Identifying and Locating the Seven Continents

My name is LaShonda Holloway, and I am a third grade teacher at North Augusta Elementary School located in Aiken County in the state of South Carolina.  I teach a group of 21 great students eager to learn more about the seven continents.  Are you ready to learn the seven continents and the major bodies of water that surround them!  Get ready to explore many different ways to describe the location of each continent!

About the Continents
Earth is the planet that we all live on.  It is shaped like a gigantic sphere or ball.  There are seven continents on the earth.  They are North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, and Europe.   The Seven Continents' song/poem will help you remember each of these.  Each continent except for Australia and Antarctica is made up of different countries.  Each country is made up of states, and each state is made up of cities and counties.  The continents are surrounded by oceans.  The largest oceans in the world are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Arctic Ocean.  These large bodies of water are located between the seven continents.  As you explore this web site, pay close attention to the shapes of each continent.  When viewing the continents, relate the continents with something you are familiar with to help you remember the images.

To locate the continents, you would need to use a map or a globe.  There are several different ways to locate the continents using these references.  You can find the location by using prepositional phrases, cardinal directions, the location in relation to the hemispheres,, and using the distance scale.  On this site we will not go into detail about using a distance scale.  However, it is helpful to know that the distance between continents can be determined using this scale in miles or kilometers.  Refer to the following graph to determine the location of each continent in relation to the other continents.  Below, I have given a detailed description of the concepts dealing with finding a location a map.

Understanding a Map and a Globe
All seven continents have their own specific location on maps and globes.   Maps and globes are very useful tools that enable each of us to locate different places on Earth.  These two tools are very similar because they both show us Earth, but in two different ways.  They allow us to view our land on both a round surface and a flat surface.  There is an horizontal line located on a map and a globe that divides the Earth in half.  This line is called an equator.  It can not be seen from the air.  Everything that is above the equator is closer to the North Pole, and everything below the equator is closer to the South Pole.  The prime meridian is a line perpendicular to the equator.  It divides the earth in half vertically.

Understanding Cardinal Directions
A compass rose shows the four cardinal directions and the directions in between.  North, south, east, and west are the major directions.  Northwest, southwest, northeast, and southeast are the directions in between.  When you are facing north, east is the direction to your right, west is to your left, and south is behind you.

Understanding the Hemispheres
The hemispheres of the earth basically tell you what half of the earth different land masses (Ex. seven continents) are located.  The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the earth north of the equator, and the Southern Hemisphere is the half of the earth south of the hemisphere.  The Western Hemisphere is the left vertical half of the earth west of the prime meridian, and the Eastern Hemisphere is the right vertical half east.
Prepositional Phrases
Cardinal Directions
North America
    located above South America
    located beside Europe
    located north of South America, west of Europe, and northwest of Africa
    located in the northern and western hemispheres
South America
    located under North America
    located beside Africa
    located south of North America and southwest of Africa
    located in the southern and western hemispheres
    located under Europe
    located beside Asia
    located southwest of North America, northeast of South America, south of Europe, southwest of Asia, and north of Africa
    located in the northern and eastern hemispheres
    located at the bottom center of the earth below all of the continents
    located south of all of the continents
    located in the southern and eastern hemispheres
    located below Australia
    located above Antarctica
    located northwest of Antarctica, southeast of Asia, east of the tip of Africa
    located in the southern and eastern hemispheres
    located beside Europe
    located above Australia
    located east of Europe, northeast of Africa, northwest of Australia, and north of Antarctica
    located in the northern and eastern hemispheres
    located between North America and Asia
    located above Africa
    located west of Asia, north of Africa, and east of North America
    located in the northern and eastern hemispheres

Go to the following site to take a quiz about the seven continents to see if you have learned anything!

Link to my Seven continents home page
Link to my Seven Continent's teacher's lesson page
Link to my Seven continents related links page (January, 2002)
"The views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University of South Carolina."