Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where in the World?

Third graders are responsible for knowing a lot about a lot! I'm feeling the pressure of teaching them all the new third grade content plus reviewing all the K-2 social studies learning so they are prepared for the May state tests. One way I review mapping is by pulling out our floor map puzzle pieces. We do this everytime we are "going somewhere new" in our studies. We pulled it our when we were just beginning to learn about Greece and then again for Rome.

Kids love putting this together. We push back the desks to make a big open area on the floor and sit in a big circle, then put out one piece at a time and place it. Throughout the entire process I am reviewing latitude, longitude, hemispheres, continent and ocean names and cardinal/intermediate directions. We use yarn for the Prime Meridian and Equator and index cards with the names for the Oceans.
Then we use unifix cubes to mark all the spots they are responsible for knowing: VA, USA, Egypt, China, etc. etc. It takes teamwork! Kids who are participating well earn the right to place the pieces. Lots of motivation there! Everyone wants to help!

The pieces were done with big colored poster board. They are not laminated but have held up through the years. Using an old opaque projector is the way to go and this would be a great job for a parent volunteer!

Third graders need to learn continents around the world and what geographical features are found in each one.  My students go on to making their own atlas.  I am sharing these printables in a set I've included in my TPT store.  You can check it out here: 

Geography: Continents and Landforms Atlas


  1. LOVE this idea! I may make this on my work day when we getback! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I love this idea! I teach my own class ELA and math, and then I switch with my two team members, one who does the science and the other who does an additional hit of math (helps us cover AIS needs). I am responsible for teaching the social studies curriculum to all 66 3rd graders. Right now I am working on map skills and learning the continents and oceans. They will love if we do this! Can't wait to use it!

    We have a song we sing about the world to remember the continents and oceans. They beg to sing it everyday that I see them!

    3rd Grade Randomness

  3. Great idea! I did something similar to this and then had them plot out specific coordinates. Once they found the coordinates, I showed them a picture of what they had plotted out which was always something strange. Most were the hometown of strange Guinness Book of World Records holders along with their strange looking pictures :) LIke the guy with the record for the most piercings, and the one with the most tattoos, and the longest fingernails, and other things like the whereabouts of the museum housing Galileo's mummified fingers and the place where Einstein's brain is stored, etc. The kids LOVED it! They never wanted to stop :),_Galileos_Fingers_and_4,225_Piercings.html

  4. We love geography activities!:) Thanks for posting!

  5. Wow thats amazing
    I would love to add it in my planner for grade 1

  6. I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.


  7. IS there any way you sell the the world map cut outs? I teach 5th grade in Michigan, and I don't need all of that you have in this bundle.