Grade: Middle
Subject: Geography

#2736. Where In The World

Geography, level: Middle
Posted Thu Nov 21 18:58:10 PST 2002 by Dave Carlson (
Rotolo Middle School, Batavia IL
Materials Required: overhead transparencies, newspaper photographs, atlases/maps
Activity Time: 5 minutes
Concepts Taught: current events, geography

I use this to kick off my 8th grade Social Studies class. It takes only 2-5 minutes. I photocopy a current events photograph from the newspaper -- e.g. weapons inspectors arriving in Iraq, a bomb factory increasing output in Oklahoma, etc. Students open up their textbooks/atlases to either the world map or U.S. map, depending on the category: "We're looking for a country", "we're looking for a state" or "we're looking for a major U.S. city". I have a deck of name cards for all of the students in my class -- I shuffle these and draw at random. The selected student has 10 seconds to make an educated guess as to "where in the world" the photograph was taken. If they are incorrect, I move on to the next name card. The first to correctly name the location earns a piece of candy (usually Airheads, so the kids now call this "Where in the World is the Airhead?"!) Once we've correctly named the place, I require that they all find it on their map, and indicate its location with their finger. The kids love this little kick-off activity. It emphasizes not only geography, but also current events, and gathering contextual clues from photographs.