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Halloween Geography: Plotting Continents and Oceans on a Pumpkin


Social Studies  


3, 4, 5  

Halloween Geography: Plotting Continents and Oceans on a Pumpkin

By Regina Tiedemann
Primary Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 3 and up


Students will be able to plot the locations of the seven continents and oceans.

Materials Needed

  • One world map worksheet for each student
  • A pumpkin (medium size works best)
  • A black Sharpie marker
  • Paint (blue for the oceans and a different color for each continent)
  • Paintbrushes

Prior Knowledge

This is a culminating activity for a unit on the continents and oceans. Students should know the seven continents, four oceans, hemispheres, and the equator. The will use a worksheet on a world map they have already completed before this activity.


Review the continents, oceans, and hemispheres with the students. Use their completed worksheet to do this.

Draw their attention to the globe and an exposed world map which should be displayed in the room. This works well if the globe and the map are next to each other in the room. Ask the differences between the globe and the map. They should respond – the map is flat and the globe is round. Have them put the maps and pumpkins next to each other. Ask them to explain the difference between the flat sheet of paper and the pumpkin. They should respond – the paper is flat and the pumpkin is round.

Ask the students which is a more realistic model of the earth, the globe or the map? When they have responded, ask them which is a more realistic model, the pumpkin or their map?

Explain to them that they will make a model of the earth using their pumpkins. Have them cut out the continents and tape them onto the pumpkin in their correct location. The may use textbook maps and displayed maps to do this. Once the continents are correctly located, trace them in black marker. Have them draw the equator in the middle of the pumpkin.

Once the continents and equator are traced, have them paint those areas not outlined blue. These are their oceans. They will then paint the continents. I have them use a different color for each continent.

When the pumpkin is dry, use the black marker to label everything.

Ask the students why this is a more realistic model then the map.

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