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National Geography Awareness Week, Grades K-5

Lessons, Resources, and Activities

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

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Places in the Park
Students in PreK-1 explore a map of a park and use map symbols, a map key, and cardinal directions to analyze it.

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

Characteristics of Place
Students in grades 1-2 describe natural and cultural characteristics of places and identify them in their own community.

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.

Geographic Groceries
Students in grades 3-6 identify regions and determine patterns of organization in a grocery store.

Food Crops in the Americas 
Students in grades 3-6 create a thematic map of the Americas to show patterns and relationships of land use, land cover, and major crops.

Neighborhood BioBlitz Students in grades 6-12 examine the diversity of life and prepare for participation in a bioblitz in their local park.

Design a BioBlitz Learning Experience Students in grades 4-12 help scientists, naturalists, and other expert volunteers prepare to lead an inventory group as part of a bioblitz event.

Teaching with Historic Places: Civil Rights and Racial Healing Feature

All Over the Map: 10 Ways to Teach About Geography


Celebrate Geography Awareness Week  K-12 ideas for celebrating GAW.

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.

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

A Map of Every Building in America
Can you find your house?

Background Resources

Resources for Teachers (USGS)
K-12 esson plans and activities, maps, podcasts, online lectures, videos and animations, and more.

7 Billion: Are You Typical? -- National Geographic Magazine
(2:55) This video presents characteristics of the world's most typical person and looks at how that will change.

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.

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.

Test your Geography Knowledge
World geography quizzes.

Maps: Blank Outline and Tests

last updated: October 15, 2019


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