Seeing the World Sub Kit (Grades 7-8)

Use this substitute teacher kit for grades 7-8 that focuses on the development of geography skills.
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Class Travelog
Materials: print and online resources
Have each student select a country he or she would like to visit.

Provide resource materials for students to use or have them visit the library to gather information about their countries.
Instruct students to use the activity sheet for note taking and encourage them to include additional topics, if they wish.
Invite students to "visit" the countries they have researched. Then have them write travelog entries about their countries. They should record thoughts on the location, economy, government, people, education, religion, and climate.
Assemble the entries into a book called, for example, Around the World with Ms. Baker's Class.

Enrichment Activity:

Have pairs of students compare and contrast the countries they have chosen with the suggestions below.

A Tale of Two Countries

Study the two charts. Then use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two countries. If you need more information, use resource materials to find additional facts about the countries.

  • Write the name of one country on the line above the left circle.
  • Write the name of the other country on the line above the right circle.
  • In the outer part of each circle, write ways in which each country is unique.
  • In the part where the circles intersect, write ways in which the countries are alike.

On another piece of paper, write an essay to compare and contrast these countries. Cite specific details that tell how the countries are alike and how they are different. Use the information in your Venn diagram to help you write.

World Radio News
Materials: current newspapers or magazines or access to Internet news sites
Challenge pairs of students to choose an international event that has been in the news recently.

Have pairs research their event on the Web or in periodicals. Encourage them to do additional research on the country in which the event took place.
Invite pairs to write a world radio broadcast about the event they selected.
Be sure to explain that world radio broadcasts are heard all around the world. Remind students to provide as much information as possible, since some listeners might be unfamiliar with the topic.
Invite students to record their broadcasts. Remind them to enunciate, to use proper grammar and vocabulary, and to describe a logical sequence of events.
Play the recordings for the class and invite volunteers to find the location of each story on a classroom map.

Continental Concepts
Materials: print and online resource materials, posterboard or chart paper, markers
Divide the class into seven groups, assigning a different continent to each group.

Invite students to use resource materials to research their continents.
Prompt students by asking questions such as: How many square miles does the continent cover? What countries are located on this continent? How many people live there? What languages are spoken? What religions are practiced? What ethnicities are represented?
Encourage group members to share the information they find, collaborating to select significant facts about their continents.
Have groups use colorful maps, charts, and graphs to present information about their continent to the class.

Economic System
Materials: resource materials
Lead students in a discussion of several different economic systems.

Introduce the following terms and discuss their meanings:
1. Socialism
2. Communism
3. Capitalism
Help students create a chart listing countries that use each type of economic system.
Divide students into groups and ask each group to research one of the systems.
Hold a panel discussion, inviting students to discuss the characteristics of each system.
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