Get your year started off with a review of map skills. I am amazed each year when I ask my students what state or country they live in and some have trouble recalling. I love reading Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. It breaks down the map piece by piece starting in the bedroom all the way to a look at our planet we call Earth.
I found these adorable Where I'm at on the Map kits from Oriental Trading Company. They are such a time saver. They come pre-sorted, cut and ready to color.
My students loved putting together the 3D town as well. A great activity for teams, each one can take on their own part of the town and then work together to assemble their town.
A great writing extension activity, have students write down 5 complete sentences giving directional clues to a specific building. I encourage my students to incorporate their directional words like North, East, South and West. You can even hide something within the town and have teams try to find it based on the written directions.
I spend a lot of time teaching about the continents each year, my kids love singing this song...
Continents, Continents do you know your Continents?
Continents, Continents let's sing them today.
North and South America
Africa, Australia, Antarctica too!
We toss our inflatable globes around and if it lands on you when the song ends you have to point out a given continent on the map.
Check out product links and the full post at Oriental Trading's Blog
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How do you teach map skills, what are your favorite items to use while teaching?