Teaching Geography

I’ve spent two class days now on Spanish-speaking countries and capitals. I wasn’t going to write about this – don’t judge me, #langchat! …but then I saw Allison’s post at Mis Clases Locas on the same topic, and decided I’d share my ideas as well. I share the same sentiments Allison wrote about – yes, culture and geography should be woven in throughout the year, but sometimes a little bit of direct instruction goes a long way.  Like Allison, I also am giving a map quiz, but the long-term takeaways I hope they gain from these lessons are not being able to point out Peru on a map – rather, my goal is that when they hear the name of a country they know if the people there speak Spanish, and have a general idea of where Spanish-speaking countries are located in the world (no, Spain is not in Asia…no, it’s not in Africa either).

I started last Friday in the computer lab. I gave them this handout (dropbox link here) as they came in:geog web quest picI copied a map of Central America, South America, and the Carribbean on the back. They labeled the map, and then practiced locating the countries with links to Purpose Games, Sheppard Software, and I like to Learn. When they were ready, they came to me and I quizzed them orally (Sidenote: I’ve been experimenting with individual, oral quizzes for vocabulary comprehension and in this case, locating the countries. A few kids get too nervous to do them out loud, so I usually let them do a written version, but it’s relatively quick, allows me to differentiate – practice until you’re ready! – and also cuts out cheating, which is a major issue I have with memorization-based assessments).   If they had time, they also looked up the capitals and played some games testing their memory.

Today (we had a long weekend for fall break) I took Allison’s advice and did a kahoot.  My kids loved it! We did this one on country locations, watched the Rock the Capitals videos, and then did this Kahoot testing capitals. Over all it was a fun and productive day.

Web links for students to practice finding the countries:

Web links for students to learn the capitals:

  1. Central American & The Carribbean Multiple Choice
  2. South American Countries to Capitals 
  3. Matching countries & capitals 

Rock the capitals – these songs will get the capitals stuck in your  head! And hopefully your students’ heads too 🙂

South America

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw1H8aIhKNk

Central America & the Carribbean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAupLjNTae0

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About Andrea

I am a teacher, dancer, and Spanish-speaker. This is my place to organize & share my thoughts on teaching, foreign language & language learning.
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