Skip to Content

National Geography Awareness Week, Grades K-5

Lessons, Resources, and Activities Explore the 2015 Theme: Explore! The Power of Maps

Found In: social studies, preK-2, 3-5

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Exploring Maps and Models of Earth Students in grades K-2 explore maps and globes as miniature versions of places and the Earth.

Introduction To Latitude And Longitude Students in grades 3-5 examine lines of latitude and longitude, discuss why these lines are useful, and identify landmarks with similar latitude and longitude.

Getting Lost
Students in grades K-2 practice their knowledge of the cardinal directions by having them describe the directions in their classroom.

Tasty Mapping
Students in grades K-2 become familiar with the location of their local government buildings and city landmarks and produce an edible map of their city.

Understanding: Geography
Students in grades K-8 use geography skills to create neighborhood maps and identify connections between geography, culture, and the economy in their local area.

Geography of Pizza
Students in grades 3-5 use local pizza restaurants to learn about the components of spatial organization: points, lines, and areas.

Budget Making
Students in grades 3-6 identify local, state, and federal government services, their cost, and the income that pays for them.

City, County, Community
Students in grades 3-6 consider the future and where they might live by examining the city's government, services, and location. 


GeoGames Students use graphics and sound effects on an animated 3D globe to Build Planet Earth and Map Countries and Cities. The page links to hundreds of more activities.

Mission: Explore
Pick your mission, complete the challenge, collect points and unlock rewards. Houses 432 cross-curricular missions. Requires free registration.

The Fifty States
Click the map to learn about each state.

Activities, games, coloring pages, projects, and stories that teach younger children about animals, climate change, bee population declines, wild birds, and more.

Background Resources

Geography Awareness Week
Resources about geography as a discipline and tips and tools to plan for GeoWeek.

Map Adventures Teacher Packet
K-3. A large poster of an imaginary amusement park, 7 lesson plans, 2 activity sheets, 16 black-and-white illustrations, and a teacher's information sheet. The packet teaches children how to understand and use maps.

Helping Your Child Learn Geography
K-4. Designed to help adults stir children's interest in geography. Includes suggestions for simple activities.

What Do Maps Show Teacher Packet
4-8. A colorful poster showing several views of Salt Lake City and four lessons teaches basic geographic and cartographic skills.

Physical geography and an introduction to the earth sciences that includes topics on Earth's structure, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Includes activities and quizzes.

USGS GeoData Booklet (PDF icon PDF, 777KB, 12 pgs.)
Describes and shows samples of digital data available from USGS.

The National Map Viewer
Zoom in and print a high-resolution map of a local area, a state, or the United States. This is an excellent tool for practicing the use of latitude/longitude, the national grid, elevation, distance, and more. No special software or download is required. Maps can be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper.

Urban Growth in American Cities Booklet
Illustrates and explains the spatial history of urban growth and corresponding changes in land use.


GeoNet Game: Quizzes
Chose a map of the United States or of the world, and then choose a region to be quizzed in six categories. Two levels of difficulty.

Today’s GeoBee Quiz
Ten new questions each day. Two levels of difficulty.

Test your Geography Knowledge
World geography quizzes.


Geography Awareness Week Archive
Contains archived resources created for National Geographic’s annual Geography Awareness Week celebration.

Maps: Blank Outline and Tests


last updated: October 19, 2015


Average User Rating (0 users)

3 stars
of 5.

Your Rating