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A Lesson on Basic Map Knowledge on North America for Primary Grades.

Updated on August 3, 2011

According to many studies on geographic literacy, most students in this country are geographically illiterate. This, clearly, is a sad commentary on our educational curriculum. There is no excuse for failing our youth this way. So, I devised this lesson for primary grades 1-3. I strongly believe that if we want our children to be successful, we need to start them with map skills as early as possible. So, get out those maps! Let's have fun!

INTRODUCTION: Start the lesson by asking your students the name of the school that they reside in. Then, ask your students the name of the neighborhood that the school resides in. Then, follow this with asking your students about what borough the school resides in. Afterwards, ask your students what state their school resides in, what country the school resides in, and then what continent the school resides in.

Hold up a map of the world and ask a volunteer to point to where North America is. Ask the rest of the students whether they agree or not with the volunteer's answer.

PROCEDURE: You should have worksheets prepared for your students, which should comprise of the map of the Americas with questions at the bottom of the continents. Hand these worksheets out, making sure that every one of your students has one.

You will do the worksheet along with your class. Select students to answer questions that are posed on the worksheet. When this activity is finished, students will put their worksheets in their folders.

SUMMARY: Draw a map of North America on the blackboard using colored chalk. Canada should be red, the US blue, and Mexico green.

Split your class into two teams; The Explorers and The Pathfinders. Have one student from The Pathfinders and one from The Explorers answer a question that you pose about a location on the map. These students are to listen as you pose a question about the location, and then point to where they think the location is. The team that gets the most answers correct wins.

FOLLOW UP: For homework, give students a worksheet with a map of the Americas on it. Students are to find, on their own, the countries of North America. Students are to label the countries and color them in as follows:

RED for Canada BLUE for United States GREEN for Mexico

If you wish, tell the students to locate the Gulf of Mexico on the map for extra credit.

Because this lesson is basic, you can add more to it later on as your students advance in their geographical knowledge. Remember, this lesson plan is at your service. Use it according to your needs, and to the needs of your students.


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