In social studies, we’re studying on geography, which can be challenging but fun for students. I wanted to have a least one day that would completely grab my students’ attention, so I created nine geography stations that we used for centers during social studies. I have to say it was one of the best geography lesson I’ve ever taught! I knew I’d eventually add these activities to TpT, so I created two different versions-one for GA teachers and one for almost any social studies teacher.
The centers consisted of nine different activities that are all listed on the student recording sheet. The recording sheet is completely optional. I like to use it to help students keep track of what stations they have already completed. In Station 1, students had to draw and label the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains, as well as the Colorado, Rio Grande, Mississippi, Ohio, and Hudson Rivers on a map. The general version has students label the seven continents.
In Station 2, students used a town map to answer cardinal and intermediate directions questions. I’m always surprised to see how challenging this is for my third graders. It seems like it should be easy, but it’s not. I know the green background is heavy on ink, so I also made an ink saving version of the map. I laminate my map, so that I only have to print two copies.
In Station 3, students find 16 different countries shown on a world map and place them in the correct hemisphere.This allows students to apply what they’ve learned about the four hemispheres, and it gives them further experience reading a map.
Station 4 had students match geography terms with their correct definition. I print the words on cardstock and laminate the cardstock, so that I can reuse these many times. I included essential vocabulary such as longitude and latitude.
At Station 5, on version of the activities has students compare and contrast the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. In the other version, students compare and contrast a map and a globe. I love using double bubble maps as an alternative to Venn-diagrams, just because it gives my students a required number of differences and similarities.
Station 6 had students write a paragraph about one of three writing prompts. Gotta squeeze in that constructed response practice whenever I can! I like that this activity gives students a choice in what to write about, so each student can select a prompt they are comfortable with.
Station 8 gave my students much needed practice on using longitude and latitude, which we can never practice enough. Students find seven different points on a map using longitude and latitude.
In Station 9, students complete a circle map using landforms. Students can write descriptions and/or examples and non examples in and out of their circle map.
Hopefully, these social studies centers will be helpful and give you some ideas as well!