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Cut-Out Continents Mobile

Float from Africa to Asia from Antarctica to the Americas. Explore major lakes and mountain regions from a satellite view. See the world in a new way!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. In small groups, students explore the seven continents on Earth. Find satellite views of each continent. Locate major lakes and mountain ranges, coastal regions, and boundaries. Gather information about other major features on each continent, such as peninsulas, glaciers, deserts, and rain forests.
    2. Continents are usually presented on globes and maps. Have each student group display the continents and their major features in a new way. Try a mobile! Here’s one way to make one.
    3. Outline the shape of each landmass using Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils on patterned paper, making continents to scale. Include details such as inlets, bays, peninsulas, and capes along the coastlines. Mark major lakes, mountain ranges, and other major features.
    4. Use Crayola Scissors to carefully cut around the outline of each continent. Choose the two or three most prominent major features, such as lakes and mountain ranges. Cut small pieces of contrasting-colored paper to place behind your cut-outs. Use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach the papers. If you wish, add another layer of continent-shaped paper on the back to reinforce your continents.
    5. To make a mobile base, cut patterned paper to fit around a cardboard tube. Choose a title such as, CONTINENTS or THE WORLD and cut out free-form letters for the title. Attach contrasting paper on the back side of the cut-out words to make the letters stand out.
    6. Wrap the title around the cardboard tube and glue. Use varying lengths of ribbon, yarn, or string to attach to each continent to the mobile base. Arrange the continents so they hang at different lengths. Display the mobile in the classroom!
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

    SCI: Construct original explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Locate and distinguish among varying landforms and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, and oceans.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    In small groups, students research facts about a selected continent. Items to include might be human populations on the chosen continent, size of the continent, location of the land mass in reference to the equator, animal species that inhabit the continent, etc. Using a digital photograph that has been uploaded to a classroom computer, students audio record their facts about each continent. If feasible, students can also be videotaped recording their facts, using the continent artwork as a background.

    Student groups investigate major landforms found on a selected continent. These can be incorporated into the continent display by using Crayola Model Magic and gluing the landforms onto the continent representations.

    Challenge students to investigate the Earth's continents from long ago. Have the continents always looked the same? Students create a visual of the world's land masses from long ago. Have them also investigate what caused the shifts in the land masses to create the continents we know today.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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