The World

Learn about the seven continents and five oceans of the world and how to map them using a globe and an atlas.

This lesson includes:

  • one video introducing the world and its seven continents

  • one video demonstrating how to map the world using a globe and an atlas

  • three activities

Learn

The world has seven continents and five oceans.

Watch this animation to find out more.

Mapping the world

Sue Venir is exploring the world using a globe and an atlas.

Watch this short animation to find out how to use them.

Globes

From space, the Earth looks like a sphere, or ball, containing land and water.

A globe is a model of the Earth and shows what it looks like from space.

Some globes show how the land is divided into different countries - around 200 of them.

All the countries on our planet are located in seven different continents:

  • Europe
  • Africa
  • North America
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Oceania
  • Antarctica

Antarctica is a special case. The continent contains no countries, instead it is governed under a 1959 agreement called the Antarctic Treaty which was signed by 12 nations, including the United Kingdom.

Satellite image of the Earth with the Atlantic Ocean in the centre.

Maps and atlases

Maps are useful tools to help people find their way to and from somewhere.

They are much easier to carry than a globe and much more detail can be added to them.

Maps can show the whole world, a single country or even a single town or village.

Maps of different countries can be put together in a book called an atlas or they can be on a single sheet of paper.

These can be useful to carry when you go walking so you do not get lost.

In the past, maps were hand-drawn by using careful measurements of the ground.

Today, computers and tablets show aerial photographs, which are photographs taken from space by satellites and joined together to make very detailed images.

Some are so detailed that you can zoom in and see a birds-eye view of where you live.

Cities across the world

Watch this short film to see two children who live on opposite sides of the world talking about the places they live in on the coast.

They look at what Cardiff in Wales and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea have in common and what is different about the two coastal cities.

Practise

Here are a few activities to help you practise your map-reading skills.

Activity 1

Quiz

How much have you learnt about the world we live in?

Have a go at this five question multiple choice quiz to find out.

Activity 2

Label the seven continents of the world

For this activity you will need a pencil or pen.

Label the seven continents on the world map using the words provided in the sheet.

This resource is from Twinkl.

Download and print the activity sheet below.

Seven continents activity sheet

Activity 3

Play Geography Explorer game

Play this game to identify continents, oceans, mountains and landmarks across the world. Once complete, select one from each category and record key facts on the worksheet by clicking into them on the map.

This resource is from Britannica.

Geography Explorer - game

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

Bitesize Daily lessons
KS2 Geography on BBC Bitesize
Are you a map master?
quiz
KS2 Geography on BBC Teach
Britannica - The World
Primary games