Caribbean Map Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning about geography does not have to be boring! The games in this lesson will help get your students more familiar with the map of the Caribbean while staying motivated and engaged.

Why Caribbean Map Games?

Are you teaching your students about the Caribbean? If so, you might be looking for ways to get them more engaged in understanding Caribbean geography. Geography is a deeply important aspect of social studies. By understanding how maps work and what is involved in reading and working with a map, students are better oriented in the world and how different places relate to one another. Moreover, understanding the physical geography of a place can lead to a more thoughtful understanding of its history and how people live there. The study of Caribbean geography need not be boring or dry. One way to get your students engaged in it is by letting them play games. Map games lead to active learning and allow students to access a variety of learning styles and strengths. They also let students laugh and see that learning can be fun. The games in this lesson are designed to get your students more familiar with the map of the Caribbean.

Name the Missing Island

This game is great for the visual learners in your class. Provide each student with a map of the Caribbean, and let them study it with a partner for fifteen minutes or so. Then, gather students together at your meeting area. On your Smartboard or overhead projector, project images of the same map they were looking at but with one island blocked out. Your students' task is to pinpoint which island is missing from the map. The first student who correctly names the missing island gets a point for that round. You can also make the game more complex by asking students to name facts about the missing island, such as the capital, natural resources, or main language spoken. Naming these facts can help students accrue more points.

Roll the Dice

Break your students up into partnerships for this game, which is great for students who like to work with their hands and their eyes. Provide each partnership with a copy of the map of the Caribbean, and give them ten minutes to work together to turn the map into a board game. They can make each island a landing spot, or they can choose to create a path that crosses over the ocean. Then, give them paper clips to use as game pieces. The partners should take turns rolling a die and moving their piece the proper number of spaces. When they land on a space, they should take responsibility for naming where they are and saying two facts about the place. Facts might include capital, something about the climate, natural resources, or main language spoken, among other things. If the player is unable to name two facts, they must move back to their previous spot.

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