The Changing Face of Pennsylvania

Academic Standards

The Changing Face of Pennsylvania

The Changing Face of Pennsylvania includes three activities:

Activity 1: Learning from Aerial Photographs »
Activity 2: Historic Timeline »
Activity 3: Learning About Pennsylvania »

The activities involve skills in using maps, aerial photographs and data to help understand trends and changes. These tools are utilized to communicate graphic interpretation of information through a one-to-one correspondence between places, events and data—portraying them through a visual representation. Graphs, charts and tables of information on population, growth and land use help participants to visualize trends that impact communities, counties and the state. Understanding the trends helps citizens in formulating future actions and decisions.

A series of aerial photographs taken at intervals of 10 or more years of the same location provides an account of changes in the landscape over time. Participants will observe and document the changes caused by growth and development. They can determine the percent of change in developed land and project the possible growth that will occur in the future. Introducing geographic information systems technology (GIS) enhances the activity.

By examining maps of Pennsylvania and of their communities, participants gain an understanding of features of physiographic regions such as geology, topography, land cover, etc. that influence growth and development patterns.

Students develop skills such as observation of a physical space, integrating observations into a unified whole, orienting a consistent viewpoint, scaling (ratio and proportion), using symbols, evaluating content and making predictions.

Standard Categories

  • Environment and Ecology
  • Civics and Government
  • Geography
  • Mathematics

Standard Statements

2.5 Mathematical Problem Solving
2.6 Statistics and Data Analysis
4.2 Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
4.8 Humans and the Environment
5.1 Principles and Documents of Government
5.3 How Government Works
7.1 Basic Geographic Literacy
7.3 Human Characteristics of Places and Regions

Content Objectives

  • Use measurement skills to compare and contrast aerial photographs of an area, evaluating factors that affect land resources
  • Interpret and compare the effects of change in land uses over time and how development relates to the environment
  • Organize a timeline of land use events and explain how they affected development over time
  • Describe three events that historically encouraged Pennsylvania land use patterns
  • Analyze population and settlement patterns and changes, determining the relationship between growth and resource changes by reading graphs and maps
  • Discuss needs for land use planning in Pennsylvania

Instructional Strategies

  • Analysis
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Listening
  • Map Reading
  • Graph Analysis
  • Organizing
  • Reading Research
  • Small Group Work

Assessment Strategies

  • Participation in discussions, and completion of tasks, worksheets and presentations

Time Required

  • 3.0 hours (One hour per each activity)

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