Geography – common boundaries

TITLE:  Geography – common boundaries

GRADE: 4 – 9

MATERIALS/TIME REQUIRED:  index cards, atlas/map, 30 minutes

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy: “Finding all we have in common” (p. 243, p. 272 DG, p. 352 EA)

Have students in groups of 4-5.  Use the strategy to build inclusion and set the stage.


  • a faraway place (over 100 miles from here) you have all visited
  • an activity you all do that is healthy
  • an item in your bedroom (bed, floor, etc. don’t count)
  • all the common letters in your names (first, middle, last)


Content:  Understand common boundaries and locations of states and countries (Essential Element I. THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS – National Geography Standards)

Collaborative:  Work together on tasks; solving problems; celebrating achievement

Personal:  Be a positive influence in a group

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: “Give Me a Clue”  (variation)  [p. 244, p. 276 DG. p/ 358 EA]  prepare sets of 3×5 cards with names of states or countries with common borders.

Here are some suggestions:

Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi

China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, India

Libya, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, Egypt

Give each group a set of cards – have some extra sets, in case groups finish early.

Have groups work together to arrange cards to represent the correct geographic boundaries – then check with map or atlas.

Have students record the correct spatial terms (either map, list, or otherwise represent on paper, in journal, etc.)



Content:  What did you learn?  How will this kind of learning experience help you to remember?

Collaborative:  Describe how your group interacted in putting common boundaries together

Personal:  What did you enjoy about this learning experience?  How would you make it more challenging, meaningful, or applicable to another subject?

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT: If each group has a different set of geographical locations, they can teach one another.

►Group Development Process

Cognitive Theory

►Multiple Intelligences

►Cooperative Learning


►Reflective Practice

Authentic Assessment