information gathering in anticipation of doing writing that transforms information into poetry.

8. Provide feedback. Students will partner and respond to one another's Alaska geopoems.


Given access to information on Alaska via the Internet and a concept map template keyed to geopoem prompts, students write a geopoem about Alaska. Check for students effective use of word choices and examples to create their poetry.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


1. Students may use concept mapping across the curriculum to help them organize information accessed through brainstorming about their own state, e.g., the state of Florida.
2. Students born in other nations may write a geopoem about their country of origin.
3. If curious about LOCATION students might find the latitude and longitude of any capitol of any major city in the world using the Internet:

Web Links

Web supplement for A Geopoem about Alaska

Web supplement for A Geopoem about Alaska
Alaska Facts

Web supplement for A Geopoem about Alaska

Web supplement for A Geopoem about Alaska
Graphic Maps

Attached Files

This is a concept map template that coincides with geopoem prompts.     File Extension: pdf

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