The subject of geography includes the study of our planet and its environment and land features. Students in the 7th grade gain a perception of how the earth functions when they begin to study geography. There are a variety of creative geography projects and games that teachers can use that are designed to help students learn more about their environment and the world in which they live in.
Letting students create their own contour map is a way to allow for some creativity while learning about geography and map systems. A contour is a line that shows the border of an object and a contour map is a 2-dimensional type of map which displays a piece of land such as a mountain. The map uses lines to show the changes in elevation.
Supplies needed for each map include 2 cups of play dough or colored modeling clay, 2 rulers, 12 inches of string or dental floss, 1 pencil, 1 toothpick, 2 pieces of paper and some scotch tape. Students can choose a mountain to model and use the string to mark the borders and changes in elevation.
Cross the Map
To complete this project, each student must choose a major city that they would like to visit. You will need a large wall map of the United States, pushpins and yarn. The first student will stick one end of the yarn onto a large map where they live and the other end of the yarn on the city they wish to visit. They can then use the map scale to check the mileage from their home to the other city. The next student will stick the first end of their yarn on the previous student's chosen city, and the other end of the yarn to their chosen city. They will also note the mileage between the two cities using the map scale. Keep this up until all students have taken a turn. It is fun to see how many pieces of the yarn will intersect in this project.
States and Capitals
For this project, you will need a large map of the United States, pushpins and a set of index cards. On individual index cards, write the name of a state capital along with other information such as the state flower or state bird. Mix the cards up and have each student pick a card and then pin it to the correct state. You can also play this as a competition with two teams, and whichever team pins all their cards first and correctly is the winner.
A geography bee is similar to a spelling bee, only instead of spelling words, students must answer geography questions. You can divide the class into two teams and make a list of questions taken from the class lesson plan or a 7th grade geography textbook. Come up with questions based on subjects such as state capitals, types of land masses, continents, population and landmarks. This can be a fun and creative way to help students study for a test as well as learn important aspects of geography.
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