West Indies Map Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Learning about maps can be a great way to get students involved and collaborating with each other. This lesson provides teachers with classroom maps games centered on the West Indies.

Maps as Teaching Tools

When you use maps as a teaching tool, your students have to use a variety of academic and social skills. This lesson highlights ways in which West Indies map games can be used to encourage students to use both critical and creative skills individually and in groups. The following games can be used as a stand-alone lesson or as part of a larger unit on the West Indies.

West Indies ID

This game will help your students familiarize themselves with the map of the West Indies through teamwork. To prepare, you will need to give students a map of the West Indies that does not include any country names. (You can also use white out to remove the names on a West Indies map and then make photocopies.)

  • Divide the class into small teams.
  • Give each team a West Indies map that doesn't include country names.
  • Tell students to use the reference materials available to them to fill-in the missing country information.
  • Remind students that this is a timed game and the team who correctly completes the map the quickest will win a prize.
  • Each team should label the following areas on the map:
  1. Bahamas (all islands)
  2. Cuba
  3. Jamaica
  4. Haiti
  5. Guyana
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Puerto Rico
  8. U.S. & UK Virgin Islands
  9. Leeward Islands (Anguilla, St. Martin, Saba, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda)
  10. Windward Islands (St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Grenada, Martinique)
  11. Suriname
  12. Trinidad & Tobago
  • When a team has finished, they should show the map to you for confirmation. If the team made any mistakes or did not include one of the 13 areas mentioned above, tell them to keep working.
  • Keep the game going until a team has successfully completed the map.

To conclude the activity, make sure that each team completes their maps and be sure to talk a little bit about some of the countries or areas that are unfamiliar to the students.

Wait, Is That True?

In this game, students will use their knowledge of the West Indies map to determine if different statements are true or false. This game can be done individually or in pairs.

  • Show the class a West Indies map for a couple of minutes.
  • As students are looking at the map, remind them to memorize the locations of different countries, islands and areas.
  • When the time is up, stop showing the map and make sure no West Indies maps are visible in the classroom or on student desks.
  • Have students number a paper from one to ten and instruct them to write true or false next to each number as you read the following statements.
  1. Jamaica is north of Cuba. (False)
  2. Cuba is the largest island in the West Indies. (True)
  3. The West Indies is located in the Pacific Ocean. (False)
  4. Haiti is east of Jamaica. (True)
  5. Trinidad and Tobago is close to the continent of South America. (True)
  6. Barbados is less than 100 miles from the coast of Florida. (False)
  7. The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the same island. (True)
  8. The Bahamas is made up of two large islands. (False)
  9. The islands known as the Lesser Antilles are located west of Cuba. (False)
  10. The West Indies is also known as the Caribbean. (True)

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