Things to do with your My Wonderful World wall maps

1. Map your family!
Locate on the map (e.g. with stickers or thumbtacks) the country or countries from which your family immigrated to the United States.Then, explore your country(ies) of origin by:

Thumbnail image for japanesefood.jpgA) Using National Geographic’s “Travel and Cultures” portal and national tourism board websites. Have younger kids research general encyclopedic information like total population, total land area, major cities, major geographic features and natural resources. Have older kids research more specific topics such as economic indicators (e.g gross domestic product), dominant cultural groups, and demographic trends (e.g. changes in population size over time).
B) Looking through family records, if available. Encourage older kids to conduct a more extensive genealogical investigation using resources like and the Library of Congress.
C) Conducting informal interviews of older relatives who may have emigrated from other countries (parents, grandparents, etc.).
D) Discussing and participating in family cultural traditions. Cook an ethnic meal together, plan a holiday celebration, or play a traditional sport or game.

2. 20 Questions
Play 20 questions with your world map. One person thinks of a location, e.g. city, country, landform, etc. and others ask “yes or no” questions–no more than 20–to guess what it is. Encourage kids to practice using directional and other geography terms (e.g. “Is it north of____? ” “Is it close to___?”  “Is it a body of water?”) 

3. Name Game
Take turns naming a world location for each letter of the alphabet–and point to it on the map. You can do this for varying scales and types of features: e.g. cities, countries, rivers, mountains, etc. Keep going until you get stuck; then reach for an almanac.

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Start With a Map

This month, we’re asking you to start with a map: Download a world wall map, give it to a child, and tell them why it’s important—and fun—to learn about our world. Let them play with the map, ask questions about it, explore it in their own way. What other ideas do you have to get kids and teens interested in maps—and the interconnected, fascinating world … Continue reading Start With a Map