Where in the World Is The Dominican Republic?
- The Caribbean, Dominican Republic
- Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
- Language Arts & Literature, Social Studies & Geography
Students will examine the effect of one's environment upon how one lives, and they will begin to investigate the geography of the Dominican Republic.
- Students will be able to explain how where they live influences how they live.
- Students will be able to locate the Dominican Republic and its major cities on a map of the Western Hemisphere.
- Present students with the essential question How does where we live influence how we live? Invite responses. Next, ask students to reflect on the place they call home and how their own physical surroundings (location, population, climate, physical features, etc.) influence the way they live.
- To further student thinking about where they live, provide categories, such as the jobs that are available, the type of homes people live in, the transportation systems available to them, the things they do to have fun, the clothing people wear, the food they eat, and so on. Ask students to generate examples for each category.
- Ask students if they lived somewhere else in the world, in a place that was very different, how their lives might be different. Give examples such as, if they lived in Alaska instead of Florida; if they lived in Los Angeles instead of in a small suburban town in Kentucky; if they lived in the mountains instead of by the ocean; in Canada or France instead of in the United States; on a farm rather than in a city.
- Ask students to draw conclusions about how where we live influences how we live. Write their conclusions on the board.
- Provide students with a copy of the graphic organizer on Worksheet #1: How Does Where You Live Influence How You Live? (find link above). Ask them to reflect on the categories listed on the graphic organizer and then to describe (in writing) life in the United States in those categories, based on their own experiences.
- When they have finished writing, students should compare their responses with a partner's.
- Using a world map, ask students to locate the Dominican Republic. Mention that the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, that its capital is Santo Domingo, and that it is just 600 miles south of Florida. Also mention that it is the first place that Columbus landed in 1492.
- Ask students, given the location of the Dominican Republic, what assumptions can they make about how where we live influences how we live (e.g., "it's south of Florida, so it must be warm"). Have students make a list of assumptions or predictions about what life might be like in the Dominican Republic. This can be done in small groups or as a class.
- Show students a map of the Dominican Republic (find link above). Ask them to circle the capital, Santo Domingo, and the "second capital," Santiago. Next ask them to find and circle Pico Duarte (Duarte Peak), the highest mountain in the West Indies.
- Tell the students that, since 1962, approximately 3,200 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Dominican Republic. Currently there roughly 150 serving there. The projects in which they serve include agricultural improvement, education, environmental awareness, forestry, health, water sanitation, and small-business development in urban and rural areas.
- Ask students to circle on their maps several cities and towns where Peace Corps Volunteers have served: Moca (north central), Sabaneta (northwest), Samana (east), and Hato Mayor (southeast). Let students know that, later in the lesson, they will be reading what Peace Corps Volunteers had to say about life in these areas.
Completion of graphic organizers
Frameworks & Standards
- Where we live influences how we live.
- How does where you live influence how you live?
National Geography Standards
How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on the Earth's surface.
Language Arts Standard
The learner will demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of informational and literary texts.