Let’s break down the world’s hemispheres, longitude, and latitude with this simple, hands-on craft!
What you need:
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- printable world map
- white cardstock
- thin ribbon (two colors)
- (+) markers or colored pencils
What to do:
First, print our world map picture on a piece of white cardstock.
Explain to your child that the world is divided by imaginary lines called latitude (east to west) and longitude (north to south). We use these lines to identify the locations of places all over the earth. The latitude line in the middle of the earth is called the equator. Glue one color ribbon across this line, like this:
The equator separates the earth into the north and south hemispheres. It is an equal distance from the north and south poles.
The longitude line in the midle of the earth is called the prime meridian. Glue the second color of ribbon over this line, like this:
The prime meridian divides the world into east and west hemispheres. Using both these lines, we can determine the hemisphere of a certain place.
(+) If your child is ready for more, use the markers and other latitude and longitude lines to help your child find certain spots on the map. For example, you might say, where would we find 15 degrees north and 30 degrees east?” Have them highlight both those lines with one color marker and then draw a circle where they intersect.
Next, have them pick a spot on the map and see if they can give you the correct coordinates for you to find it!
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