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National Geography Awareness Week, Grades 6-8

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

Found In: social studies, 6-8

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Make A Contour Map Students in grades 6-8 create three-dimensional clay mountains and use them to make contour maps.

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.

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.

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.

Introducing Biodiversity and BioBlitz Students in grades 4-8 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.


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.

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.

Exploring Maps Teacher Packet
An interdisciplinary set of materials on mapping for grades 7-12. Students learn basic mapmaking and map-reading skills.

USGS GeoData Booklet (PDF icon PDF, 778 KB, 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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