5 Things You Need for Captivating Geography Lesson Plans
What do you include in your Geography Lesson Plans? This can make the difference between an oh-so-boring part of any kid’s school schedule or the favorite part of their week.
Need help with that? You’ve come to the right place.
At Let’s Go Geography, geography is what we do. And keeping kids engaged in learning is what it’s all about.
Bored kids not only act up, they also tune out. And we don’t want that. For a variety of reasons, but also so we are not wasting our time.
Why spend valuable time preparing geography lesson plans if the kids are going to tune out?
Geography Lesson Plans for Active Learning
If you want to keep the kids engaged, you must put some thought into what you expect from them. And then create your lesson plans around the activities that not only keep them engaged and busy, but keep them actively learning.
How do we do this at Let’s Go Geography? Well, each of our lessons include the following elements. Put each of these elements in your geography lesson plans and you will engage your the kid in active, hands-on learning.
Keep in mind that our curriculum is for Grades K-5. But I guarantee you can use some of these ideas for older grades & age groups.
We’ll take it straight from any Let’s Go Geography lesson, chapter by chapter. Here’s what you need in your plans:
Geography Lesson Plans: Part 1
- Our first chapter in every lesson is Map It. And what is geography without maps?! The key here is to teach maps with games and activities. For younger ages, find things and color them. For older ones, find things and circle them or label them.
Not just the country or continent that you are focusing on that day, but also other things that are around it. Point out the Equator and have kids trace it, if it relates. Or the Arctic Circle. Any ocean, sea, bay, or other body of water. Neighboring countries or cities.
Better yet, play games like “I Spy”. Or any game with a race to find things.
Geography Lesson Plans: Part 2
2. Our next chapter is The Flag. Of course! Maps and flags are a given for geography lesson plans. But, honestly, flags can get really boring really quickly. I mean, really…who cares? And who’s going to remember most of them, anyway. The key once again is to make it more of an active experience.
Kids color the flags in Let’s Go Geography. Even the older ones are expected to color, with colored pencils instead of crayons. The younger ones put the flags on the correct continent page in their Let’s Go Geography Passport. The older ones put them on a flag page and locate/identify/draw a line to the flag’s country.
Geography Lesson Plans: Part 3
3. Next up…The Music. Almost everyone loves music. We WATCH music clips for the national anthem, plus any traditional music &/or dance from the country we are studying. This doesn’t take much time, but it adds to the overall experience.
There have been times that I’ve been ready to move on during a long song, but the kids beg to hear the rest. Which surprises me, but just shows the power and intrigue of music, especially for kids.
Geography Lesson Plans: Part 4
4. Next? Let’s Explore/More To Explore. That’s our chapter(s) with the “meat” of the day. So how do we learn the nitty gritty of a place on the globe? Active learning, of course. I do NOT make younger kids read from a book, for several reasons. The main reason is that there isn’t an engaging book on all the countries we learn in the first place. Not for younger kids.
So we learn by looking at pictures, watching video clips, and discussing what we see. We may branch out for a picture book based on the country, if that’s even an option.
Older kids start with all that, and then they are expected to read more on approved websites or in the recommended atlas we use. We peak their interest first with pictures & video, and then have them follow up on their own with reading more.
Geography Lesson Plans: Part 5
5. And we saved the best for last: Create. This means 2 different things for the 2 age groups: younger and older.
The younger group (grades K-2) ends the class with a creative, hands-on craft project. The project is based on something unique about the country in that lesson.
Of course, older kids may be too, well, old for that! So instead of a craft, older ones are expected to create with words. They write about what they learned that day. At Let’s Go Geography, we use Notebooking pages especially designed for the chapter, with decorated blocks for each bit of information. It’s kind of like reviewing for a test, but without the test.
Older kids also create a Geography Glossary and add a little bit to it every week. Each word relates to the day’s lesson in some way.
And there you have it. The 5 things you need in your Geography Lesson Plans to make them appealing, captivating, and fun for all your students.
Less wasted time. Less stress.
More happy faces. More learning.
What’s not to love? I hope you can use these ideas to make your life easier. And check out the full scope of Let’s Go Geography. It covers the world better than just about any other curriculum out there. And better still, it’s all pre-planned and ready-to-go.
Perfect for co-ops and small classrooms. And of course, homeschools!
Feel free to comment below!