Geography Activities: Latitude & Longitude, Country Comparison, & Compass Rose

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The items in this 3-Pack Geography Bundle will serve as great supplemental material for your middle school Geography unit. Three essential skills will be demonstrated by your students after using these three different products:

Coordinate Mapping with Latitude and Longitude
Comparing First vs. Third World Countries with Data
Understanding Advanced Compass Rose Directions


USA Latitude and Longitude Puzzle
This puzzle is a set of 85 coordinates that will eventually form the shape of the United States of America. This is a great challenge for students who already know latitude and longitude because it forces them to approximate in between the lines. For younger students who are just learning latitude and longitude this might be a bit too challenging, but one they can work their way up to!

Table of Contents:
Page 1: Cover Page
Page 2: List of Coordinates to Plot
Page 3: Grid
Page 4: Answer Key

I have used this formative assessment with students for years and have found that when they know that the coordinates will eventually make a shape it helps them to see if they are using the right directions. Students will plot the coordinates one at a time, label them in numerical order, and finally connect the dots to hopefully see the outline of the USA. It has worked great for my students so I hope yours find the same success.


First & Third World Country Comparison - Understanding the CIA World Factbook
Many students have usually researched using the CIA World Factbook but have very little knowledge as to what those statistics are actually referring to. In this product you are provided with an 18 slide PowerPoint that explains the following terms that students are most likely to utilize when conducting research on a country:

Population
G.D.P. - Per Capita
Literacy Rate
Life Expectancy at Birth
Population Below Poverty Line
Unemployment Rate
Birth Rate
Death Rate
Debt - External
Infant Mortality Rate
People Living with HIV/Aids

Following an explanation of the terms students can choose one country from the First World Country list and one country from the Third World Country list. Then students will utilize the online CIA World Factbook by doing a google search or by going to the following site: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/


Students will spend time researching on the CIA World Factbook and I use this as a teachable moment to save them time. I show students how they could spend a lot of time searching for one of the facts, but if they press Ctrl+F this will pull up the "find" function. They can type one of the key phrases such as "infant" when searching for Infant Mortality Rate and they will be taken directly to that fact.

After conducting their research students then are lead to take that information and turn it into a report with a graph and pictures of their countries as well as organizing their data using the template provided. This is done by hand, but if you have students who are tech savvy this would be a good challenge for them to figure out how to recreate the template using Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word, or any other way they can do it. When I give this option it is usually 50/50. Some kids just like doing things by hand.

Finally, students conclude the final stage of their report by analyzing their data and writing a one-page reflection titled "What I've Learned About 1st and 3rd World Countries". Students are encouraged to not just rewrite the information they have found, but to dig deeper and use their analysis to formulate ideas about what the data is saying about each country.

I usually spend 3 days of class time on this. One day of introduction and walking them through the terms, choosing their countries, and introducing them to the Ctrl+F function on the CIA World Factbook. One day for students to research their information and create the first part of their report. One day for them to analyze their data and construct their written reflection.

Hearing students having conversations about the data of the world is quite exciting as a teacher!


32-Point Detailed Compass Rose
This interactive activity will help you as the teacher know what to say, what to show, and what to have students do to help them better understand the basics of a Compass Rose and even raise them to the level of understanding a complicated 32-point detailed Compass Rose.

Included in this product are 19 pages (with title page) of a script for you as the teacher to say to your students while you are showing them your compass rose that you are building; preferably with the use of a document camera, but copying on a whiteboard or chalkboard would work just as well as long as you follow the script.

A worksheet with 10 problems for them to solve using their 16-point Compass Rose is provided with an answer key. Finally, the 32-point Compass Rose can be taught following the script to show them how to get to an even more detailed set of directions using their Compass Rose.

A series of compass roses are available in this product as well that can be printed for each student if you feel it would be easier for them to use. They could be put into a packet for students to use. The first consist of the four Cardinal Directions of N, E, S, and W. The second is of the Intercardinal Directions of N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW. The third is for the directions N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW, and NNW. A fourth template is used to create the 32-point compass rose.

Finally a quiz is provided that you can use a formal (Summative) or informal (Formative) assessment to see if your students can accurately label a 32-point compass rose when given the entire template with only the label "N" present to give them a starting point of "North."

This has worked very well for my students over the course of my career and I believe that if you do a dry-run through this first so you make sure you understand the 32-point Compass Rose you will see your students rise to the level of understanding you are striving for.


Here's a few other Geography activities you might like...
50 States Latitude and Longitude Puzzles - All 50 States!!
Latitude and Longitude Bundle: USA, Africa, Asia, and South America Puzzles
Latitude and Longitude Bundle - Sports, Cars, & Towns Geography - 35% Discount!

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Geography Activities: Latitude & Longitude, Country Compar
Geography Activities: Latitude & Longitude, Country Compar
Geography Activities: Latitude & Longitude, Country Compar
Geography Activities: Latitude & Longitude, Country Compar
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