Continents and Oceans in Song
Content Area: Social Studies                                                Teacher:  Heather Sternitzky
Topic:  Continents and Oceans                                              Date Created:  November 5th, 2009
Grade Level:  2nd-3rd Grade                                                    Time:  40 minutes

Music Standard:
  • 1.b: Sing expressively, with appropriate dynamics, phrasing, and interpretation.
Wisconsin State Standard (Social Studies):
  • A.4.2 Locate on a map or globe physical features such as continents, oceans, mountain ranges, and land forms, natural features such as resources, flora, and fauna; and human features such as cities, states, and national borders.
·         From the information given in the lecture and class discussion, students will be able to define the words “Continent” and “Ocean”.
·         Using the song learned in class, the students will be able to name the five oceans and seven continents of the world. 
·         Using the class map, students will be able to identify all seven continents and all five oceans on a blank map.

Why is it important that my students learn my lesson? 
Students have been learning mapping skills over the last few weeks. So far, they have learned how to read a map and how to draw their own map. Since they are only in 2nd and 3rd grade, the students have a very narrow world view. Many of the students have not left Madison or Wisconsin. During a lesson taught, some students thought Illinois was the country directly South of the USA. It is important that the students learn how to identify continents and oceans so that they have a greater understanding of the world and the size of the earth.

What academic subject will I link it to?
Social Studies/Geography- Map reading skills are very important, even with all of today’s technology. The mapping that the students have been learning is focused on the school or their neighborhood. With this subject, the students need to know what “Continent” and “Ocean” mean so that they can begin understanding the scale of the world.

  • Large world map (or overhead slide of map, depending on resources)
  • Computer or CD with instrumental versions ready to play
  • Instrumental version of “Three Blind Mice”
  • Instrumental version of “The More We Get Together”
  • Blank maps for students to label
  • Overhead projector
  • Overhead slides
    • One for the Continents song (lyrics)
    • One for the Oceans song (lyrics)
    • One world map for students to visualize
Background for teachers:
The teacher will need to know the tune of “Three Blind Mice” so that they can guide the students in the sing-along. The teacher will also need knowledge of the continents and oceans.

Steps in the lesson:
  • Introduction/Building background knowledge:
    • Begin by asking students if they have heard the words “continent” and “ocean”.
    • Ask the students if any of them know what these words mean.
    • If the students are unfamiliar with these terms, the teacher will pull down a map of the world and guide them to a definition. For example, the teacher can say “Well, the Continents are: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica. What do all of these have in common?” while pointing them out on the map.
    • As a class, the students will come up with working definitions for the words “continent” and “ocean” with the teacher’s guidance.
  • Body:
    • After the students have created a definition for these new terms, the teacher will guide the students in a song about the continents. The song is as follows:
To the tune of “Three Blind Mice”:
There are seven
There are seven
North and South America
Antarctica and Australia
Asia, Africa, Europe too
That’s all seven.

    • To begin, the teacher will ask the students to sing the song “Three Blind Mice” to remind them of the tune.
    • Next, have the students clap to the rhythm of “Three Blind Mice” while saying the words to the continents song.
    • Now, the students will be singing the song slowly with the teacher as a guide (only a couple lines at a time).
    • After the students have matched the words with the rhythm and tune of “Three Blind Mice,” the teacher will be playing an instrumental version of “Three Blind Mice” in the background and pointing at the words as they sing the next round.
    • After the students have learned the song, the teacher and students will sing it again while the teacher points to the world map as each continent is mentioned in the song.
    • After the students have mastered the continents song, the teacher will help them memorize the oceans. The song is as follows:
Oceans Song (The More We Get Together tune):
Can you name all the oceans
The oceans,
The oceans,
Can you name all the oceans
There are only five!
The Southern
The Pacific
The Atlantic
The Indian
And don’t forget the Arctic,
That’s all five Oceans!

o   As before, the students will sing “The More We Get Together” to familiarize them with the song.
o   The students will then clap the rhythm of “The More We Get Together” with the words from the Ocean song before they sing.
o   Next, the teacher will sing it with them first, pointing to the lyrics.
o   The recording will be played on the next round so the students can hear the song with instrumental music behind it.
o   The teacher will sing it with the students again while pointing to the map.

  • Closure:
    • After the students have mastered the songs, the teacher will hand out a blank world map and ask the students to label the continents. This will be turned in as an assessment tool of what the students have learned.
I will be informally assessing the students on participation and ability to learn and memorize the song. As a more formal assessment, I will collect the students’ “exit slips” (maps) to make sure that the students labeled the continents and oceans correctly. 

Adaptations/Extensions (for students with special needs):
If students are having difficulty with the lesson, I will also create an audio CD with my singing over it and a laminated lyric sheet for the students to practice with.

Next steps/Connections with other subjects:
After the students learn continents, they will also be learning how to identify landforms on the map. With the knowledge of continents and oceans, the students will be able to better identify these landforms in the context of the continents and oceans. For example “The Rocky Mountains are in North America.”