Lesson Plan

Plan a Trip Project - Lesson 1 (Total Time= 45 Minutes)

Students will build their background knowledge of geography and continents.
Thea W.
Technology Teacher
Brooklyn Arbor Elementary
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
EdTech Mentor

Teaching Point: Students will be able to define what a continent and country is, then locate and identify the continent and country the class will be studying.


The project, called "Plan a trip", will involve multiple lessons in which students research the country that the class is studying and eventually create a story about their fictional visit to that country explaining why they chose to visit it. This fictional story end product will be created/shared digitally. The entire project will help deepen students knowledge of geography, while also getting them to exercise their creative writing skills.The lesson posted here would be  the first lesson, the purpose of which would be to introduce the project. You could use the Stripling Inquiry model or PBL model to implement this.

Grade 3 studies  World Geography and World Communities. Below is a link to the NYC Social Studies Scope and Sequence.


Social Studies
Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Lesson Introduction - Time/duration: 5 minutes

Free, Paid

Tell students to go directly to their computer and use Padlet to answer the question posted on the Smart board Where is your family from?

Tell students that they will have 2 minutes to answer the question and that a timer will be posted (in a split screen) on the Smartboard for them to see.

Tell them that fast finishers (students who answer all the questions before time is up) should read other students' responses and be ready to share if they learned something new from a friend.

(Prerequisite skill: Students have learned how to use Padlet in previous lessons.)

When students have returned to the meeting area and introduce the project by saying to students:

Today, I had you each post where your family is from. I asked you to do this because we are going to be starting a project where we will be exploring world geography and world communities.

I thought that taking a look at the places are families are from might be a good introduction to geography and world communities.

Does anyone know what the word geography means?

Turn to your partner and tell them what you think geography means.

Geography is the science of the earth's surface and all life on it. When studying geography, one learns about the different countries and people of the earth, its climate, its natural resources, and its oceans, rivers, and mountains. (Definition taken from Kids' Wordsmyth https://kids.wordsmyth.net/we/?rid=17150&ent_l=geography)

Raise your hand if your partner shared this definition or something close to it with you.

Student Instructions

Students will go to their computers and post their answers to the question on the Smart board on Padlet, then come back to the meeting area.



2 Direct Instruction/Mini-lesson - Time/duration: 10 minutes

Let's use Google Earth to take a look at where 1 or 2 of our classmates' families are from on a virtual globe.

Randomly pick 2 students and show the class the locations those students shared on Google Earth.

Tell students:

Raise your hand if you know what a continent and a country are and the difference between them.

For each of the locations shown ask students to raise their hand if they think the location is a continent.

Show/explain whether the location that each of the students shared is a country or a continent on Google Earth.

Tell students:

We are going to watch a BrainpopJr. video to learn more about continents.

video link: https://jr.brainpop.com/socialstudies/geography/continentsandoceans/

(Prerequisite skill: Students have learned how to use BrainPopJr. in previous lessons.)

Note: Video watching activity can be done as a whole group activity on the Smartboard or students can watch on their own device in a 1:1 environment or small groups if you have less devices. In the latter cases, the link to the BrainpopJr. video can be posted on your class/subject area Google site.


Tell students:

Then we are going to answer some questions about what we learned using a new tool called Kahoot.

Show students the lesson agenda or lesson flow that shows/outlines the activities they will participate in and read it out loud.

Lesson Activities:

  1. Watch video titled Continents and Oceans
  2. Turn and talk to your table partner about what you learned
  3. Answer the questions on Kahoot to share what we've learned - when the timer has rung and everyone is done w/ step 1 & 2

Quickly show students what  image thumbnail link looks like. (This does not need to be modeled because students have accessed this page before and know how to do it. Just show them what the link looks like on the grade 3 page.)

Tell students:

Remember to think about what the video is teaching you about geography and continents.

Model/explain for students where/how to click on the link to the Kahoot you've created (on the Grade 3 page) and answer the questions (e.g. What is a continent?, etc.)

Student Instructions

Students will watch/listen to teacher in the meeting area.

3 Guided Practice - Time/duration: 5 minutes

Have students go to their computers and follow you step by step as you show them how/where to access the links to the BrainpopJr. video, Kahoot question/quiz on the Smart board. (Teacher will repeat steps he/she just did in the meeting area with students.)


Student Instructions

I am going to show you how/where to access each resource we are using in today's lesson.

Give students the following directions:

Watch the Smart board (or watch your screen - if teacher is in a lab with the ability to screenshare e.g., using Remote Desktop).  When I say "now you try" then you will do it on your computer.

4 Independent Practice - Time/duration: 20 minutes

Teacher will:

1. circulate around the room

2.  observe students

3. provide support to individual students where necessary

4. pull a small group to the Smart board for a review if he/she notices that several students are having a similar issue

5. assess & record data (digital checklist) and notes on student performance

Student Instructions

Students will:

1. Go to their computers and watch video

2. Turn and talk with their table partner

3. Complete hard quiz on BrainpopJr. (if time permits students may print their quiz)

3. Post answers to questions posted on Kahoot

​Extension activity for fast finishers:

Play Sortify: Continents and Oceans game that accompanies the BrainpopJr. video they watched.

5 Wrap-Up - Time/duration: 5 minutes

Free, Paid

Teacher will post the following discussion prompt on Smart board in Google Slide (which will also be linked/embedded on class Google site, so each student can access/see it on their computer):

Share with your table partner 1 new fact you were surprised to learn about continents and oceans and/or 1 thing you are still wondering about geography, continents or oceans.

Students will come back to the meeting area.

Teacher will show Kahoot results & Padlet responses & choose 1 to 2 student responses on each that summarize the learning objectives for this lesson.


Student Instructions

Each student will turn and talk with their table partner and share 1 new fact he/she was surprised to learn about continents and oceans and/or 1 thing he/she is still wondering about geography, continents or oceans.