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Homeschool Lessons: Globes, Maps & US States

Updated: Sep 23, 2021


Do you remember learning about the U.S. States, capitals maps, and globes? I am not going to lie; I loved geography! Reciting the states and their capitals gave me a thrill in grade school, lol, to be young. I am a proud geek, and I loved to learn about everything well, except math.


However, it became abundantly clear that I barely retained any geographic knowledge when my daughter beat me in our newest board game, Race Across the USA. The game is available by Scholastics and has made a great addition to our homeschool lesson. The game's objective is to be the 1st player to fill your six slots by answering multiple-choice questions about the states. I highly recommend this game!


For our lesson on maps and globes, we discussed the difference between the two. Maps are flat representations of some or all parts of the earth, and globes represent the entire earth.

We did a few worksheets from our geography workbook and introduced new vocabulary.

We talked about different types of maps on day six. We went to weather.com for an accurate representation of a weather map, and I had her create a physical map of her own.


Types of Maps

  • Physical maps show us landforms like mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests.

  • Topographic maps are similar to physical maps, except they use contour lines to show the features of a landscape.

  • Political maps show us borders between cities, countries, and states, i.e., the U.S. map.

  • Climate/Weather Maps show us the local weather and climate in different regions.

There are three others, economic, road, and thematic map, briefly covered in our next lesson.


Vocabulary

Compass rose

the symbol on a map that shows directions for north, south, east, and west.

Location

The place where something is found.

Direction

tells where to find a place or thing.

Globe

map of the entire earth in the shape of a sphere.

Ocean

a large body of saltwater

Island

a piece of land surrounded by water on all sides.

Coast

where land and ocean meet.


Physical Map: Ari's Magical World

For fun, I decided to have Aria create a physical map. This activity lets me know if she understood what we've been discussing, and it was a great way to spark creativity. She created a landmass with three different countries and four islands. Mountains, forests, oceans, a volcano, a lake, and a river are all identified. Later she decided to give all the locations unique names. This activity brought out her creativity in the best ways. It was her idea to make the mountains stand upright, and that made it even more dynamic. It's incredible seeing her creativity flourish, and she put her problem-solving skills to work by figuring out how to make the mountains stand. Ari will continue to expand her world for the rest of this unit. So, come back for updates!


Create your world

Here's what you'll need:


  • Construction Paper

  • Scissors

  • Glue Stick

  • Markers


1st choose what colors will represent your mountains, lakes, rivers, or other forests. Keep those colors consistent. We started our map with light blue, an automatic representation of the oceans. Get creative with the shapes of your islands or continents. Name your countries; Aria made them up on the spot. She said Hawaii inspired her names. (Her dream vacation spot)




A Close up: Ari's Magical World











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