Learning Geography with the Earth Balloon
Continued from cover
Presented by Ms. Mary Watros, a naturalist with Nassau BOCES, students learned about different types of maps and scale, the seven continents, land forms and oceans, and animal habitats while studying the outside of the Earth balloon. Ms. Watros introduced some basics of plate tectonics and continental drift while focusing on Madagascar, then had students “swim” across the ocean to explore North and South America. Ms. Watros displayed various photos of animals and landscapes from her travels to such places as Peru and Costa Rica. Students then had the opportunity to go inside the balloon to examine Antarctica and point out Long Island while noticing that the continents were in reverse. The program, offered annually in the District, supports the 3rd grade social studies framework for geographic reasoning.
“The Earth balloon is a great opportunity for our students to go beyond the classroom to build their geography skills,” said Mr. Joseph Pesqueira, K-12 Supervisor for Social Studies. “Students are engaged and excited about learning with the Earth balloon, making the information at hand more meaningful and memorable.”
Students enter the Earth balloon.
Nassau BOCES Naturalist Ms. Mary Watros teaches 3rd grade students how to read different types of maps.
Ms. Watros shows students photos of South American animals in their habitats.
Students point to various geographical locations inside the Earth balloon.