What is a continent?

Introduction to Continents

Watch this video to learn about the continents.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz!

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects located at the end of this learning block!

Pangea: How the continents formed

Now choose an Activity

sing the 7 continents song

This is a song that will help you remember the names of the continents. 

Make a balloon globe

Follow the balloon globe instructions here.

You need:

  • cut-out continent shapes here
  • 9-inch blue balloon
  • scissors and glue stick
  • a thick, black, permanent marker
  • a globe or world map (for reference)

Directions:

  1.  Print off these directions and templates from PBS.
  2. Follow the printed instructions.
  3. If you have a globe at home, compare it to the balloon globe you just made.
  4. Take a photo of your balloon globe for your portfolio, then have fun playing with your creation!

Make a salt dough map of the continents

step 1: make the salt dough

You may want to split the dough and add coloring using liquid or gel food coloring, for example: blue for water, green, for land, white for ice. 

step 2: print the map

Follow the link to this map, or click the picture below, and print.

Step 3: Construct the Map

You can either place the map directly under your dough to serve as a guide, or you can use it to look at and copy the shapes onto a piece of cardboard as shown in the video.

Make sure you remember to add

  • North America
  • South America
  • Eurasia
  • Africa
  • Oceana
  • Antarctica
  • Water (Oceans)

Step 4 Label the continents

You can write the names next to each continent.

Another fun option would be to write the names on small pieces of paper, glue each paper to a seperate tooth pick (to look like a tiny flag), and stick the toothpick in the corresponding continent.

Labels should include:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Eurasia
  • Africa
  • Oceana
  • Antarctica

Listen to a story 

If you enjoy listening while doing other things, here are some great options of podcasts related to the continents. 

Books about continents

Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.

Swift Walker: a Continental Journey Read Aloud

Counting the Continents Read Aloud

Advanced Project

Choose at least one.

Who was Alfred Wegener?

Alfred Wegener was the first person to propose the idea of Pangea in the 18th century. How did he come to this conclusion? Research his work and his findings and choose a way to show your findings. 

Write an essay:

Download and print this outline tool, from studenthandouts.com, to help you organize your essay. 

Do the research and fill in the notes of what you want to include in your outline. Then, write the essay. Be sure to use a tool like Grammerly to help improve and edit your writing.

Upload your essay to your portfolio.

Do a Video Interview

Create an interview, real or fictional, with an actual expert or person related to this topic, or write the script for a fictional interview. It could be with a fictional version of Mr. Wegener himself. Ask the person five questions about the topic. Dive deep and think like a journalist. Get to the root of the story.

Add this video to your portfolio.

debate the number of continents

The rules for determining what makes a continent can make things a bit confusing.

Record a video of yourself debating how you think we should refer to the continents. Should scientists change the definition of a continent? Include a fellow debater to argue a different opinion or state your opinion as a speech.

Upload your video or your written persuasive essay to your portfolio.

NOw Let’s Have some fun!