Monday, October 11

Pumpkin Balloon Globes

Making pumpkin balloon globes is a fun enrichment activity for your map skills and geography lessons. (It's also a fun way to sneak in a bit of Halloween fun without actually celebrating Halloween.) With minimal materials, your students will be able to create a pumpkin balloon globe that will help them remember where the prime meridian, International Date Line, the North Pole, and the South Pole are and help them remember what lines of longitude are. Keep reading to learn how to integrate making pumpkin balloon globes into your social studies lessons.

Pumpkin balloon globe craft to teach prime meridian, International Date Line, North Pole, South Pole, & lines of longitude. Geography. Social Studies.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.



Read Aloud: Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton

One of my favorite books to read at the beginning of my geography and maps skills unit is Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton. Maps and Globes is a children's book that was written in 1986 but has 'withstood the test of time.' It's great for introducing how to read maps and globes... hence the name. It also explains the different types of maps, how to read and use the key/legend and its symbols, and how to read a compass rose. Maps and Globes would be a terrific book to read before making the pumpkin balloon globes.

Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton

About Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton

Author's Summary: Maps and globes can take you anywhere -- to the top of the tallest mountain on earth or the bottom of the deepest ocean. Maps tell you about the world: where various countries are located, where the jungles and deserts are, even how to find your way around your own hometown. If you take a fancy to any place on earth, you can go there today and still be home in time for dinner. So open a map, spin a globe. The wide world awaits you.

🍎🌎 TitleMaps and Globes
🍎🌎 Author: Jack Knowlton
🍎🌎 Illustrator: Harriet Barton
🍎🌎 Publisher: HarperCollins
🍎🌎 Date: May 23, 1986
🍎🌎 Pages: 48

Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton


Quick Review: Geography Vocabulary

 After reading Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton, take some time to review the definitions of the following vocabulary words:

  • map: a drawing of all or part of Earth's surface
  • globe: a spherical model of Earth
  • poles: either end of the axis on which the earth or another planet turns
  • axis: an imaginary line Earth turns... or rotates... around. The axis runs directly through Earth's center, from the north to the south poles.
  • north pole: the point that is farthest north on the planet Earth. It is the point on which the axis of Earth turns.
  • south pole: the point that is farthest north on the planet Earth. It is the point on which the axis of Earth turns.
  • latitude: the distance north or south of the equator measured in degrees
  • longitude: distance measured in degrees east or west of the prime meridian that runs from the north pole to the south pole 
  • equator: an imaginary circle around the earth that divides Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres
  • prime meridian: an imaginary line extending between the north and south poles that divides Earth into the eastern hemisphere and western hemispheres
  • International Date Line: an imaginary line extending between the north and south poles that separates one calendar day from the next

Your students will be marking the North Pole, South Pole, Prime Meridian, International Date Line, and some lines of longitude on their pumpkin globes. The lines of longitude on these globes resemble the ribs... the indented ridges... of a pumpkin.

Lines of Longitude on a Balloon Globe

Materials Needed to Make a Pumpkin Globe



Directions to Make a Pumpkin Globe

  1. Inflate the orange balloons with air.
  2. Mark the north pole and south pole on each balloon.
  3. Draw the prime meridian and International Date Line.
  4. Draw ten... give or take a few... lines of longitude on the balloons.
  5. Optional: Label the north pole, south pole, prime meridian, and International Date Line.
  6. For added silliness... let your students draw pumpkin faces on their balloons when they are done.

Balloon Globes with Lines of Longitude and Prime Meridian

Planet Earth Painted on a Pumpkin

Did you enjoy learning how to make pumpkin balloon globes? If so, check out these blog posts related to pumpkins and/or geography:



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