Where in the World Is ...?Print this Page
- Subject(s): Social Studies & Geography, Mathematics
- Grade Level(s): 6–8
Students will move themselves around a "world" map on the classroom floor, using lines of latitude and longitude to locate specific spots.
- Students will find points on a grid using latitude and longitude as identifiers.
- Students will learn the locations of 11 countries where Peace Corps Volunteers are serving.
- Current wall map of the world
- Masking tape
- Index cards
- Signs for North, South, East, West
- Divide the floor of the classroom or other large area into a grid of latitude and longitude lines. Start by using masking tape to make a cross that divides the area into quarters. Mark one line "Equator" and the other one "prime meridian." Lay down masking tape lines at even intervals north and south of the Equator and east and west of the prime meridian. Label the lines in 10, 20, or 30 degree increments, depending on the size of your room. Try to get in as much of the world as possible.
- Label the appropriate walls with "North," "South," "East," and "West."
- Mark index cards with coordinates for the capitals of the following countries:
Country Capital Latitude and Longitude Cameroon Yaoundé 3o 50' N, 11o 35' E Honduras Tegucigalpa 14o 5' N, 87o 14' W Kyrgyzstan Bishkek 42o 54' N, 74o 46' E Lesotho Maseru 29o 18' S, 27o 30' E Lithuania Vilnius 54o 38' N, 25o19' E Marshall Islands Majuro 9o N, 171o E Nepal Kathmandu 27o 45' N, 85o 20' E Paraguay Asunción 25o 10' S, 57o 30' W Poland Warsaw 52o 30' N, 21o E Senegal Dakar 14o 34' N, 17o 29' W Sri Lanka Colombo 6o 56' N, 79o 58' E
- Review with students the principles of latitude and longitude. Use an atlas to look up the latitude and longitude of your state capital, and have a student write the coordinates on an index card. Look up other capitals of states or countries represented by the students in your class. For example, if you have a student whose family originally came from Guatemala, add Guatemala City and its coordinates, 14o 37' N, 90o 31' W, to your stack of index cards.
- Show the students how the floor is divided. Have the class practice finding certain spots by calling out a location on the grid and having someone go and stand on that point.
- When everyone understands, hand each student a card marked with a location. you have prepared. You may want your students to work as partners to find and check locations on your floor grid. Have each one find his or her place in the "world" and stand on it. Depending on the size of your grid, you may have to use only the degree citations without the minutes. It may take a couple of tries before the students can move to the correct locations independently.
- Once all 11 of the original locations have been identified on your floor grid, have the students locate the countries on your classroom wall map. Have them identify in which continent the country is located. Point out to them that Peace Corps Volunteers have been invited to serve in many different parts of the world doing a variety of different jobs.
- Have your students do research on the countries listed above. Continue with the theme of spatial perspective and have them find information such as:
- What countries border them?
- Do they border an ocean or are they landlocked?
- Do any rivers or mountains form parts of their borders?
- Using yarn, have your students work in a small group to "draw" the continents to scale on your floor grid. Have them use your classroom wall map as a reference and place the yarn in the approximate size and shape of the continents. Extend this further by having the groups outline the countries discussed in the original lesson as near to scale as possible.
- Give your students the accompanying world map worksheet. Have them work together to correctly number the lines of latitude and longitude. Then have them use the grid coordinates on your index cards to locate the countries on their own maps. Have them label the countries and color them.
Framework and Standards
- How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.