|Lesson 4- Physical Regions of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is made up of five main regions. Regions are large areas of land that have some feature in common. The five regions that we will study were divided because they share common landforms. They are the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Ridge and Valley, Allegheny Plateau, and Erie Plain.
Atlantic Coastal Plain
The Atlantic Coastal Plain is an area of flat, level land in the Southeastern part of our state. It is called coastal because it in the area by the Atlantic Ocean. This area contains our largest city, Philadelphia, which is a port city. Philadelphia is located by the Delaware River which means that large ships can travel to and from the city carrying goods. Due to the ports and the Delaware River, this area has a very large population.
Piedmont means land at the base of a mountain. This area lies between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the mountainous Ridge and Valley region. This region has many rolling hills and valleys. Some small areas are covered with forests. The land in this area is very good for farming and has some of the best soil in the United States. Some of these products are manufactured into food and snack products in factories in the Piedmont region. This area is a mixture of farms, fields, forests, and factories.
Ridge and Valley
The Ridge and Valley region is covered with mountain ridges and valleys. This area starts at the southern border and crosses our state northeast to the Delaware River. Each valley and mountain ridge has its own name. There are many cities in this region including, Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown, and Bethlehem to the south as well as Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton to the northeast. Other cities in the region are Williamsport, State College, and Altoona.
Many of the valleys in this region have good soil for farming. In the mountains, there are state parks and areas for hunting. Some of the forested areas are logged for timber, trees used for wood.
This region covers more than one-half of our state. You have learned that a plateau is land that is higher than the surrounding land. This plateau is so large that it has mountains, hills, forest, waterfalls, and gorges on it. Our second largest city, Pittsburgh, is located in this region. Otherwise, there aren’t many large cities located in this region.
Long ago, this flat land was part of the lake bed of Lake Erie. The sandy soil left behind is perfect for growing fruit. For this reason, the region is known for its orchards, farms that grow fruit.
Since it is located by a large lake, this area gets more snowfall in the winter. This is called a snowbelt area. There are also many water activities such as sailing and fishing.
Lesson 5- Pennsylvania’s People
Pennsylvania not only has physical regions, but it also has human-made regions. Many Pennsylvanians live in towns or boroughs. A borough is a town that is larger than a village and has its own government. The Riverside School District is located in the boroughs of Moosic and Taylor.
Many of these towns and boroughs formed a long time ago when people first settled in Pennsylvania. These people came from different countries and brought their culture with them. If you look around the boroughs in this area, you can see many Italian, Polish, Jewish, English, and Irish influences.
In the area of Lancaster, many people came from Germany in the 1700s. These immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. They have kept their culture and way of life the same for close to 300 years. Due to their Amish religion, they live without electricity or telephones. Instead of buying clothes, people make their own. Instead of driving a car, they drive horses and buggies. Most men and boys are farmers. Most women and girls stay home to take care of the household chores.
This is an Amish family and a horse and buggy.
People celebrate their cultures in many ways around Pennsylvania throughout the year. In Philadelphia, you may see the Mummers’ Parade. It is a Swedish New Year’s Day Parade with brightly dressed clowns. A Chinese New Year Parade is also held in Philadelphia. In Scranton, an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates Irish culture. African Americans celebrate their traditions with the Odunde Festival that takes place in June in Philadelphia.