This Land is Your Land is an interesting and aggressive lesson that incorporates research, hands on activities and on-site learning to illustrate and reinforce how the geographic features of Upstate South Carolina contributed to the Patriot strategy in their ultimate success at the Battle of Cowpens, 1781.


The student will be able to:

-categorize the six landform regions of South Carolina – the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, the Sand Hills, The Inner coastal Plain, the Outer Coastal Plain, and the Coastal Zone – according to their climate, physical features, and natural resources

- describe the location and characteristics of significant features of south Carolina, including landforms; river systems such as the Pee Dee River basin, the Santee River Basin, the Edisto River Basin, and the Savannah River Basin; major cities, and climate regions

-analyze and discuss the benefits of the terrain to Daniel Morgan's battle strategy and ultimate victory in the Battle of Cowpens


*South Carolina landform regions and relative climate, physical features, natural resources

*Background (summation) of the Battle of Cowpens and its impact on the American Revolution


South Carolina: An Atlas and South Carolina Interactive Geography (SCIG) CD-ROM

Produced and distributed by the South Carolina Geographic Alliance


Illustration and explanation of six landform regions of South Carolina which assists students in coloring maps and identifying characteristics of each region <Step 1>


Instructions for Sand Map: Provides instructions for and examples of sand map <Step 6> 


Step 1: Review text defining landforms and their corresponding characteristics; label and color a map of South Carolina that clearly illustrates the six landform regions of the State; discuss and/or illustrate on the map, the climate, physical features, and natural resources of each landform region (3 days)


Step 2: Introduce/summarize the Battle of Cowpens; introduce the main characters of the Battle (Banastre Tarleton and Daniel Morgan); highlight the importance of the local terrain (landform region) in Daniel Morgan's battle strategy and Tarleton's defeat (1 day)


Step 3: Visit Cowpens Battlefield – observe the movie "Cowpens: A Battle Remembered" and the Fiber-optic map display; encourage students to make notes of references to geographic features depicted in each (land, river systems, etc.); Tour the Battlefield, encouraging students to take notes of geographic features that were part of Morgan's battle plans (1 day)


Step 4: Create classroom graphic organizer illustrating landforms and geographic features observed at Cowpens or discussed in the video or map display (1 day)


Step 5: Locate two written resources illustrating Daniel Morgan's strategy that includes the use of local geography in his battle strategy; write a paragraph summary and include the reference (examples: Christine R. Swager, Come to the Cowpens, Lawrence E. Babits, Cowpens Battlefield, A Walking Guide; (2 days)


Step 6: Student created 'sand-map' which identifies the six landform regions and significant water systems of South Carolina and includes a map 'key' describing geographic characteristics of each landform region (2 days)


*Informal – observation of notetaking/discussion participation

*Formal – rubric graded paragraph summaries and sand-map project

Park Connections

Visit to the park will place students in an outdoor environment where they may physically walk the battlefield to observe geographic characteristics; the video and optic map presentations offered in the Park Visitors center clearly illustrate the importance of local geography to the Patriot victory at Cowpens.


-Have students, in small groups, brainstorm to illustrate other examples of how people utilize, adapt to, and modify the physical environment to meet their needs

-Have students, in small groups, brainstorm to illustrate other examples, even during other times in history, when geography plays a pivotal role in battle plans and strategies

Additional Resources

Year-round events to encourage participation in re-enactments and appreciation of the events surrounding the Battle of Cowpens, such as Living History Days, the Celebration of Freedom, Battlefield Walks. See Cowpens National Battlefield Special Events webpage: www.nps.gov/cowp/planyourvisit/things2do.htm;