Teaching about South America

South America is one of the seven continents of the world and a fascinating one at that. It was there that Conan Doyle had his characters find the Dinosaurs in “The Lost World”.Because it is a vast, little explored country, it is where revolutionary’s and drug producers hide out. It was also the land of many mysterious civilizations. Because of all this, South America holds a certain fascination for many people, old and young alike, and makes a wonderful topic for a bulletin board.

The easiest way is to start with an outline of the continent and you can even place country borders, but not the names. Why a blank land mass with no names? This is going to be a continuous bulletin board that changes over time. This way it becomes interactive, entertaining, and educational. It hopefully won’t be as hard as some expect.

The first day or week, you assign each student a place to find and locate on your map. There are lots, not just the countries, but major cities, lakes and mountains. If possible the children can get small photos off the Internet or make drawings and place them on the map. This helps with geography and gets then orientated to South America in general.

Next, try using the bulletin board to teach history, with the students each being given some bit of historic site to find. Where is Manchu Pichu? Where was the most South America Dinosaurs found? Where did the Spanish first land? What routes did they use? What are the Nazca Lines? These are all things that will interest the students, and can then be placed on the board. The board grows!

What would South America be without the mighty Amazon and it’s natural beauty? Have the students look up rare flowers and creatures that inhabit South America and make drawings of them, but the pictures on the bulletin board. There should be brightly colored Macaws and big, blue Morpho Butterflies. Make sure some one gets the famous Galapagos Tortoise, those islands are part of South America!

The board may sound a bit complex and it can definitely get crowded, but with the Internet today it isn’t as hard to organize as it first appears. It also gets the class to participate, is very educational, and can be fun. All this will make a bulletin board for South America well worth while!