Your Favorite Hobbies

By: Rose González

Time: 1 class period
Photocopy maps
Materials: Maps of a country that show climate and physical features


In this Engaging lesson, the teacher will begin the unit that leads to the idea of how climate and geography influence the way people live in their cities. To do this, the teacher will have to start with small ideas that will guide students to the understanding that the various hobbies or activities that residents engage in, are invariably related to the climate and geography of the city they live in. This lesson will require an extensive amount of effort on the part of the teacher to solicit answers that lead to the objective. This is also a great opportunity for teachers to get to know their students’ preferences.

Students will be able to:
1. Identify how geography and climate influence human activities.

National Geography Standard
(1) How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and techniques to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
(4) The physical and human characteristics of places.
   4D. Evaluate how humans interact with physical environments to form places.

Teacher Background
If applicable

Related and Resource Websites
Any geography texts with maps



Day 1
1. Begin the lesson by asking students. “If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?” Lead the discussion by asking why they chose that particular place? What is it that they like about it? Narrow the discussion by asking, “What are your favorite things to do? What are your hobbies?” Try to steer students away from answers that have to do with video games or television.

List those answers on the board or overhead transparency.

2. Next, ask students, “If you had a choice, would you choose to live near a lake, mountain, ocean, desert, or forest? List those answers on the board. Continue by asking, “What type of climate or weather would you prefer to live in, hot, cold, rainy, snowy, mild, or humid” List those answers on the board.

3. Give students a handout that has 2 maps, one that shows physical features of a country, and one that shows climate. Ask students to look at their maps and identify where on their map they can participate in their favorite hobbies, and to locate where on their map they can live in the type of climate they prefer.

4. Next, lead students into a discussion which explains to them that a city is often built around the activities that humans can participate in based on the geography and climate of that city. But also explain to them that in order for a city to meet all the needs of it’s residents, there needs to be other types of activities for people to meet their basic needs and enjoy themselves.

5. Ask students, “What are some of the basic needs that people need in order to survive and also enjoy themselves?” Continue leading the discussion until students have answered the majority of the answers the teacher is looking for including such basics as libraries, schools, government offices, highways/transportation systems, sewage, fire and police departments, homes, hospitals, sports fields, parks, churches, business/commercial jobs, entertainment, etc.

6. Once all these ideas are on the board, the teacher should relate the idea that weather, climate, and/or the physical features of a locale often affect many of these activities. The teacher should lead students into making a few connections by asking them for examples. For example, one question the teacher can ask is, “If someone likes to play baseball, but the weather is over 100 degrees during baseball season, how might the weather affect what type of professional baseball field to build?” Or, “Will the fact that you picked running as a hobby influence where the city builds its parks or recreation centers?” Another question based on one’s hobby could be, “If you are a passionate snow skier, what type of city would you probably choose to live in where you can ski the most?” Or, “If you wanted to work as a forest ranger, where might you choose to live to work in that profession?”

7. Summarize with the class that a city offers its’ residents many opportunities. People choose to live in certain areas based on the opportunities or activities that are most important to them, but the main idea they need to remember is that geography and climate almost always factor into the decisions people make.

8. Have students draw a T-sheet on a piece of paper. The left side is labeled Geography; the right side is labeled Climate. Ask students to look at all the items listed on the board, and to categorize on their T-sheet which activities and needs are affected by geography and which are influenced by climate.

Have students ask their parents or other adults the following question, “What do you like most about the city you live in?” Have students explain if the answer they gave is related to geography or climate.

Embedded Assessment
Students’ ability to identify the role of climate and geography on their lives can be assessed through the t-sheet.


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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