I knew when I started my target age group would be the 8-10 year olds. They’ve always been my favourite, with their energy and enthusiasm of being a kid still intact, but their brains racing to catch up with their preteen near-peers. I went for my level 4 mock right away and used the flags from this lesson as rewards as well as the passport and maps.

The same vocabulary also shows up in level 4 trials, so I’ve put together a package with some overlap for both level 4 mocks and trial lessons. Level 4 classes usually target 9-13 year olds who aren’t as impressed by stuffed animals and my fake apples from the Dollar Tree. I gravitate more using digital slides and rewards, but there’s the occasional need for a prop and a much higher need for ideas for extensions which is where these printables come in. (If you’re teaching a Demo lesson, digital props only count as 1/3 needed props for the lesson, no matter how many you use, so a few printables might come in handy!)

This prop set definitely looks different than my box of props I use for my lower level trial classes. I rarely use flashcards – they feel a little babyish, even if the vocabulary is new to them. I print the map and the landforms as backgrounds, tape them to a cookie sheet or magnetic board, then the animals, flags and landmarks all get little magnets on them. Then, as we discuss them, I place the animals on their correct landform, or the flags approximately on the map where they belong.

These are all good opportunities for extension, too, so you’ll notice I have more flags and animals than the lesson uses as well as different landmarks. This gives me an opportunity to extend with either new vocabulary or conversation starters about similar topics.

I also use one of these as my reward system – often flags, but for younger kids I’ll use the animals. It’s easy (they’re already magnetic, in my case), stays on topic and it can be fun adding up a good number of rewards – with trial lessons, they get WAY more than 5 rewards!

I’ve noticed over time that the kids are much more familiar with Australia and Russia than England or France, so my props have changed over time. There will still be a lot of unfamiliar places, but including the Kremlin instead of The Leaning Tower of Pisa has given me a little more recognition from my students. I try to find a good balance between places they know (or are at least somewhat familiar with) and new vocabulary.

As always, feel free to use for personal and classroom use only!

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