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A Social Studies game on continents


Social Studies  


5, 6  

Jami Bernstein

Lesson Plan 4

TITLE: The Continent Game


DATE: 1 day/1 hr.

PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS: The purpose of this activity is to provide students with the skills to compare the earth’s continents in a variety of ways. The students will be able to correctly order the continents in terms of area, population, and other geographic terms.


– index cards

– envelopes

– encyclopedia and other references


1. Introduction

Review with the students the continents. As they name them, write them on the board in alphabetical order. Ask the students to identify the rule that you used to order the continents. Ask the students if there are other possible ways to order the continents and write suggestions on the board.


Tell the students that they will be using area to list the continents in order, from the least land area to the greatest land area, on a sheet of paper. Then ask for seven volunteers to come to the front of the class and hand them each an envelop containing the name of a continent and an ordering rule (land area). Tell them not to open the envelopes yet. The envelopes contain the actual information about each continent. Ask the students to arrange themselves in order from the continent with the least land area to the greatest. Write the predicted order on the board. Next, ask the students to open their envelopes and rearrange themselves in the actual order. Provide time for the students to discuss the outcome. Continue the activity with envelopes for population, population density, annual growth, etc.


Ask the students to compare the lists for each envelope and to draw conclusions from their lists. Ask the students to predict how various rankings will change in 100 years.


– Discuss the student’s predictions and why their conclusions were different from the actual results.

– Orally quiz the students on the continents with the greatest area, least population, etc..


– This lesson could be used in conjunction with a study of natural

resources and conservation or population/urbanization studies.

– For younger grades, this same idea could be successful using different terms such as climate, major crops, etc.


Condry, Chuck. “The Continent Game.” gopher://…

Social Studies. (20 Sept. 1996).

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