Set of activities designed by Anna Brígido with the collaboration of Carmen Alonso, Belén Cervera, Consuelo Estevan, Sara Fortea, Antonio Muñoz, Sandra Rodríguez, Marina Rubio, Mª José Sarrión, Ana de Scals, Nuria Tortosa & Ángela Zayas.

Universitat de València


File:Map of USA showing regions.png



Webquests present a problem or specific issue that is tackled through digital research. Selecting and appropriately interpreting the data you will find while you navigate the Internet will help you answer the questions below. Please use scholarly websites only! This particular webquest explores cultural regions and states in the United States and it will help you reflect on the connections that are established between geography, history, and culture at a regional and national level.


Didactic Goals:


- to relate geographical, cultural, and historical aspects of the United States of America.

- to understand and reflect critically on American cultural geographies as they are shaped by history and the societies that have dwelled on this places.

-to develop digital research skills, critical thinking skills, and collaborative learning




Before you start the webquest gather some information on the cultural regions in which the United States has traditionally been divided. Look at the map on page 1 and compare it to other cultural maps of the United States (see references at the end for examples). Do most authors draw similar divisions? Why are these broad areas different from state delimitations? Do they coincide with Native American cultural areas or are contemporary cultural regions a result of the European civilizations that colonized them? Note down some prominent geocultural features defining each of them.




1. What state gave birth to the highest number of US presidents and what are its nicknames? Who was it named after and why?


2. What state is the US capital located in? What nickname is currently used in the license plates of this state and why?


3. Which were the two rainiest states in the contiguous United States in 2012?
What region was most frequently hit by tornadoes?


4. What is the “mother road” in the United States and how did it get such name? What states does it go through? Name at least two novels, films or songs that feature it in popular culture.


5. A very famous Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon lives in a mountainous National Park in the Northwest. What are the names of the cartoon figure and the National Park? Why is this National Park historically significant?


6. In which American mountain range on the Great Plains, also known as “Island in the Prairie” can we find four carved faces of former United States Presidents? Who are these presidents? What Native American tribe claims ownership of these mountains and why?


7. What is the TARP Project? What city and lake are associated with it and why was this project necessary? Why are this and the other surrounding lakes important for the US economy?


8. What are the Four Corners and where are they located? Which Four Corner states have red and yellow in their flag as a result of an earlier colonization by Spain? Why do these states have so many elderly residents?


9. What state’s nickname refers to the discovery of gold? What location in this state had the highest temperature ever recorded in the world? What are the biggest ethnic communities populating this state?


10. What state is 90% covered by pine forest? What cultural region does it belong to and what characteristic geocultural features does it have in common with other states in that region?




Go back to some of the most interesting websites you came across in your search. What other things did you learn about these cultural regions and states? Can you formulate two webquest questions of your own to add to this activity?



File:Mt. rushmore.jpg


Useful links and bibliographical references:


*Mauk, D. and Oakland, J (1998). American Civilisation: An Introduction. New York: Routledge.


*United States Embassy (2008). “Regions of the United States”

*Edkins, J. (2007). “Identify the States in the United States of America”


*Maxey, G. (2008) “Geography 3100. United States and Canada” University of Northern Texas.

*Arbesman, S. (2012) “The Invisible Borders that Shape American Culture”. The Atlantic Cities. Place Matters.

*Native Languages of the Americas (1998-2011) “Native American Indian Culture Areas”

*American Indians’ Cultural Network (2000) “Culture Areas. Tribes”

Acknowledgement: the pictures used are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (2012) and



Also don’t forget to visit: Pool of Media Projects in English Studies, coordinated by Anna Brígido-Corachán, a growing repository of student-built and/or student inspired activities in Anglophone literatures and cultures.


Universitat de València – ANGLOTIC - 2013