The Middle Atlantic Regions of the United States

Learn about the geography and economy of the Middle Atlantic colonies/states.


  1. Students will be able to name the states of the Middle Atlantic region.
  2. Students will be able to describe the geography of the Middle Atlantic region.
  3. Students will be able to describe the economy in the Middle Atlantic region.
  4. Students will be able to describe the development of a megalopolis in the Middle Atlantic region.

Suggested Grades:

4th Grade – 5th Grade – 6th Grade


  1. Read lesson or have students read it silently.
  2. Have students answer the questions on the worksheet.
  3. Discuss answers to questions.

Lesson Excerpt:

The Middle Atlantic region of the U.S. includes the states of New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. The geography of the region is flat or gently rolling hills in Delaware and New Jersey, while Pennsylvania and New York contain stretches of the Appalachian Mountain range.

The hills between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian Mountains are known as the Piedmont. Many rivers flow through the Piedmont on their way to the ocean. Because the rivers flow down from the hills to the coast, there are many rapids and waterfalls in between. The dividing line between the Piedmont and the Atlantic coast is known as the fall line. The geography of the Middle Atlantic States played an important role in the history of this part of the country.

When the Middle Atlantic States first became colonies, people used the rivers as highways to transport food, lumber and furs to places where the goods could be traded or sold. However, river boats could not get past the fall line. The falling water did have some benefits to the colonists, though. They were able to use its power to build water-powered mills to cut lumber and grind flour. Mills were built along the Hudson and Delaware Rivers and cities were soon established in these places as well.

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