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National Geography Awareness Week, Grades K-5

Lessons, Resources, and Activities: Explore the Power of Parks 2016

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Identifying Species Students in grades 3-5 observe and record species in their classrooms, homes, or playgrounds to complete a species inventory. 


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 5, 2016


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