- examine the shape of a selected country in Europe
- analyze the influence that shape may have on the human activities within the country
- map their own prior knowledge and ideas about Europe
- develop a list of questions about Europe
- view photos of Europe to determine if the photos match their own ideas about Europe
- search for geographic clues within photos to learn more about the subjects shown
- Cooperative learning
- Hands-on learning
- Multimedia instruction
- Visual instruction
21st Century Student Outcomes
- Learning and Innovation Skills
Critical Thinking Skills
- Geographic Skills
Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices
What You’ll Need
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Internet access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, 1 computer per small group, Projector
- Large-group instruction
- Small-group instruction
Before starting this activity, prepare a set of index cards by writing the following words on separate cards: (physical landscape features) mountains, rivers, trees, landforms, bodies of water, climate, natural vegetation, soil; (cultural landscape features) house, dam, cars, education, settlement patterns, food, music, health, sports, transportation, and housing. If helpful, include a photo with each.
Review students' lists from Step 2 to get an idea of what students know and want to learn about Europe. You can use this information to help shape the lessons that follow.
- mental construct of Europe
Recommended Prior Lessons
natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.
city where a region's government is located.
large settlement with a high population density.
all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.
edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.
symbol indicating the cardinal directions (N, S, E, W).
one of the seven main land masses on Earth.
geographic territory with a distinct name, flag, population, boundaries, and government.
human imprint on the physical environment.
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
body of land surrounded by water.
the geographic features of a region.
set of sounds, gestures, or symbols that allows people to communicate.
position of a particular point on the surface of the Earth.
distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.
landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.
a material that humans take from the natural environment to survive, to satisfy their needs, or to trade with others.
something that is learned from watching and measuring an object or pattern.
large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.
naturally occurring geographic characteristics.
imaginary line separating one political unit, such as a country or state, from another.
imaginary line around the Earth running north-south, 0 degrees longitude.
any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.
a system of spiritual or supernatural belief.
large stream of flowing fresh water.
movement of people or goods from one place to another.
For Further Exploration
Articles & Profiles
- National Geographic Education: Europe—Resources
- National Geographic Education: Europe—Physical Geography
- National Geographic Education: Europe—Human Geography