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tossednchaos tossednchaos is offline
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First Grade Geography Unit
Old 02-16-2009, 07:27 AM
 
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Hello, I am planning a geography unit and I have many worksheets and overheads of different kinds of maps and I plan on having my students construct a map of their own (either the classroom, school, or their home) but I am looking for more hands' on activities.

I would like to get them more actively involved and thinking about the 7 continents, oceans, and where we are relative to the other countries.

Any advice for any type of activities that gets the kids involved in more than a discussion or worksheet would be greatly appreciated!


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Neighborhood map
Old 02-16-2009, 07:42 AM
 
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When working on map skills with my 1st graders - I was a bit surprised how many of them did NOT have their address memorized. So we began there.
Each child made a small house (just flat, paper - not 3-D) and used a sticky label to write their house address and stick on their house (not mailing, if it differed). I sent home a note for parents to fill out with their house address and asked them to help practice with their child - I bet many parents were surprised their child did not know the address and I felt they needed to know this so they could help their child.

A couple students made our school building and we placed it in the center of our map and then added each house in the relative spot it is located (obviously I didn't worry about scale - just wanted them to get the idea of the symbolic representing real and where their house was located relative to classmate's).
We added roads and direction markers.

The students realized interesting things - like understanding why certain students rode the same bus (they were in a similar location - my school is very rural so neighbors are very distant, not obvious like it might be in a city/suburbs).

It was a very worthwhile, more hands-on activity than just a worksheet.
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Where in the World Do I Live?
Old 02-16-2009, 08:43 AM
 
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This was the title of an unit that I did that included science and geo.
First we live on planet Earth ( the other planets are summarized but more emphasis about the Placement of Earth to the Sun)
Then locating our continent ( summarizing the oceans and other continents )
Focus on the USA. Compare where it is to Cananda and Mexico, as well as locating the North , South , East , West.
Locate your state. Then discuss the capital and the state flower,etc.
Locate your city. Compare is it in the north of the state etc , compare it to the capital, What is the city known for. Where did it get its name?
Then focus on where your school is located. Where did your school get its name
Then work on the addresses and where their home is located from the school.
Do you have milk cartons for the milk at lunch? I drew a simple map on poster board only using the streets that were my students addresses and the kids decorated the houses ( milk cartons) . We made a 3 D map. The kids loved it and the 3D gave them a more visual to relate to then they did the paper map GOOD LUCK
This was for a first grade class
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Continents, Poles, Equator
Old 02-16-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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My children loved learning this song. Not sure where I found it, it was a couple of years ago.

CONTINENTS, POLES, EQUATOR
(Tune: Are You Sleeping?)

North America (Hold up left hand)
South America (Touch left knee)
Europe (Nose)
Asia (Right hand)
Africa (Middle- equator)
Australia (Right knee)
Don't forget Antarctica (Feet)
North Pole (Top of head)
South Pole (Touch feet)
Equator (Hands around waist)
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Pringles cans
Old 02-16-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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We decorate and use the cans to hold our maps. We started the year off using a pirate theme, so it fit in nicely. We do a map for every story we read and we also always color where we live in red.


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Chant
Old 02-16-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Here is a chant that I wrote a couple of years ago. My students, mostly second language learners, love it and use it a lot. It does help that they can echo what I say. The tune is the Marine Cadance. It goes like this:
There are seven continents. (There are seven continents)
Let's count them now and see what we get. (Let's count them now and see what we get)
Africa, Australia (Africa, Australia)
Eurpoe, and Asia (Europe and Asia)
North and South America (North and South America)
and the last Antarctica (and the last Antarctica)
Sound Off (1, 2, 3)
Sound Off (4, 5, 6)
Seven continents How Cool!

You could try and draw map of the world before you do the song. Drawing the map in front of the children allows them to imprint it on their brain. This does work. Last year when we went to the zoo, my students were able to see maps of continents and tell me which on it was.
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tossednchaos tossednchaos is offline
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Thanks!
Old 03-01-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Thanks for the great ideas. I especially like the milk carton houses with their addresses. I was already planning on making a 3D map so this works perfectly. The continent song is perfect too, much easier than the one I found and helps with the location. Thanks again!
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