Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Where In the World Are You?

Dolores Davis


Students use maps and globes to locate, identify, compare and contrast selected physical features of maps. This lesson is an introductory lesson that covers bodies of water, major islands, mountains and continents.


The student uses maps, globes, charts, graphs and other geographic tools to gather and interpret data and draw conclusions about physical patterns (for example, in Florida).


-Overhead Projector
-Map Transparencies
-Student use blank copies of United States Map (one per student)
-Student use blank copies of World Map (one per student)
-Students Copies of Comparison/Contrast Chart (one per student)
-[Social Studies Florida 2002], Orlando, Harcourt Brace (student's editions)
-Students unable to assess the social studies textbook can go online to the Free Blank Outline Maps of the Countries and Continents of the World, and the Free Blank Outline Maps of the Fifty States of the US.
-Teacher-made charts of Peer Evaluation for each group
-Teacher-made chart of the same for students' evaluation to assess what each group accomplished


1. Prepare overhead transparencies for class discussion.
2. Makes blank copies of United States and world maps.
3. Prepare teacher-made chart for the comparison/contrast lesson. (see associated file)
4. Have a teacher-prepared copy of the maps with the key places labeled for reference.
5. Make arrangements with librarian to use at least 4 globes during lesson.
6. Display of large maps of United States and world on board.
7. Prepare copies of peer evaluation charts and one for the teacher to assess students' work.


1. Students share the purposes for using a map and globe. They explain the differences between the two, such as size, shape, and features.

2. Following the discussion of what students know about maps and globes, students receive a blank copy of the United States and World maps.

3. Students are divided into partners that work together to gather information needed for their

4. Partners use their maps to identify oceans, continents, major islands and mountains and label the names of each on the maps. They need to find at least three of each of the above in order to show they recognize the different areas. Provide ample time for all to finish.

5. After all students have found and labeled their maps appropriately, they are to use
the comparison/contrast chart provided to discuss places and environmental conditions, such as Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Of Mexico; Lake Okeechobee and Lake Erie.

6. Students are discussing places in relationship to the Western and Eastern Hemisphere, size of each, location, and directions from the Equator.

7. In a whole group, discuss the places and information that others may not have on their maps as students add these on their maps for future reference. Make sure everyone has had an opportunity to get all the information shared on their maps.

8. Students continue to add to their maps the other oceans, mountains, islands, and continents.

9. Students use resources such as social studies textbooks, Atlas, and the library.

10. Other resources to use are the Weblinks listed in this lesson plan.


1. Students use maps and globes to locate, identify, compare and contrast places.
2. Students work cooperatively with a partner to complete activity.
3. Partners locate three oceans, continents, major islands, and mountains on their maps and globes and label.
4. Partners pick two places to compare and contrast, such as Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico; Asia and Europe for each area labeled on their maps.
5. Assess discussion and feedback of information collected by each group to determine what was found and how they compared each.
6. Formatively assess understanding location of various places on maps.
7. Formatively assess understanding the purpose of a map and globe as discussed in class as students use them.
8. Use teacher-made peer evaluation and teacher charts to assess what the students did during the process of their mapping skill lesson.


This lesson can be extended to include the major river systems of importance such as the
longest river, the Mississippi, or the St. Johns River that flows from the Indian River County north to Jacksonville. It could also include major lakes, such as the Great Lakes located in the north.

Web Links

Web supplement for Where In the World Are You?
Blank USA Map

Web supplement for Where In the World Are You?
Blank state maps

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