Continents and maps

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jan 5, 2015

    I'm in the middle of a social studies unit on maps and continents. Here are the standards I have to address:

    Students will know:
    -There are oceans & 7 continents in our world
    -We live in (city, state, country)
    -Compass rose and a map keys help us understand maps
    -Maps & globes are models of land and its features

    Students will be able to:
    -Distinguish between continents and oceans using a map or globe
    -Locate Wisconsin on a United States Map
    -Identify the approximate location of (city) on a Wisconsin map
    -Demonstrate the ability to use both the compass rose and the map key on a map
    -Compare and contrast the features of a map and a globe

    Personally, I absolutely loved doing mapping worksheets when I was in school. I thought they were so much fun! I have tons of worksheets, and I do use some of them, but I have a difficult time finding hands-on lessons and/or websites to make the unit a little more exciting. It seems like they're all incredibly easy and basic, or really advanced.

    Does anyone have anything that they have used and students have enjoyed?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 5, 2015

    Don't know how involved you want to get, but we have made 3D world map images using either paper mache, play dough, or even cake mixes. They have to label all the pertinent information.

    The cake one was great because we got to eat it afterwards!
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Jan 5, 2015

    I've seen teachers use "Me on the Map" for this kind of unit and it would probably meet at least a few of your standards -- there's a project that goes with it (http://cgrott.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/map1.jpg) that is really cute and fun for the kids. You can find all kinds of examples on Pinterest. :)
     
  5. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jan 5, 2015

    I have large die-cuts of all the continents that I bought years ago at the dollar store. I also have dry erase maps and several globe beach balls. We learn a song to the tune of "It's a Small World":
    North and South America,
    Europe, Asia, Africa,
    Australia and Antarctica,
    It's a small, small world.

    As we sing it, the kids point on their maps. Or, I hands out the die-cuts, and they hold them up as we sing each one. We play a game where they toss the globe and name the continent or ocean their thumb lands on (good practice with it being oriented in different directions!). They also love to do partner challenges with the dry erase maps, or time each other labeling them. How that gives you some ideas!
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jan 5, 2015

    I taught the same unit earlier this year. My school integrates social studies and ELA, so we did a lot of reading and writing activities to learn about the continents. There are tons of books out there. If you need a few ideas, I can get my district's book list (or even the whole unit plan) and send it to you. My kids really enjoyed the book "There's a Map on My Lap" (http://www.seussville.com/books/book_detail.php?isbn=9780375810992), and I thought it brought the compass rose and map key info down to their level very well. I did the "Me on the Map" activity that someone already mentioned. Also, my rug happens to a world map rug, so we did an activity where I played a continent song ("Continent Cheer" by Ron Brown, which my kids LOVED, btw) while my kids would hop to the appropriate continent on the map as the continent was named in the song. We also colored and labeled maps. The most intense project we did was research each continent, using books and devices (I did BYOD - bring your own device), and the kids got to fill out their own "passport" with information that they had learned. As the culminating writing activity, they had to write a friendly opinion letter to someone about which continent they would like to visit someday.
     
  7. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jan 7, 2015

    Try Superteachers.com for worksheets.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 7, 2015

    One year with a small class we used helium balloons and the kids glued on cutouts of the continents. It was fun and really helped them understand the relative positions. We tied the balloons to the top of chairs at the kids' levels.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 7, 2015

    I actually found this gorgeous magnetic map puzzle for teaching continents (it has countries so any grade could really use it...) It's more of a center/extra time thing, but it has the kiddos excited.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    What about using different areas of room with like cut outs of continents & have to use compass or tell which way on compass rose continents are?
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jan 9, 2015

    What a cute song!
     
  12. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 9, 2015

    This was my suggestion! :)
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jan 11, 2015

    It's probably too late for this, but when I taught 3rd grade last year and kids had to learn the continents we named each table after a continent. It really helped, they still know all of the continents now in 4th grade when we refer to them and they can easily identify which continent major countries are in (like Italy, India, China, Japan, England, etc.)
     
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2015

    Kind of out-of-season, but I used to do a project where the kids used pumpkins to make globes. We taped the continents on because the glue never stuck.
     

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