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Mapping Continents and Oceans PBL: Track Down Visiting Aliens

Grade Levels
2nd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
62 pages
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Track aliens across every continent and ocean! Just where are those aliens hiding? This Project Based Learning (PBL) activity is a great resource for assessing your students’ knowledge of continents, oceans, and mapping skills in your Social Studies classroom! What could be more fun than tracking aliens across the globe? Have your students design their own Alien Map while using their knowledge of continents, oceans, and mapping skills.

This project contains 2 versions: 1 with landforms and one without landforms. Just pick which one is better for your students! Also included are differentiation ideas to make the project easier or a little more challenging.

This map activity is designed to capture the interests of students while assessing their map skills. This PBL project is created to be intrinsically motivating; students love tracking down their aliens!

Although the project can be used as a culminating map project and map assessment, it can also be used as a springboard for learning map skills.

Here’s What You Can Expect to See in this Resource :

→2 Project options: one with landforms and one without

→Clear and easy to follow student directions

→Differentiated directions for modifying the project to make it easier or more difficult

→Project tips

→2 Project rubrics

→Student checklists

→Sample student work to evaluate collaboratively

→Alien paper and journal

In this PBL mapping project, students will:
Label all the continents
✓Label all the oceans
✓Place landforms on their continents
✓Make a compass rose and map key
✓Ensure map key symbols represent landforms
✓Use cardinal and intermediate directions
✓Create a map to their aliens' location using all 7 continents
✓Use directionality to give directions to their aliens
✓Use checklists to stay on track
✓Use teacher checkpoints and signatures to stay on track
✓Use the rubric to evaluate a sample student’s work
✓Use the rubric to self-edit their own maps
✓Use cool alien paper to write directions to their aliens' location
✓Apply basic map skills throughout the project
Have loads of FUN!

This Resource is Helpful for:

★Grade level teachers wanting to challenge students with PLB activities and teach mapping skills

★Social Studies specialists teaching mapping skills

★Gifted teachers looking to enrich their students with PBL activities

★Special education teachers hoping to spark students’ interest and deeper thinking


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My Mission

This resource was designed to help you REACH your students and IGNITE that wonder inside of them.

I wanted to create a resource to support you while you CONNECT with your students over exciting projects that are infused with the 21st century skills of collaboration and problem solving.

I am passionate about helping YOU positively impact your students’ lives and I want to aid you in EMPOWERING your students to be LIFELONG learners! I am super excited to work with you on reaching your students!



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All rights reserved by the author. This product is to be used by the purchaser only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, or department is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. The graphics used in this item(s) are copyrighted and may not be used for your own commercial projects or given away to anyone else. By purchasing this file(s), you agree to the Terms of Use. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Total Pages
62 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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