Week at a Glance:
- Geography Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: You Pick This Week!
- Book of the Week: A Child’s Introduction to The World by Heather Alexander
- Geography Theme Study Introduction
- Geography Lesson 1: What is Geography?
- Activity: Create a Geography Notebook with an Illustrated Cover
- Geography Book Recommendations
Geography for Kids: An Extended Theme Study
Join Us Each Week for Geography Lessons, Activities, Books, Free printables and Resources
Each school year, I select a broad topic study to guide our year of learning. The last few years, we focused our attention on the Discovery of America, Early American History and Texas History. I much prefer these in-depth studies over week-by-week theme studies that never fully develop. Of course throughout the year, we integrate reading, writing, math and science. The children also read quite a variety of books for pure enjoyment and topics of specific interest.
Book of the Week: A Child’s Introduction to The World by Heather Alexander
Why we love this book:
After much research on books for teaching children geography, I purchased A Child’s Introduction to The World. Over the last few years, we’ve read the book here and there but never quite devoted the time and study to geography that I had intended. Finally I decided, this school year was going to be the year of Geography! We are using A Child’s Introduction to The World as a basic week-to-week Geography syllabus. We spend a week or two on each section of the book and supplement each topic of learning with additional reading and hands-on activities.
A Child’s Introduction to The World includes the paper pop-up globe you see in the photo above. We don’t have a fancy classroom globe. However, we do have a number of different “beach ball” style globes that work just fine and even include longitude and latitude lines.
Disclaimer: This book has an occasional typo. I thought you should know in case that stuff drives you crazy. You might want to take a look before you cross it off your list. The content is presented quite nicely for children.
Part One: Where Am I?
The book is divided into two sections. The first section is a basic introduction to geography, the earth, landforms and map skills. Children become acquainted with the beginning of the earth and its place in our solar system. Additionally, children get to know the earth both inside and out, from its crust to its highest mountain.
Part Two: Welcome to the World
In this section of the book, the children travel from continent to continent learning about political borders, landforms, cultures and customs. The travels around the world begin with The United States of America. The United States is nicely divided into Eastern, Central and Western States. From there each continent is broken down into smaller countries and cultural areas. Overall a good overview to our world .
Geography for Kids Lesson 1: What is Geography?
Geography Lesson and Activity Week 1
Both of the children made a Geography 3-ring binder to organize their geography activities from week to week. I am using our geography study to teach MacGyver how to read and highlight important information. Each week, I photo copy the two page overview from A Child’s Introduction to The World. (I understand you cannot do this for an entire class of students.) Each week he reads and highlights important information, vocabulary and definitions. He adds these pages to his notebook along with any activities from the week.
Geography for Kids Lesson 1: What is Geography?
- A Child’s Introduction to The World
- Three Ring Binder with clear cover pocket
- White Card Stock
- Art Supplies, markers, Sharpies, colored pencils, crayons
1. What is geography?
- geo means earth
- graphy means to describe
- geography means to describe the earth
2. Geography describes or observes:
- animals & people
Geography for Kids Lesson 1 – Activity 1:
Create a Geography Notebook Cover and Binder
My children often receive glowing comments on their artwork. I do NOT like cookie cutter crafts and art projects. My goal as a classroom teacher and now a homeschool mom is to nurture the unique artistic expression of each child. However, within that framework, I give very exact, step-by-step directions during a learning project. We go nice and slow. This helps the children organize their creative brainstorms. Once we have a goal and framework in place, the kiddos are free to express themselves. Activities that can easily encompass children across a large age range are my favorite.
Step 1: Fold Card Stock down 1 inch at top of page.
Step 2: Write Geography in large letter across top of paper.
- Use the fold as a guide.
Step 3: Fold Bottom of Paper in half to top fold line.
- We call this a hamburger fold.
Step 4: Fold Side of Paper in half.
- We call this a hotdog fold.
Step 5: Trace a Circle in the middle of the page.
Step 6: Write Earth in large letters in middle of circle.
- Use a Sharpie if children are going to water color the earth.
- If you look closely, you can see that MacGyver drew a faint outline of North America.
Step 7: Paint the Earth in the circle.
- The children had a variety of books to use as references when painting the earth.
- A globe is also a good resource to have available.
Step 8: Divide the Paper into Four boxes, using the fold lines as a guide.
Step 9: Label and Illustrate the four boxes -
Step 10: Place Cover in Clear Front Pocket of Binder
Geography Notebook Cover, MacGyver, age 10
Geography Notebook Cover, Miss Enigma, age 7
Maps, Charts, and Graphs
Maps, Charts, and Graphs by Modern Curriculum Press is another highly reviewed series. I’m not a workbook type of teacher; however, this simple series engages students in beginning map reading activities and teaches them how to communicate graphically. It’s almost like each page is a scavenger hunt using symbols and maps. You can read the description of skills taught in each book to determine a starting point for your child.
MacGyver has been working his way through this series for several years. He completes one section each week. He began with neighborhoods and is now learning about states and regions including longitude and latitude. He reads and finishes each assignment totally independent. Miss Enigma is beginning with neighborhoods this year.
We invite you to join us for our Geography Lesson 1 – Activity 2: Habitats Around the World, featuring a fabulous Book GIVEAWAY from author Steve Jenkins!
Geography Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: You Pick this Week!
I’ve put together a sampling of Geography books we will be highlighting and using in the upcoming weeks. Look through the books highlighted in the rotator and simply tell me which one you would like to win.
To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.
Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.
Which featured Geography book would you like to win? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)
No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, January 26, 2014
The winner must be a resident of The United States.
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