Middle school geography is much more than just finding places on a map. In fact, it is a broad subject that encompasses the study of the earth, its structure, and everything that lives on our planet.
Our kids are living in a period where people around the world are better connected than any time in history. That’s why it’s important for teens to study geography in order to better understand and appreciate the world they live in.
Keep reading for some creative ways to teach this subject to tweens and teens.
Any links in this post may be affiliate links. See my disclosure statement.
Middle School Geography
As I mentioned, geography is much more than just finding places on a map and learning the states and capitals. It includes earth structures, world facts and figures, culture and traditions, and yes, learning about coordinates and map reading.
According to the National Geographic Society, geography is:
A knowledge of place names, location of cultural and physical features, distribution and patterns or languages, religions, economic activities, population and political systems.
It’s a comprehensive subject that is key to raising globally minded kids.
While many homeschoolers include geography as a part of other subjects, I feel that geography is important enough to teach as a standalone class. There’s just too much to cover.
Plus, studying it separately gives older kids lots of opportunities to learn and discuss the relationships of the people, places, and activities taking place on earth.
It’s actually a fascinating subject that’s incredibly easy to make hands-on and interactive for tweens. All you need are some fun geography activities.
Fun Geography Games
A basic part of geography is knowing where places are. Facts that kids need to memorize.
It can be boring reviewing states, capitals, countries, and flags, so instead of relying on rote review or flashcards, use a fun geography game instead.
Play The World Game to help your tween learn world geography facts.
Make this Flags of the World Matching Game a regular part of your lesson plans.
Use these map games for kids to teach them geography.
Play these geography board games in your homeschool.
Flags of the World Geography Games will help build flag identification skills.
These world geography games will help build world geography skills.
Beat boredom by adding some of these fun geography games for middle school to your lesson plans.
Play interactive geography games to practice geographical facts.
Is your tween more into technology? If so, play these online geography games instead.
Geography Activities for Middle School
It’s incredibly easy to add hands-on world geography activities to your lesson plans.
There are all kinds of cool projects you can do with your tweens to help them understand the concepts they’re learning. Remember, the more you engage kids, the better they grasp information.
As part of your severe weather lesson, make this simple tornado in a bottle.
Create a homemade weather station to help your tween learn about weather and climate.
Fun projects will engage your kids when they’re studying weather and climate.
Don’t rely on flashcards to remember information, instead help your tween learn various terms by playing geography bingo.
With this sinkhole experiment, you’ll use simple household items to build a sugar cave.
Teach your teen how to make a compass and use it to determine north as part of your middle school geography lesson plans.
If you want to combine geography and history, then work on these Colonial America map activities.
Take your lessons outside with these outdoor geography activities.
Add geography puzzles to your homeschool.
Use these geography task cards to build your tween’s geography skills.
No middle school geography course is complete without adding in some volcano activities.
Geography Scavenger Hunt
One of my absolute favorite ways to teach tweens how to use an atlas is to give them a scavenger hunt to complete.
These games have clues that kids have to solve by reading their atlas. It’s an entertaining way to engage them while teaching about world geography, US geography, and latitude and longitude.
Here are some that I created to make it easy for you and fun for your kids.
This latitude and longitude scavenger hunt will help you tweens learn how to find locations based on their coordinates.
This world atlas scavenger hunt is a fun way for teens to discover more about the world while learning how to use an atlas.
Your middle schooler can build their US geography knowledge with this United States atlas scavenger hunt.
Creative Ways to Teach Geography
All geography lessons don’t have to come from a textbook. There are endless ways to make the subject come alive for kids. It just takes a little creativity. Here are a bunch of ideas you can use to make geography fun for tweens and teens.
After finding these 5 handy geography websites, they’ve become key references tools for our geography studies.
Use these geography projects to get your middle schooler to go deeper.
If you’re looking for an extensive list of activities to use with your middle schooler, check out this ultimate guide to geography lessons and activities and the ultimate guide to hands-on learning activities.
Wondering how to teach geography in your home school? Check out this post about teaching geography to middle school.
Use these cultural geography activities to go beyond the facts and figures.
Instead of just learning how to use maps while sitting at a table, use family vacations and field trips to work on map skills for kids.
Is your teen asking you, “why should I study geography?” Here are some reasons that might help you answer that question.
National Parks are perfect places to learn about the earth’s natural structures.
Not sure how to teach geography to middle school kids? Here’s how to be an amazing homeschool geography teacher.
This list of online homeschool courses includes some fun classes middle school kids can take to study all subjects, including geography.
You don’t have to study geography alone. Gather some friends together and use the ideas here to learn how to start a geography co-op.
Want to study the world from the comfort of your home? Log on to your computer and take one of these virtual field trips for middle school.
Homeschool Geography Curriculum
Here are 12 of the best middle school geography curriculum choices for homeschoolers.
Personally, we used North Star Geography. This program also offers a great deal of flexibility, while giving students a broad understanding of how geography affects their everyday life.
It intentionally includes more learning options than any family can use – allowing you to select activities that best suit your children’s learning styles and interests.
The Best Geography Resources
Here are some tools that every homeschooling family should have as they study geography.
- Every student should own an atlas and know how to use it. This is our favorite one.
- An interactive way to learn about the earth is through volcanoes. You can either build your own or use a volcano kit to make it easier to create.
- The World Game is a fun tool kids can use to learn about countries, cities, and flags.
- Maps are essential for teaching geography in your homeschool. Our favorites were definitely large wall maps.