- First Grade
- Social Studies
- 45 minutes
- Standards: RI.1.5, RI 1.7
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Can your students call out the names of the continents? In this exciting lesson, students will learn the names of the major continents through an interactive process of word and map identification.
Students will be able to name and identify the seven basic continents in the world.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Introduce the lesson with the Continent Chorus. Play the audio of the song and/or sing the song aloud while reading the lyrics.
- Invite the students to sing along.
- Tell the students that they will be learning about the other continents in the world.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Display the world map.
- Point to the first continent, North America. Tell the students that the name of the continent is North America. Use other positional words to describe its location, e.g. that it's above (or to the north of) South America.
- Proceed with the remainder of the continents, pointing to and naming them.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Tell the students that they will now be practicing matching continent words and names with the correct continent.
- Distribute one Label the Continents worksheet and a pair of scissors to each student and ask them to cut out the continent names on the bottom of the page.
- Display the Label the Continents sheet or slide.
- Tell the students that you would like them to find North America on their map. Ask the students to then point to the continent.
- Ask the students to find North America.
- Once all students have found the word, direct them to place the word “North America” on the continent that they have just identified. Model the process of doing so if needed.
- Continue with the remainder of the continents, asking students to first point to the continent and then match the corresponding word.
Independent Working Time (10 minutes)
- Distribute one Continent Cut-out sheet to each student.
- Have the students cut out each continent and place it where it goes on the map.
- Have students place each continent word on the correct continent.
- Before students glue the continents and continent words on their page, walk around the room and check their work, making sure their placements are correct.
- After students have completed their work, have them glue the continents and words on the page.
- Enrichment: Assign to advanced students the "Continent Crossword Puzzle" and the task of both spelling and naming the continents. (Provide a word bank for them, if needed.)
- Support: Provide struggling students with a partially filled map that includes some of the letters of each continent's name. Have these students create their own rhyme or chant to use as they say each continent name.
Related Books and/or Media
- BOOK: Explore Earth's Seven Continents by Bobbie Kallman
- BOOK: Continents for Kids by Kevin Smith
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Use the individual maps from Guided Practice.
- Walk around the room and ask the students to use their maps to name the continents.
- Use the continent checklist to make notes of how well your students know the continents' names.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Play I Spy a Continent. Display the Label the Continents worksheet.
- Model the process of playing I Spy a Continent by telling the students that you spy the continent Africa (or a continent of your choice).
- Invite a student to come up to the map and point to the continent that you have just named.
- Continue with the remainder of the continents, inviting other students to participate by also naming continents and then asking classmates to come up and identify the continents.