One of the basic geography skills my seventh grade students really struggle with is using latitude and longitude to find absolute location. I had been looking for a quick and easy, low prep way that didn't involve making a bunch of copies to practice latitude and longitude when I came up with this idea while driving to work!
I recently inherited a class set of the maps shown in the picture above from an older teacher, so I use them, but any map with latitude and longitude would work just as well - your students could even work in groups with larger maps.
Besides having maps, the only other preparation is using whichever map your students are going to use to find and write the latitude and longitude coordinates of various places or physical features - states, countries, oceans, bays, anything they can find - on notecards (also shown in the picture above).
As a competition, I have been recording the percentage of each class that gets at least 80% correct (mastery). The classes like to compete against each other, and I am left with data showing this skill is increasing across all my classes - I have gone from the 40's% proficient to above 70% in all my classes!
So, I hope you like this activity, and if you use it, please let me know how it went in the comments. If you are looking for more basic geography building activities, please check out the resources I have to offer in my TpT store, and if you like what you see, please be sure to follow this blog and my TpT store for more great ideas!
I'm an 18 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.