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“Create the Environment” is a game involving the characteristics of the seven continents


Social Studies  




Title – Create the Environment
By – Melissa Kloeppner
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 2

This activity is a game involving the characteristics of each of the seven continents. The “cutouts” are to be characteristic of each of the continents. For example, a Kangaroo as one of the “animal” characteristics for Australia.


  • 4 large world map game boards and instruction sheets
  • Book: The Seven Continents by Wil Mara
  • 4 bags of cutouts: Animal cutouts (#1), jungle cutouts (#2), snow cutouts (# 3), sun cutouts (#4), desert cutouts (#5), river cutouts (#6), rainforest cutouts (#7), mountain cutouts (#8), deciduous forest cutouts (#9), river cutouts (#10).
  • 4 pairs of dice

(Label each cutout with the corresponding number)

Background Knowledge: South America has the Amazon River/Rain Forest, the Andes Mountains, anacondas, and toucans. North America has the Redwood Forest, the Rocky Mountains and moose. Africa has the Nile River, Sahara Desert, and lions. Asia has tigers and the Himalaya Mountains. Australia has kangaroos and desert land. Europe has the Alps, lemmings, and a varied climate. Antarctica is very cold and uninhabited except for seals, some birds, and some insects.

Introduction: Tell the students that you have a great book that you are excited to read to them about the seven continents that they have been studying. Discuss the continents. Ask the students what they think might be in each continent. What kinds of animals? What climate? Would it have forests, jungles, rain forests, deserts, etc?

Procedure: Read the book, stopping with each continent and asking the students what they notice about each continent. What do they notice about the environment? Would it be a good place for animals? What kind of animals? Would there be any jungles there? Why or why not? What colors do they see? What kind of weather would the continent have? After reading the book, ask the students again what they noticed (all continents are different, they all have different animals, foliage, etc.). Tell the students that they will be playing a game in which they must place the characteristics of each continent on each continent. Tell them that they will be divided into groups and that each group will get two dice. Tell them that they will shake the dice and whichever number they get will correspond with a characteristic of a continent (except for 11, in which case they can choose whichever characteristic they want, and 12, in which case they must remove one characteristic of their choice from the game board). The team who places the most characteristics in the correct places wins. Tell them that they will be given a list of instructions in case they forget. Divide the class into four groups (2 groups of 3 and 2 groups of 4). Have the groups find places to sit where they will have enough room. Give each group a game board, a pair of dice, a list of instructions, and a bag of characteristics. Monitor the game and make sure that if a group claims to win, they have their cutouts in the correct places. The winning group will share with the class where they put each of the characteristics and why. The class will discuss the reasons behind the placement of the characteristics.

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