Hands-on Map Activities for Middle School
- Broaden a child's perspective with mapping activitiesmap of the world image by Cristina Cazan from Fotolia.com
Bring geography and learning about the world alive with applicable interactive activities that allow Middle School students to use their imaginations and express their creativity. Educational and entertaining lessons and exercises are available in worksheet, online and game form. Let children practice communication and socialization skills while working in pairs or with a team of peers. Encourage class presentations after completing activities, to enhance public speaking abilities.
Where in the World?
- Where in the World Are We Vacationing? is an educational and entertaining game that encourages students to use their imaginations and graphing skills. You need to make copies of United States' and World maps, enough for every student to have at least one of each. Have atlases on hand as well so kids can look up longitudes and latitudes as needed. Pass out the maps and tell the children that one map is for their dream destinations--places they'd like to visit or vacation. Next, list a number of coordinates of cities on the blackboard and tell students it's their job to locate and mark these coordinates on their maps. Devise worksheets to assist in these activities, or find them online. Students can work in groups on this assignment.
- Students can find online games,such as clicking on the United States and identifying every capital city, on the website Owl & Mouse. They can also learn the regions of Canada and their corresponding provinces in the same way. The site has printable maps with blue and green markings that let students locate, identify and mark rivers and mountain ranges. Atlases and puzzles are also offered.
- Clay, or Playdoh Mountain is an enjoyable interactive activity that lets kids to use their hands to gain an understanding of contour lines and intervals, while building their own topographic maps. Split the class into small groups and give two small containers soft molding clay to each group, as well as some thread, a piece of 8x11" paper and a pair of scissors. Hand out a copy of a different mountain range to each group. Make this project easy by dividing it into two simple parts. First, instruct the class to use one container of clay and construct a replica mountain with as many ridges and natural details as possible. Next, cut sections by pulling the thread through the clay. Lay the sections on the paper and trace around the pieces. The second part involves,groups swapping pages and attempting to re-create each other's topographic details with just the mountain outline on the paper.