Hands-on Geography Activities for Middle School

Geography is one of those subjects that’s easy to push aside during a busy homeschooling day, but with these hands-on geography activities, you’ll have no trouble making it a regular part of your lesson plans.

We live in a world that seems to get more connected every day, so it’s important that we make time to raise our children’s global knowledge. They need to learn all they can about society, the earth, and its inhabitants. In other words, geography.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming. It’s actually quite easy to add some interesting world studies to your day. Keep reading for a few ideas that your tweens will love.

Learning Geography Through Money

A unique way to learn about other countries is through money, specifically coins.

Go on a hunt for some world coins and let your kids use a globe to find the country they’re from. Even better, if you own a large world map, lay it on the table so your tweens can place each coin directly onto the country that uses it.

Connecting money to a country is a fun way to build your tween’s map skills and because world currency is so unique, it can teach them a lot about a region.

Other countries use images like animals, flowers, transportation, famous figures, and more on their coins. Did you know they also come in different shapes, sizes, and weights? Some even have holes in the middle.

Kids will have so much fun using these coins to learn about other countries they may not even realize that they’re working on geography. How cool is that?

Discovering Other Cultures

Too often, geography lessons revolve around facts and figures, spending little time on world cultures. Personally, I think that’s a missed opportunity. This year, make multicultural learning a priority by studying human geography along with world facts.

Here are a few ideas that are perfect for older kids:

  • Take a virtual trip. One of the best ways to learn about the world is to travel. However, that’s not always possible. Luckily, there are plenty of educational tours and field trips available online to help kids experience new areas and cultures.
  • Listen to a variety of traditional music. Play national anthems, indigenous¬†music, and prominent artists from across the globe.
  • Head into the kitchen and work together to make delicious dishes from other cultures. As you learn about a country, create a menu that’s full of regional dishes. Then, during the meal, kids can share what they learned about the area. Theme dinners were definitely one of my kids’ favorite geography activities.

A Fun Way to Learn Geography Facts

As I’ve mentioned, there is more to geography than facts, however, they are still a critical part of any geography curriculum, so why not make learning them as fun as possible?

Instead of flipping through flashcards or quizzing your kids, let them go on an atlas scavenger hunt. This is one I created when I needed something to engage a group of tweens as part of a geography co-op class.

If you’d rather take the time to make your own, compile a list of clues for the country or continent your tween is currently studying.

Ideas include:

  • What is the longest river in Africa?
  • This prefecture is just over 6 km south of Tokyo.
  • Which mountain range is the tallest and longest in Europe?
  • What crop is Brazil’s largest export?
  • Sweden and Finland both border which sea?

There are all kinds of things tweens can search for and the scavenger hunt layout turns it into a fun challenge for them.

It’s easy to get your middle schoolers excited about geography when you add hands-on activities like these to your homeschool lesson plans.

What’s your favorite geography activity for tweens?

Megan Zechman

About the author

Megan has been homeschooling her two teen girls since they started school. She is dedicated to helping moms realize that middle school can actually be the best years to homeschool, especially when you use creative activities and unique tools.

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