Geography Class Warm-Up Activities

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Want some ideas for warm-up activities for your geography class? This lesson gives several ideas that can easily be modified to fit the needs of your students.

Warm-ups in Geography Class: More Than Just a Focus Activity

Many teachers use short warm-up activities at the beginning of each class period to focus students on the learning that will be take place that day. This is generally a great idea, because students sometimes have a hard time transitioning from the previous class (and certainly have a hard time if they're coming from lunch period!). Beyond using warm-ups as focus activities, though, it is a good idea to help students review information they have already learned. These activities can also be used to explore new topics. The warm-up activities below draw on a wide range of geography-based skills to help students become more confident with geography as a whole.

Fill-in-the-Map Warm-up Activity

A simple way to encourage students to learn about country borders and relative locations is to provide them with a simple, blank map of an area and ask them to fill in the countries from memory. You can make this activity as hard as you'd like; you can provide them with some countries for reference or give them a totally blank map. In some advanced classes, it might be an interesting activity to have students drawn in country borders. This will never be totally accurate, of course, but it will help them think about the relative locations of countries around the world.

Latitude and Longitude Practice Activity

To practice latitude and longitude skills in a warm-up, you can do a number of activities. You could provide a latitude and longitude location and ask students to name the country or city it describes. Or, you can ask students to figure out the latitude and longitude of a city you name. Since you are doing this as a warm-up activity, you could do a combination of both (either on the same day for different days). Be sure to start easy and work your way up to more difficult locations. This will help students develop their map-reading skills over time.

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