Build the World

I was recently approached to describe with more detail the process that I use for a Grid activity (If you want to read more about building the Grid, check it out here, and here) that uses data points for cities so students can construct a map of the world. This post will be fairly Spartan but will have all the ingredients needed to build out the picture below.

Completed Map game

Materials for Mapping activity

 

  • 1-2 boxes of magnetic business cards $19.00 each
  • 6 different colors of construction paper, enough paper for the number of cards for each region.
  • scissors
  • thin black sharpie
  • a class set of atlases (or Google Earth)

 

You can order the magnetic business cards from any retailer, I went to Staples (the Mecca of any respectable teacher).

 

I cut the magnetic business cards into thirds and adhere them to sheets of colored construction paper. I don’t pre cut the construction paper here because it’s easier to just cut out the business cards after they have been stuck to the construction paper. The first year I did this I tried to use twenty data points (cities) for each continent. This seemed to work out well but I realized that Asia needed more. I used cities that were on the coast and capital cities for my list but also included populous cities and other data points that I thought could help fill in the map. In hindsight, I should have included more cities from Russia, Siberia specifically, to fill in black space. There are A LOT of data points. You don’t have to use them all (I’m a bit obsessive) To be honest it took me only about 2-3 hrs of time to write out all the names on the magnetic cards in a thin, black Sharpie. The list looks daunting but don’t feel like you have to use every one. Make something that works for you and the outcome that you are trying to get your students to achieve.

 

List of cities (216 total data points)

North America (28 data points)

Montreal

Boston

New York City

Washington D.C.

Atlanta

Miami

Tampa

New Orleans

Houston

Chicago

St. Louis

Denver

Seattle

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Anchorage

Mexico City

Cancun

Cabo San Lucas

Vancouver, B.C.

Calgary

Belmopan

Guatemala City

San Salvador

Tegucigalpa

Managua

San Jose (Costa Rica)

Panama City (Panama)

South America (23 data points)

Bogota

Caracas

Georgetown

Paramaribo

Cayenne

Quito

Lima

Santiago

Punta Arenas and/or Tierra del Fuego

Stanley (Falkland Islands)

Buenos Aries

Montevideo

Asuncion

La Paz

Brasilia

Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro

Salvador

Natal

Fortaleza

Sao Luis

Belem (Mouth of the Amazon)

Manaus

Africa (51 data points)

Rabat

Algiers

Tunis

Tripoli

Cairo

Khartoum

Asmara

Djibouti

Addis Ababa

Mogadishu

Nairobi

Juba

Kampala

Kigali

Bujumbura

Dodoma

Island of Zanzibar

Lilongwe

Lusaka

Harare

Maputo

Mbabane

Cape Town

Maseru

Pretoria

Gaborone

Windhoek

Luanda

Kinshasa/Brazzaville

Libreville

Bangui

Yaounde

Malabo

N’Djamena

Abuja

Lagos

Porto Novo

Lome

Accra

Niamey

Ouagadougou

Bamako

Yamoussoukro

Monrovia

Freetown

Conakry

Bissau

Banjul

Dakar

Nouakchott

Antananarivo

Europe (30 data points)

Lisbon

Madrid

Paris

London

Berlin

Dublin

Rome

Athens

Prague

Warsaw

Copenhagen

Oslo

Stockholm

Helsinki

Amsterdam

Vienna

Budapest

Belgrade

Sofia

Bucharest

Kiev/Kyiv

Minsk

Moscow

Vilnius

Riga

Tallinn

Zagreb

Sarajevo

Tirana

Istanbul

Asia (65 data points)

Ankara

Beirut

Damascus

Jerusalem

Amman

Riyadh

Mecca

Sana’a

Muscat

Dubai

Kuwait City

Baghdad

Tehran

Baku

Tbilisi

Yerevan

Ashgabat

Tashkent

Bishkek

Dushanbe

Kabul

Islamabad

Karachi

Kathmandu

New Delhi

Mumbai

Madurai

Colombo

Hyderbad

Kolkata

Dhaka

Thimphu

Naypyitaw

Bangkok

Kuala Lumpur

Singapore

Jakarta

Bandar Seri Begawan

Phnom Penh

Vientiane

Hanoi

Hong Kong

Zhanjiang

Wuhan

Shanghai

Nanjing

Xi’an

Lhasa

Chengdu

Beijing

Qingdao

Changchun

Shenyang

Ulaanbaatar

Pyongyang

Seoul

Tokyo

Astana

Nagasaki

Vladivostok

Yekaterinburg

Kurgan

Krasnoyarsk

Omsk

Irkutsk

Australia/Oceania (19 data points)

Honolulu

Canberra

Melbourne

Sydney

Perth

Hobart

Wellington

Noumea

Port Moresby

Honiari

Hagatna

Bairiki

Yaren

Suva

Pape’ete

Avarua District

Pago Pago

Adamstown (Pitcairn Island)

Easter Island
Once the map is finished (or close to it), I would take a photo of the class so they could see the results of their work. The finished map is quite impressive and it’s a great jumping off point for any number of conversations about world geography. Why are there so many capitals in Africa? Why did you put so many Chinese cities on the map? How come there are no cities in the northern part of Africa?

I’ve had dreams of getting students to overlay physical features on top of the map but have yet to try it out…I have my limits of insanity.

One thought on “Build the World

  1. This was exactly what I wanted to see! I so appreciate you taking the time to reproduce the list as well as your thoughtful insight in the use for learning. A heartfelt thank you!

    Like

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