Instructions for Part 2:
Based on the information learned through class and/or additional research, you are to propose your OWN set of CULTURAL regions for North America. You are welcome to propose as many as you would like, but at minimum, you must include at least five (5). Although the regions do not have to cover the entire land area of the North American “continent,” they must clearly include significant portions of both the USA and Canada. In addition, you are welcome to consider including parts of Mexico, Greenland, or other areas outside of the official boundaries of the USA and Canada, since “North America” is not necessarily limited to just those two countries (despite how our textbook treats it).
While you are certainly welcome (and encouraged) to be as creative as possible in identifying potential cultural regions in North America, you may find it easiest to simply start with any of those presented by our textbook authors (Birdsall et al.), or any of the others that have been presented to you in class (e.g., Garreau, de Blij, Jordan, McKnight, Hardwick et al., Zelinsky, etc.), and then modify them as you see fit. Keep in mind, however, that you should clearly demonstrate evidence of your own personal critical thinking and analysis, so your regions should not be “carbon copies” of those presented by others—they should clearly reflect your own personal attempt to break down and reassemble in a different way the cultural/human characteristics of North America.
Just as importantly, remember that your set of regions must explicitly be based on cultural/human characteristics. You may choose whatever combination of cultural traits or practices you feel are most appropriate to distinguish your regions, but you must clearly identify a minimum of at least two (2) different specific human/cultural traits to define each of your cultural regions of North America.
To complete this portion of the assignment, you must add an additional slide to your PowerPoint presentation (following your Venn diagrams). On this slide, you must include a blank map of North America on which you must draw shapes that indicate the areal extent of each of the five cultural regions you have identified. Be aware, however, that you should try to be as detailed as possible in indicating the “boundaries” of your regions. In other words, you should NOT use simple shape objects (such as circles or ovals), but rather, you should use the “Freeform” shape tool. In addition, you are encouraged to try to illustrate the “fuzzy” nature of regional boundaries by using dashed-lines, etc. NOTE: If you prefer, you are welcome to hand draw your regional map, instead, and then scan it and insert the image on your slide.
You must then label, on the map, each of the cultural regions you have included with a creative and descriptive name. Remember that the best regional names refer directly to the most significant “defining” trait/characteristic of the region. You are welcome to consider names that may be commonly used by people in the area, however, you should strive to consider ways to enhance them. You should also strive to avoid simply using the regional names used by our textbook authors (most of which aren’t particularly creative). In a nutshell, you should strive to think “outside the box” and not simply regurgitate regions and regional names that have been given by someone else (unless you feel you have a compelling reason for doing so).
Following your slide with your map showing all of your regions, you should insert a slide for each cultural region that you have included (in most cases this will mean 5 additional slides). On each slide you are to provide a summary description of each of the regions. Each description must be at least 75 words in length and should provide an explanation/“justification” for each region that you have chosen to include. Most importantly, you should clearly state the specific human/cultural traits (at least 2) that you are using as the basis for defining the region. You may then highlight any additional considerations you used for identifying the region…such as special notes regarding the areas that are included, why you chose it, what you think its significance is to North America as a whole, etc. Please remember that you should cite any sources that you use to help you with your descriptions of each of these regions.
Finally, you should conclude your PowerPoint with a “Works Cited” slide.