This project is a great way to produce student artifacts that show evidence they have basic knowledge of geography and world maps. It also is a very fun activity to help them practice their spelling and vocabulary words for the week for any subject.
My students have enjoyed this so much that they've gone home and played it over and over with their families. As a result, grades have gone up in social studies and language arts as well as any subject we used vocabulary words for.
You can use this week-after-week and make it more or less challenging to fit your students’ needs. This lesson also comes with a learning targets, standards and Marzano learning strategies for grades K-5, and a learning scale for grade 2.
First, there’s a cool map that serves as a very effective pre and post-test. This allows you to quickly assess where each student is in their ability to label on a map or globe the continents, oceans, equator, prime meridian, and the North and South Poles.
Then you and your class have the project option of making a large game board for the entire class, a medium-sized game board for small groups, and/or individual smaller game boards that students can take home and use as practice and (fun) homework.
I find that the more fun my project and activities are the more they’re played with and therefore the more the skills are practiced until they’re mastered. This makes the year much more fun for them and much less stressful for me and my parents.
If time is short and you’re trying to find a way to teach social studies while integrating it with language arts, there is a blank world map provided for you and your class.
After that, it’s time to have fun hopping from continent to continent, ocean after ocean, from pole to pole, back and forth across the equator and up and down the prime meridian. Endless options exist as you and your students practice spelling and defining words while travelling around the world.
It’s an exciting 05”-45” project (depending on the size of your map) and an activity that can be as short or as long as you like. All you need is paper, pencils and colored pencils.
Have as much fun with this as my students and I did, and may as much learning happen too!
Adam Stuart and the School of Athens