While I love studying countries and cultures, that's not all there is to learning geography. Geographical borders are based on political battles fought over the course of time. However, many of these lines are also drawn based on the physical features that define the territory. Learning the vocabulary of geography can help students better understand why some of the lines are drawn as they are.

I'm focusing on Geography this week in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning Stations series, and today is all about learning geography vocabulary.

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Who doesn't love play dough? Even big kids love to mess with play dough. It's a fun break from writing, and it takes students from working in 2d on paper to the 3-demensional world.

I downloaded this great visual guide to geography features then laminated it. The kids used this visual guide to help decide what types of features they'd like to create with play dough.

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My older daughter is also studying these features for Challenge A. Sometimes I get her to help out with leading the hands-on learning station while I work with my older son, or get some work done on the blog. This is a great opportunity for her to practice leadership, review her memory work, and spend time with the younger siblings.

She had her definition sheet from her Challenge A guide out as they created and could clear up any questions about specific features.

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Building Geography Features Supplies

I sent the kids outside to celebrate creating, without me freaking out about the mess in the house! Here's what they love playing with:

  • Play Dough - You can't really go wrong with this. Make your own, and you could have more geographically correct colors! You can even make it smell better than the real stuff.
  • Bubber - this is kinda like moon sand, but better. It's so fun to mold and carve. I love it because it doesn't smell bad, but it really makes a mess, so this stuff never comes in the house with my carpet.
  • Carving Tools - these are made for working with Bubber, and they are SO FUN!!

When you're familiar with the vocabulary of geography, you'll find that you can picture stories better. It's so wonderful to have these features locked in your imagination for future studies.

What features would you love to build with play dough?

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Check out more hands-on learning stations inspiration in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning series! Try these other geography inspired stations:

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