Geography Projects for Middle School

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Geography can be studied through lectures, but it can also be studied through project-based learning. Here are some ideas for engaging geography projects, appropriate for middle school students.

Geography Projects for Middle School

Geography is a wide-ranging subject, covering land-use, map reading, topography, weather, human conflict, and natural disasters. There's a lot to study, and a lot for students to explore. Geography projects are a way to give students some freedom in how they explore those topics. They can also be a lot of fun for students. Check out some of these ideas for middle school geography projects.

Map Project

The map project involves assigning a particular part of the world to each student. This could be an individual country, or region within a country. Have students complete research about the area, and create a series of maps to summarize that area's geography. These maps could show the topographical landscape, land-use, industry and agricultural products, population density, and more. They can be created as individual maps, or as transparencies to go over the main map in layers, and can be added and removed to display different information. Students can share their maps with the class, and help each other learn about different places.

Papier-Mâché Formation Project

This geography project focuses on the formation of physical features of the earth. This could include the formation of rivers and their tributaries, the formation and movement of glaciers, the formation of coastal stacks, and more. The project will involve students creating an illustration of each of the steps in the formation process, but what will make the project more interesting is that students will do it by creating that illustration in 3D using papier-mâché. They can split a piece of cards into sections, one for each step, and create a model with papier-mâché for each of those steps. This can really bring the process to life in a way that 2D drawings never can.

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