Where In the World Are We?
Where in the world are we? Where is the Eiffel Tower, the Ancient Pyramids, Stonehenge, Disney World, the Grand Canyon? Let’s find out! Below are activities that all have a Geography theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Memory Map
Supplies: Any paper – the bigger the better!, Pencil – optional, Black sharpies/markers or crayons, Any coloring material you have (tempera paints, crayons, markers, colored pencils) We used paint markers and oil pastels)
- Work as a team (collaborative art!) or on your own to list all of the places you have made good memories.
- Sketch out your map on your paper starting with pencil or marker, but outlining everything in black before adding color.
- Add LOTS of color and details to your map, making sure to color in the background or add roads.
- Hang your Map of Good Memories in your bedroom or somewhere special in your home to be reminded of your favorite places; your school, your church, the playground or your favorite museum, until you can visit again!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Landform Diorama
The world is made up of a variety of terrain (a fancy word for landforms). This includes:
- Oasis: area in a desert with water and plant life
- Deserts: empty area with little/no precipitation and wildlife; typically sandy
- Forests: land filled with trees, other plants, and a wide variety of wildlife
- Jungle/Rainforests: area that receives heavy rainfall and full of plants and wildlife
- Mountains: an area of land that rieses above the rest and has a peak
- Valleys: the low areas between hills or mountains; usually U or V-shaped
- Tundra: the weather is too cold to support much tree growth or wildlife
- Prairies/Plains: flat area of land without trees, mountains or large hills.
- Plateau: flat land that is elevated from areas around it
- Swamp/Marsh: wetland with forest-like growth
- River: a channel of water that usually heads to a larger body of water
- Ocean: a large body of salty water; oceans make up 70% of earth’s surface!
For this activity, you’ll need to pull out your play dough, a box or flat cardboard, and collect some materials (maybe from outdoors) to make a diorama of a particular landscape.
- Choose a terrain listed above and create a complete environment.
- Using the top of a box or a piece of cardboard, create a diorama.
- Can you use play dough to make landforms?
- Can you add grasses, other plantlife, and wildlife?
- What animals would live in your terrain?
On a map or globe, see if you can do the following:
- Locate all the continents.
- Identify all of the oceans. (According to NOAA, there is only one ocean, but 5 ocean basins – Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Indian, Southern)
- Find a Cape, a Peninsula, an Island, a Straight, a Mountain Range, a River, a Gulf and an Isthmus
- Find your state. What landforms can you identify in your state?
Physical Activity – Mother, May I?
Get some of those wiggles out while thinking a little about how to travel around and through different terrains.
Go outside and play a variation on the game of “Mother, May I?” Have all players start the same distance away from the player chosen as “Mother.” You will need to ask permission to move forward so many steps, and “Mother” can decide whether she will grant you the permission or not. The first person to reach “Mother” takes on that role for the following round. For this version, you will use directives like May I: climb a tree, hike a mountain, swim the seas, paddle through river rapids, rock climb up a cliff… See what else you can come up with and who can act them out the best!
Videos and Websites
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- April 5 is “National Read a Road Map Day.” See if you can read a road map of your area. Can you locate your house, the post office, and the library? What roads do you take to get to each of those places? In what direction do you travel?
- Take a drive without a planned destination. At each intersection let a different person in the car make the decision regarding where to turn. Let the roads take you where they go and see if you can find someplace new.
- On a map, globe, or computer find any place you and your family have visited or lived.
- Find all of the home states of your relatives on a map.
- Ask everyone to choose the place they would most like to visit and locate that.
- Ask the names (and sounds!) of favorite animal species, and find where that animal is located.
- Find major points in history: First flight, Liberty Bell, “Gateway to the West,” etc
- Locate famous landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Great Pyramids, Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, etc).
- Go for a drive and see how many different terrains you can observe.
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
- Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
- Great American Landmarks
- An American Tail
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Homeward Bound
- Map of Good Memories by Fran Nuño
- Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny https://youtu.be/b0cjSXC2rHE
- The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller https://youtu.be/jxI9V_LODRM
- Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy https://youtu.be/fDTQ3qP_szg
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman https://youtu.be/w03XWpdfKRE