Fun with Geography

Fun with Geography

Get ideas for how to have fun with geography in your daily life.

Grades

2 - 12+

Subjects

Geography

Photograph by Harry Wenkert, MyShot

Geography doesn't mean studying maps and memorizing state capitals! From making a treasure hunt to keeping a sensory journal, get ideas for how to have fun with geography in your daily life.

Draw a Map of an Imaginary Island

Use map elements, like symbols and a key, to show different features of the island and its people.

Learn About Seasonal Celebrations

Find photos of seasonal celebrations around the globe. For example, you can search for photos of summer and winter solstice celebrations or celebrations associated with the equinoxes. Share with your family and friends what you find out about the celebrations, where they take place, and how they express the unique characteristics of that particular season.

Make an Earth Pendant or Light Catcher

Trace the earth onto a piece of acetate, using colored cellophane for land and water, and hang it from your window with yarn.

Mark Latitude and Longitude

Whenever you read a magazine or newspaper article, find the latitude and longitude of the location in which the focus of the article takes place. On a world map, mark the locations. See how long it takes until you have marks in most countries.

Make a Map

Look at an article in a newspaper, magazine, or online. How might information in the article be represented on a map? Create a map showing that information.

Learn From Maps

Find examples of maps when you are in a shopping mall, amusement park, train station, or another place. Critique whether or not the map is easy to use. Then make your own map of the area.

Share Your Enthusiasm for Geography

Spread your knowledge of geography while teaching others how cool it is. Have your class come up with fun ideas to engage others in geography, or start a geography or outdoors club at your school. Here’s some help from the National Council for Geographic Education to get started.

Find Your Birthday Coordinates

Use the month for latitude and day for longitude. For example, if your birthday is November 26, your coordinates could be 11°N, 26°E. Or, you can make four sets of coordinates for your birthday, depending on whether you use north or south latitude, or east or west longitude. Print a world map and plot your birthday coordinates. What would it be like to have a party there?

Find Maps

Look around you for maps in everyday life. Find an example of a helpful map and an example of a unhelpful map. Analyze what makes the maps helpful or not. Talk to a friend or family member about how different maps can display the same information in very different ways.

Make a Papier-Mâché Globe

Use newspaper strips and a balloon. Use colored paints to show land and water and add borders and labels.

Neighborhood Map

Create a map of your neighborhood without key map elements, like a compass rose, labels, and a key. Then have a family member or friend try to use the map to reach a particular destination. Talk about the ways in which the map was difficult to use.

Create a Treasure Hunt

Give clues based on the cardinal points. If you don't have a compass, remember, sunrise happens in the east. Sunset happens in the west.

Follow a Tropical Storm's Path

Plot the path of a tropical storm or hurricane on a map. Record data about the storm, and make predictions about whether a storm will become a hurricane. Confirm or revise your predictions as you get new data.

Make a Flag

Country flags are designed to represent the history or ideals of a country. Design a flag that represents you—you can model it on your heritage, favorite activities, sports, animals, or family.

Make a Treasure Hunt

Give each person playing a sheet of paper with clues. For example, "Which house has a mailbox in a certain shape?" and "Name three intersections with four-way stop signs." Set geographic boundaries to make sure everyone stays within a safe area. The first person to return with correct answers wins.

Map Your Senses

Plot an unusual, but safe, route on a map of your school or surrounding area. Use a journal to take notes on the things you see, smell, hear, touch, and taste along the way. Take photographs if you can. Then use art supplies to create a sensory map of your community. Be creative! Use pens, pencils, paint, construction paper, pictures, or any other materials.

Explore a Line of Latitude

Pick a line of latitude and use a globe to trace that line in a full circle. Make a list of the countries and other important features, such as mountain ranges or deserts, that the line of latitude passes through. Think about the similarities and differences between these countries and features. If you don't have a globe, use the MapMaker Interactive to do this project online.

Food Investigation

Get the recipe of your favorite family food and find out what herbs and spices it contains. On a map, find the countries that produce those herbs and spices. Do some investigating to find out more about these countries. What kind of climates do these places have? Could you grow the same spices where you live? Why or why not?

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Writer
Christina Riska Simmons
Editors
Sean P. O'Connor
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Photo Researcher
Emily Connor
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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