The World Map Lesson for Kids: Continents & Features

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  • 0:04 Big Names
  • 0:55 Using a Map
  • 1:27 Continents
  • 2:30 Oceans
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wilson

David has taught college history and holds an MA in history.

The earth is a huge place and without maps we wouldn't know where anything is. There are many types of maps, all of which can show different places and features. The world map shows a large picture of what is located on the earth's surface.

Big Names

What's the longest distance you've ever traveled? Perhaps it's just to the other side of town, or maybe you've gone on vacation across the country. If you wanted to see the entire world, you'd have to go a lot farther and it would certainly help to understand some parts of a map. So, let's get going!

The most obvious features on our world map are the seven giant land masses called continents, which are surrounded by bodies of water called oceans. The equator, an imaginary line that runs through the middle of the earth, divides our massive world into two hemispheres, or halves: the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Two other geographical features that you may have heard are the North Pole and the South Pole. The North Pole, the northernmost part of the world, is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and is the home of Santa Claus! The South Pole, the southernmost part of the world, is located on the continent of Antarctica.

Using a Map

Alright! Now that you understand some features that are found on a map, let's look at a couple of tools that can help you to find places on a map. All maps will contain a compass rose which provides the directions - north, south, east, and west - on the map. Maps and globes also contain lines that run from east to west, called latitude lines, and lines that run from north to south, called longitude lines, that provide coordinates, or points, that help locate specific places.

Let's use all of the information we just learned and take a mini world tour!


Let's start at Asia, the largest continent. It's in the Northern Hemisphere and, by using the compass rose, you can see that it is also in the eastern part of the world.

Leaving Asia and moving west, we find Europe, also located in the Northern Hemisphere. Leaving Europe and using the compass rose to move south, you'll find Africa. Because the Equator runs through it, Africa is in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and is the hottest continent in the world.

To the southeast of both Africa and Asia, in the Southern Hemisphere is Australia, which is a continent, a country and also an island because it is surrounded by water: the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Indian Ocean to the west.

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