Geography is a fascinating subject. However, there is so much to learn, so many different places on a map to recognize and commit to memory, that geography can be overwhelming for a child to grasp at first. How can we as homeschooling parents tackle a subject that is literally as big as the earth and help our children understand it? The best way is through interactive geography activities and hands-on experience with maps!
7 Geography Activities Using Maps
Looking for some fun, new ways to teach your student about the world with maps? Here are seven of our favorite hands-on geography activities at Classical Conversations!
1. Draw Different Map Styles
What if you didn’t draw a rectangular map? What might it look like? One of the best geography activities is to experiment by looking at and drawing cylindrical maps, conical maps, azimuthal maps, and more! Compare and discuss with your student how various map styles differ from looking at a globe.
2. Explore Like an Explorer
Encourage your kids to plot a course on a map of a local park or nature preserve! Bring a trowel or shovel and something to take notes on so that they can document interesting things along the way. Compare the plants and soil as you go and talk about why it varies from place to place. Examine what types of plants grow in different environments and learn about the animals in the area.
3. Map the Paths of Famous Travelers
Another fun geography activity is to measure the distance between points on a map to see how long explorers’ treks would have taken them. How long would it have taken them on foot or by horse? How long would it take you by car? Discuss the differences of speeds and routes. Talk about the resources available in those areas and how the explorers used them to survive.
4. Mark Historical Events on a Map
Timeline cards can be stuck to a large wall map to add geographical context. Where and when did iconic people live? Could they have known each other?
5. Model Famous Structures
Turn your geography study into an art lesson to exercise creativity and memory! Recreate famous structures using Play-Doh®, Lego®, or any other medium you like. Talk about how the builders crafted the original structures and what they used to make them.
6. Geographically Shade a Map
Identify mountains, plains and rivers. Use a reference and color in the regions with crayons.
7. Make a Meal From a Specific Country
Our final suggestion of a geography activity is to create cuisines from around the world! Talk about where your menu’s foods grow and where they are eaten, identifying these regions on a map. Discuss the differences between authentic and inspired foods. What foods might your ancestors have eaten in their native regions? Learn and eat together!
Homeschool Resources for Learning Geography
Pencils, crayons, paper, and maps are the best tools for learning geography. However, there are great resources out there specifically designed to help homeschooling families in their study of the world. Check out Exploring the World Through Cartography, a visually stunning book from Classical Conversations that will not only change the way your students view the world, but also how they see themselves in it.
Interested in Classical Conversations and our community-based approach to homeschooling? We’d love to hear from you! To learn more about us, click here.