Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Kindergarten - Geography - October Overview

The lessons this month will center around locational concepts that will be used to build geography skills. The students will gain familiarity with the words right, left, over, under, near, far, in front, in back, above, below, up and down.

The seven continents will be learned through song. This song will be developed throughout the next several months as new verses are added. It is essential that the song be repeated often so children will learn the tune and the concepts. Singing the song every day as a part of the morning exercises is a good way to accomplish this.

The following books are excellent resources to read to your children to help them understand the importance of maps. The stories are all written for primary students and are told in a fun and lively format. Any and all of them are worth the time spent in reading them aloud to the class.

Suggested Books

Cobb, Annie. Detective Duckworth to the Rescue. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver Press, 1991.

Cobb, Annie. Bear's New House. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver Press, 1991.

Cobb, Annie. Mouse's Birthday Party. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver Press, 1991.

Gammell, Stephen. Git Along, Old Scudder. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1983.

Hartman, Gail. As the Roadrunner Runs, A First Book of Maps. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

Hartman, Gail. As the Crow Flies, A First Book of Maps. New York: Macmillan, 1991.


Kindergarten - Geography - Lesson 5


Recall the globe is a model of Earth and a map is a drawing of a place.

Recognize and use the locational terms right, left, over, under, near, far, in front, in back, above, below, up and down.



Classroom size world map

Small classroom objects (box of crayons, an eraser, a bottle of glue . . .)


Show children the globe. Ask: Who remembers what this is called? Review that a globe is a model of Earth and that blue represents water and green represents land. Show children the world map. Ask: Who remembers what this is called? Be sure children are firm that a map is a drawing of a place. Point to the world map again. Say: Who knows what place this map is showing us? Firm up that the map you are using today is a map of the world. Ask: Why do people use maps? (to find where they are or where they are going) This would be a good time to read one of the short books listed on the October overview. The books let children know how maps are used and how they are helpful.

Say: We are going to learn some words that will help us when we want to find places on a map. Teach children the following action poem about left and right. This is a hard concept for children. You may wish to tie a length of yarn around the children's right wrists as a visual reminder. Putting a large cutout paper model of the left and right hands on the chalkboard that all children will face is also helpful. You might also point out that if children extend the index finger and thumb on their left hands, they form a capital L, which stands for left.

This is my left hand, I'll hold it up high,

(Raise left hand high.)

This is my right hand, I'll touch the sky.

(Raise right hand high.)

Left hand, right hand, roll them around.

(Roll fists over each other.)

Right hand, left hand, pound, pound, pound.

(Pound fists on each other.)

Repeat the poem several times. Make it a part of your daily routine until children are firm.

Write the words over, under, near, far, in front, in back, above, below, up and down on the chalkboard or chart paper. Read each word with the children. Demonstrate the meaning of each word by manipulating the small classroom objects you have gathered. Ask each child to gather two objects from their supplies to demonstrate the meanings with you. Again point to each word on the board, read it and model the meaning with the objects. Watch children carefully as they manipulate their objects to show meaning. Correct as needed, accepting no wrong manipulations.

Repeat and drill until children are firm with the concepts.


Kindergarten - Geography - Lesson 5

Read the following poem to the children. It can be used as a finger play if the right hand performs the motions and the left fingers act as a prop.

Over and Under

Over and under,

In front of, beside;

Inside and outside

Are places to hide.

On and behind

And among and between

Are places to be

Where I cannot be seen!

Ruth I. Dowell

Suggested Follow Up Activities

There are several games that can be played with children to reinforce directional words. Select from the following list and play often!

Play Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Tack a picture of a donkey with a large X marked for the tail, on a bulletin board. Give each student a different colored paper tail with a bit of sticky tack on the back of it. Blindfold the first student and allow him or her to pin the tail on the donkey. Allow five or six children to take their turns before stopping and asking the following type of question: Which tail is over the X? Which tail is to the right of the X? Which tail is above the X? Take the five or six tails off the board and allow five or six more children to take their turns. Continue until all children have had a turn.

Play Toss the Bag. On a large sheet of paper, use a marker or chalk to draw a large tic-tac-toe board. Randomly write the numbers 1-9 on the squares. Have children take turns tossing a bean bag onto the squares by following directions for locations such as Toss the bag on the square over the number four, toss the bag far from the number three. . . Vary the game by having the children toss the bag and tell where it lands using locational terms.

Play Hokey Pokey. To play, have children stand in a circle facing each other, direct them in singing the song following the directions. Put your right hand in, put your right hand out, put your right hand in and shake it all about. Do the hokey pokey and turn yourelf around, that's what it's all about. Continue with other verses left hand, right foot, left foot , right arm . . .

Play Simon Says. Call out commands using directional terms such as Simon says to put your left hand over your right hand, Simon says to take one step near the door, . . .


Kindergarten - Geography - Lesson 6


Review directional terms introduced in Lesson 5.

Gain familiarity with the names and locations of the seven continents.


A classroom size world map


Review directional terms introduced in Lesson 5 by playing one of the games listed in the follow up activities on page 8. Reread and do the hand motions to the poem on page 7, firming up left and right hand.

Show children the world map. Say: Who remembers what this is called? (a map) Say: Remember that a map is a drawing of a place. Ask: Can anyone name the place shown on this map? (the world) Firm up that the map you are using today is a drawing of the world. Point to the continents. Say: These large bodies of land are called continents. Say: What are the large bodies of land called? (continents). Say: There are seven continents in our world, let's count them. Demonstrate by counting and pointing to each continent. Say: We are going to learn the names of the continents by singing a song. Listen to me carefully and I will sing it to you several times. When you begin to learn the words then you may sing it with me. (As you sing the song you need to point to each continent on the map.)

The Continent Song

(Sing to the tune of Love and Marriage)

North America,

South America,

Europe, Asia and Africa,

Don't forget Antarctica

Or way down under in Australia.

Sing the song slowly and carefully. Be sure the children can hear you pronounce the names of the continents. Repeat the song by yourself several times. Alert the children to being good listeners so they can join in and sing too. Allow children to join in as they become comfortable.

This song has several other verses that you will add in future geography lessons. Be sure the children learn this first verse. Add the singing of this song to your morning routine for the month of October. Always pull the map down and point to each continent as the children sing.

Follow up the lesson by reading one of the books listed in the geography overview on page 6.