Impact of Resources in a Region

Subject: History, Social Studies

Lesson Length: 1 hour

Topic: Understanding Regional Economic Development and Growth

Grade Level: 4

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will recognize and understand the impact resources have in the development and growth of their region, either locally or statewide.

Know Before You Start: Students should have a good understanding of what a resource is e.g., natural or man-made, and a basic understanding of supply and demand.


  • Brainstorm items deemed popular by your students e.g., PS5, iPhone.

  • Discuss why these items are important to them, asking questions that revolve around supply and demand such as:

    • Why are these items popular?

    • Why do people stand in line to purchase these items when they first come out?

    • Are these items a need or a want? 

  • Read and discuss the sample comic related to Pittsburgh.

  • Discuss resources that are necessary in your region e.g., gold in California, steel in Pennsylvania, cotton in South Carolina.


  • Have students research a resource e.g., historically or current, that is important to the development and growth of their region.

  • Using the sample comic as a guide, create a before, during, and after comic of the impact that resource had on the region.

  • Panel 1: Show what the region was like prior to the resource being developed/found or brought to the region.

  • Panel 2: Illustrate the impact during the highest demand time for that resource.

  • Panel 3: Show what the region looked like after the resource declined in demand, or make a prediction of the future of the region if the resource continues to be in demand.

Closure: In 30 seconds or less, students will use the “elevator pitch” strategy to give the big ideas of how their selected resource impacted their region. 


  • Extension: Have students classify all the resources presented as either a man-made resource or a natural resource.

  • Allow students to use speech-to-text feature as needed.

  • Allow students to work in groups or pairs.

  • Provide sentence frames as needed. 

  • Use graphic organizer to plan ideas.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

  • Mind Maps: Option 1, Option 2.
  • For planning and pre-writing, provide students with a mind map graphic organizer. Students will place the name of their selected resource in the center and add the before, during, and after titles. During the research process, students will add their notes to the mind map.

  • Digital resource for creating a mind map.

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