Do your kids know the difference between a pond, lake, sea, and gulf?
How about a savanna, grassland, and mesa?
If you were stranded in the middle of a pond vs. a gulf you would probably figure out the differences between these geography terms very quickly!
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During our middle/high school geography studies with North Star Geography we learned an important new geography term – topography.
“Topography – the shapes and features of an area. You can think of topography as the lay of the land.”
– North Star Geography, Lesson 5
Physical maps depict topography and will include data such as:
- Terrain (also called relief) including landforms such as mountains, dunes, and caves
- Surface water features including rivers, lakes, and waterfalls
- Man-made features including towns, bridges, and villages
As you can imagine, there are a number of interesting geography terms to understand when learning about topography. In North Star Geography we were introduced to more than 125 terms — everything from archipelago, butte, and cape to volcano, waterfall, and whirlpool.
North Star Geography curriculum is available in a printed format or as a downloadable ebook from Bright Ideas Press. As a Brand Ambassador for Bright Ideas Press we received a copy of this new program and we will offer you insights about how we are using this program in real life in our homeschool.
Geography Terms Resources
We have discovered a number of resources to help us learn the meaning of all of these terms. A few of our favorites are:
Recently we told you all about how we use atlases in our geography studies. Don’t forget to look in the back of these great books for the glossary which will include geography terms and definitions.
We have used this resource since our earliest homeschool days! The Enchanted Learning Geography Glossary offers terms with definitions and graphics.
One of the most comprehensive lists we have found, the National Geographic Education Glossary includes geography, science, and social studies terms. Many terms also include a link to the National Geographic online Encyclopedia where students can find photos and additional information.
In Lesson 5 of this middle-high school geography curriculum students will learn new topography terms, find definitions, and examples. The student Activity Guide includes topographical maps for students to print, color and label to help reinforce their understanding of these important terms.
Geography Terms BINGO
My kids enjoyed learning these geography terms. Some terms they already knew, but many others sounded familiar but they weren’t sure of the definitions. Because there were so many terms to learn it was a bit challenging trying to keep them all straight!
We decided to create a game to help reinforce our learning — Geography Terms BINGO!
- Printed copy of the Education Possible Geography Terms BINGO game for each child.
- Pencils or pens
- Altas or access to online resources to help define geography terms (suggestions are listed above)
- Chips or markers for marking the BINGO squares (you could use plastic chips but we usually use M&M’s to make the game a bit more fun).
- Students work independently. Each student will need a printed copy of the Education Possible Geography Terms BINGO game document.
- There are more than 50 terms on the “Geography Terms” page. Students individually select 25 terms from this list that they want to learn more about.
- Students write the 25 terms on the “Defining Geography Terms” page, then use online or printed resources (such as the atlas glossary) to write a short definition for each term they selected.
- Students then write the 25 terms selected in the squares on the “Geography Terms BINGO” page (one term per square).
- Parents will use the “Geography Terms” page and randomly call out terms from the list, one at a time. If a term on their card is called, students place a marker on that square.
- When a student gets 5 in a row (across, down, or diagonally) they shout out “BINGO”! In order to win that round the student must correctly give the definition of the terms marked.
- Continue playing additional rounds until students are familiar with the geography terms and definitions on the list.
We hope you enjoy learning these interesting geography terms with your family!