Lesson Plan 9-1-99
Larry Dean Jackson

OBJECTIVE: Appreciate the variety of the earth's landforms (1B, 2B).

Unit 1 / Chapter 2 / Section 2

ACTIVITY: The Continent Game

OVERVIEW: It is difficult for young people to compare the earth's continents in terms of area, population, population densities, annual growth, and other geographic terms.

PURPOSE: To provide students with the skills to compare the earth's continents in a variety of ways.

OBJECTIVE(s): The students will correctly order the continents in terms of area, population, and other geographic terms.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS: index cards, envelopes, textbooks and other reference materials as needed.

ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: Review with the students the continents. As they name them, write them on the board in alphabetical order. Ask the students to identify the rule that you used to order the continents on the board. Ask the students if there are other ways that the continents might be ordered. List some of the possibilities on the board.

Tell the students that they will be using area to list the continents in order, from least to greatest. Ask the students to predict the area order of the continents, from the smallest (least land area) to the largest (greatest land area) on their paper. Then ask for seven volunteers to come to the front of the class. Give each of these seven an envelope with a continent and an ordering rule (land area) on the front. Tell them not to open the envelopes yet. (In each envelope is an index card with information about the continent. A set of data is included below). Ask them to arrange themselves in order from the continent with the least land area to the continent with the greatest land area. After they have finished, write the predicted order on the board.

Next ask the students to open their envelopes and rearrange themselves in the actual order

Provide time for the students to discuss the outcome. How many got them all correct? Were there any surprises? How did the group work to decide the predicted order? Was it effective?

Continue the activity with envelopes for population, population density, annual growth, etc. After each new ordering rule is used, ask the students to compare the lists. Ask the students to draw conclusions from the lists. Ask them how they could verify their conclusions.

Land area:

Africa: 30,330,000 sq km (11,710,500 sq mi)
Antarctica: 14,250,000 sq km (630,000 sq mi)
Asia: 44,444,100 sq km (17,159,995 sq mi)
Australia: 7,682,300 sq km (2,966,151 sq mi)
Europe: 10,531,623 sq km (4,066,281 sq mi)
North America: 24,249,000 sq km (9,363,000 sq mi)
South America: 17,804,526 sq km (6,874,600 sq mi)

Africa: 601,000,000 (1987 est.)
Antarctica: several thousand in summer, only a few in winter
Asia: 2,777,274,500 (1984 est.)
Australia: 16,500,000 (1988 est.)
Europe: 683,000,000 (1980 est.)
North America: 410,750,000 (1987 est.)
South America: 286,000,000 (1988 est.)

Population Density:
Africa: 51.0 per sq km
Antarctica: less than one per sq km
Asia: 62.0 per sq km
Australia: 2.1 per sq km
Europe: 65.0 per sq km
North America: 18.6 per sq km
South America: 16.0 per sq km

Annual Growth:
Africa: 2.8%
Antarctica: 0.0%
Asia: 1.7%
Australia: 0.8%
Europe: 0.4%
North America: 0.7%
South America: 2.1%


North America married South America and they went away to a small private continent named Europe for their honeymoon. When they returned, they had 4 kids and each kid's (continent) name started with the letter A. The biggest kid (continent) has the smallest name.. Asia. Africa looks like a backwards F. The last 2 are Antarctica and Australia.


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