Engaging Geography Lessons For Kindergarten And First Grade

When you think of teaching kindergarten and first grade students, you often think of letters, numbers, reading, math, etc. Those subjects are extremely important, but it is also beneficial to them to introduce the subject of geography! 

Learning about the different countries around the world is so important. To these kiddos, they may not even realize that there is more out there besides what they can see. It’s so fun to teach them about all of the different countries, continents, and people around the world and watch their eyes light up in wonder. 

Learning about geography is so vital to students because: 

  1. It teaches them about the diversity of locations and cultures in other countries around the world.
  2. It helps them know where they are and what else is there- giving them a sense of location. 
  3. It helps them understand the impacts of changes in the environment on land and people. 
  4. It helps them understand and appreciate nature.
  5. It helps them understand the world and their place in it. 

For kindergarten and first graders, you want to start with the basics to introduce the topic. First, teach them about maps and globes, cardinal directions, landforms, bodies of water, etc. This will help them understand the essentials as you get more detailed in your lessons. 

After they understand that, try introducing our country and the states. You can teach students where they are located. Make it extra engaging by teaching about the locations of famous landmarks or attractions. Next, get the students involved by asking them about their favorite vacation destination and then finding it on the map together. Geography can be so fun! 

If you are ready to dive into geography with your students, I have THE go-to geography resource for you

geography

My Geography Resource includes 9 weeks of geography lessons and hands-on activities that are perfect for kindergarten or first grade students. It has everything you need including lesson plans covering positional words, landforms, bodies of water, cardinal directions, maps, globes, personal information, and seasonal weather changes. It has crafts, interactive notebook pages, posters, a “Me On The Map” flip book, and a write the room activity. 

geography

Here is a breakdown of the 9 weeks: 

  • Week 1: Positional words to describe locations
  • Week 2: Identify maps and globes
  • Week 3: Cardinal directions
  • Week 4: Identify land and water on a map
  • Week 5: School and community places
  • Week 6: Personal information (phone number and address)
  • Week 7: Landforms
  • Week 8: Bodies of water
  • Week 9: Seasonal Weather

geography

Additionally, you will get posters and directional signs for your classroom, a fun Earth hat, photo instructions of how to put materials together. 

geography

Check it out here!

For more social studies resources, check out my TpT shop! 


 

 

How To Create A Fun And Easy Virtual Calendar For Your Classroom

If you know me, you know I just love calendar time. It is such a great way to gather with kindergarten or first grade students, go over the calendar, review some concepts, read stories, listen, share, and maybe even sing some songs. For more info on why I love it so much, check out my post here. 

 I adore my traditional Calendar Time area. This fun beachy-themed calendar area has always been my favorite.  Recently, however, I have been exploring Google Slides more and more and have found that it is the perfect tool for creating a virtual calendar easily! 

Here are some benefits of using a virtual calendar in your classroom

  • It can be used in person or virtually. After the last couple of years in the classroom, we are realizing the need for resources that can be used in the classroom AND virtually for distance learning. Teaching resources that are versatile enough to be used in both is essential these days. 
  • They are easily customized. Google Slides are so easy to play around with and make it your own. 
  • It can be easily reused year after year. While you can reuse physical products too, reusing digital items doesn’t require you to store anything or take up extra space. It can also be edited and personalized each year to fit whatever theme you want. 
  • It saves money. If you are printing your resources, it will save you money on paper and printing costs to just do it virtually. Saving money in the classroom is always a plus! 

Ready to explore virtual calendars yourself? I have you covered! I created this Virtual Calendar template for teachers who want to simplify Calendar Time in the classroom. 

virtual calendar

These colorful Google Slides templates make it easy for you and fun for your students. They can easily be edited to add your own personal touch. This calendar comes with Google Slides to help you review time, days of the week, months, money, share your morning messages, birthday shoutouts, and more! 

virtual calendar

Check out my virtual calendar tutorial here! 

Here’s what’s included in this calendar resource: 

  • 21 Colorful Digital Calendar and Math slides. Includes time, days of the week, months, money, a spinner game, morning messages, birthday shoutouts, patterns, shapes, and tally marks. 
  • 2 Review Pages (one digital and one black and white to easily print for pencil to paper) 

virtual calendar

Ready to get started with your virtual calendar? Check it out here!


virtual calendar


 

Sight Words Made FUN In Elementary

Learning to read is one of the biggest goals in the early grades. It sets the foundation for their entire education experience! To do this, we start with the basics, letter recognition, letter sounds, blending sounds, etc. Then we move on to a crucial step- sight words!

These words are words that students practice and become so familiar with that they recognize them instantly and don’t need to sound out. This helps them become more comfortable and fluent readers in less time.

But how do we teach students sight words in a way that they will remember?

We practice every day! The more students practice them, the better readers they will become. This can be done by practicing reading them in class, writing them out, creating sight word chants “T-H-E THE” to get stuck in their head, sending home sight word lists for students to go over as homework, and assigning books with sight words in them for students to read.

These are all great ways to practice them on a daily basis. However, if you are looking for something to really take it up a notch, I have you covered. Get students so engaged in learning their sight words that they won’t even realize they are learning because they are having so much fun with my Sight Word Escape Room! 

sight words

This Mystery Sight Words Escape Room is perfect for kindergarten and first-grade students.

sight words

Use these step-by-step instructions to guarantee student engagement while they learn about sight words to solve a classroom mystery. With little prep, your students will work as a team to break into a box, which breaks them out of the classroom as they beat the clock!

Included in this resource you get one PDF file with step-by-step instructions, a link to incorporate a video to hook your students into the mystery, and 3 pre-made clues for your class to solve. The other file is an editable PowerPoint to make it easy for you to add your own team names to personalize the experience and allow the students to take ownership of the lesson. You can also change the mystery letters to create your own sight words, sentences, and riddles.

This escape room is guaranteed to be a hit with your students!

Looking for more fun ways to practice sight words? Check out my post here! 

 What are your favorite sight word activities? Let me know in the comments!


Everything You Need To Survive Teaching Kindergarten

It’s time to start preparing for the next school year! If you are a kindergarten teacher and you are ready to get ahead of the game this year and stop the lesson plan scramble once and for all, I have you covered.  

I created a bundle that has everything you could possibly need to survive teaching kindergarten! You’ll get engaging activities to do with your students for every subject. 

kindergarten

Here are the subjects included in this kindergarten bundle: 

  • Monthly Writing Themed Journals
  • Morning Work Journals
  • Kindergarten Math Centers
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Guided Reading

Reading Curriculum

kindergarten

Teach students to read with these activities, lesson plans, and assessments over phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Your students will be confident in their reading by the end of the year. 

Math Centers

kindergarten

Who doesn’t love math centers? In this resource you’ll get tons of math centers that cover counting, numbers, sorting and classifying, addition within 5, measurement and data, word problems, graphs and data, 2D and 3D shapes, teen numbers, comparing numbers, addition to 10, subtraction to 10, telling time, and money. Every kindergarten math topic is included at a center with task cards or worksheets to use with manipulatives.   

Science Activities

kindergarten

Teach your students the wonders of science with these fun lesson plans, activities, and assessments! Topics covered include the scientific method, five senses, state of matter, energy, sound, and light, force and motion, push and pull, day and night, animal life science, plants, real vs. make-believe, weather, and sun, moon, and earth. 

Social Studies 

Teach students about American history, geography, community helpers, civics and government, money, and needs vs. wants with these lesson plans, activities, and assessments. 

Kindergarten Writing Prompts

Get your students comfortable with writing with a full year’s worth of writing journals. You’ll get one journal for each month with writing prompts for each day. Never search for a grade-appropriate writing prompt again! As a bonus, you’ll also get my silly story starters!

Kindergarten Morning Work

Create a class routine and simplify your mornings with morning work activities. In this bundle, you will get morning work for each day of the school year. Activities included are letters, numbers, math, sight words, and more! 

This bundle truly has everything you need. All that is left for you to do is teach. Your students will love these fun and engaging activities and they will be meeting standards with ease. 

Check it out here! 

Want more kindergarten tips? Check out my post on how to have a stellar first day of kindergarten here!