Creative Ideas for Teaching Geography

A study by the National Geographic Society of college students between the ages of 18 to 24, the results were bleak. Only 37% of the students asked could even identify Iraq on a map. Knowledge of world geography begins during the elementary school years. Teachers need to be creative to interest their students in the subject and change the old song, “Wonderful World” that says, “Don’t know much about geography…”

Product map

Place a large wall on a bulletin board. Have students bring products that they use every day. Locate the country that produces the product. Staple the label on the board and link the label with the map. 

Games

“Where is the world is…” Geography lessons haven’t been the same since Carmen Sandiego. Geography lessons that use her games appeal to teachers and students alike. 

On-line games

Check out the National Geographic site to help your kids learn about geography. The web site has games primary and elementary kids can use to learn about geography. 

The GeoNet game allows students to pick the country and the topic of their game. Players get more than one chance to get the answer correct. If the students don’t get the answer right, the correct answer is given to the player. Go to Houghton Mifflin Social Studies site. 

Hand-made globe

Create a paper maché globe buy blowing up a round party-size balloon, tying on a long string and covering the balloon with paper maché. When the paper strips have dried-a two to three day process-students will paint their globes to include all seven continents, all three oceans, the equator and the prime meridian. 

Pizza geography

When studying a country, such as China, let small groups of students make one pizza crust per group and shape it into the outline of the country. Bake the crust. Cover the top of the pizza with cream cheese. Mix a little of the cream cheese with blue food coloring and locate the lakes and rivers. Use vegetables to designate the major cities, mountain ranges and other land forms. After the completion of the project, students can eat it.

Make a game

Choose a continent. Divide students into small groups and assign each group a country. The groups will design a geography game that teaches the players about the geography of their country. The game should involve the shape of the country. The questions should teach specific facts about countries geography.

Postcards

Assign each student a country. Have students research the country or a major city in the country. The research should include where the country or city is located. Landmarks or land forms that are well-known should be identified. Students should use a 4 by 6 index card to create a postcard that provides the information they have discovered.

Teaching geography is necessary. Great teachers make it fun.