Paper or cardboard paper world map cut-outs are perfect aids when it comes to teaching world geography to young students. Visual representations help kids get an idea about the shape and relative sizes of countries and creating the cut-outs makes the learning process fun and interactive for students. Such interactivity has been shown to improve the effectiveness of a lesson. Making world map cut-outs is also cheap, easy and fun, making it a great activity for teachers with a strict budget.
Acquire a world map, a book of colored cardboard paper, tracing paper and black markers. Most of these supplies can be purchased at an office supply store like Staple's or Office Depot. If your budget does not allow for something as expensive as a map, borrow a map from your school instead. You can do all of this in the classroom anyway.
Trace the shapes of the countries on the map with a marker and tracing paper. This will give you a template for transferring the country shapes onto the cardboard paper. Make sure the shapes of the countries are accurate, because the teaching value of cardboard cut-outs depends on whether they are actually recognizable as whatever they are supposed to represent.
Draw the shapes of the countries onto the sheets of cardboard paper. Do this by cutting the shape out of the tracing paper and going over the shape outline with a black marker. Make sure that the marker you use is not too thick, because it is not aesthetically pleasing to have a cardboard cutout with messy ink around the edges.
Label the countries with their names on one side, while leaving the other side blank. This will allow the students to guess at the name of the country, and then turn the card over and find out if they were right. This also adds to the interactivity and fun of the project.
Store the cut-outs in a box where the kids can find them and play with them. If the kids enjoy the exercise and learn a lot from it, use the same method to teach other regions on the map, like continents, oceans, islands and states.