Continent and Landform Exploration

The first week of school a teacher approached and said, “You did this activity last year….could you do it again?”

Oooh, most definitely!

The activity required three steps of prep:

  • I collected the books I needed from the public library (which surprised a friend of mine, “you check out books from the public library?” All the time…..).
  • I used my trusty Ikea signs with some cute clipart I found. (You’ve discovered that I’m not a cute clipart person, right? But…so cute!)
  • Found the workpage I made last year. Made some modifications.

And I was ready! I invited the other teachers in the team to sign up for a time in the library (because the air was not working and their rooms were HOT!). Plus, I have great tables for this activity.

Here’s how it went down…
The students were given a workpage with clues about each of the seven continents. Many of the clues were just spaces for each letter (it’s fill-in-the-blank). Their first step was to read through all of the clues that were written out. Each student was assigned to a starting station. At the Africa station there were nonfiction books about Africa. At that station students were to use the references quickly to find the landforms mentioned or maps of the continent. They had to figure out which set of clues on their paper was for Africa, label it as that continent, and then fill in the blanks for the missing clues. Africa was one of the easier ones because it said “Sahara _ _ _ _ _ _.”

After 5-7 minutes everyone rotated to a new table of resources. Three of the stations had atlases, three had nonfiction books, two had encyclopedias.

Before we began the lesson we had talked about the strategies needed to access each type of resource quickly. After a few stations we paused to review which access strategies were working the best with each type of resource. At the bottom of their workpage students were asked to rate themselves on their skills accessing ready references quickly and about their ability to recognize well-known landforms on each continent.


  1. Sounds like a great activity with lots of practice using different sources of information! Will you be posting this in your TPT store?

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