Last week I shared some resources for learning about Geography here. In honor of Earth Day, here are 10 more, in no particular order:
11. Christmas Card Mapping. Last Christmas we used our Christmas cards to learn not only about how envelopes are addressed but also to map where our friends live. I am hoping to get to a point where we get a card from every state and maybe other countries. If you’d like to send us one, please let me know. When a card came in, we found the state on our U.S. map placemat, which I had taped to the fridge. This was a really fun activity.
12. Leapfrog Interactive U.S. and World Maps. You’ll need a TAG Reader to use these but we have found the expense totally worth it (plus you can usually find them on sale if you look around) because we also use it for several other subjects. I leave these maps on the floor and even my 18-month-old knows how to aim the TAG pen to hear tidbits about the places on the map.
13. Reading Labels. We try to look at where our food and clothes and anything else we buy comes from. Then, we look it up on the map or on the internet to see where our purchases are made. It is an interesting way to learn about geography and it is a reminder to me to buy local if I can.
14. Read License Plates. We love to find license plates from the states where our cousins live but have found them from Alaska three times this Spring already. We talk about how the car got here and if there are states or countries that the car could not get to.
15. NeoK12.com. NeoK12 is a large, free, collection of videos, lessons and games for k12 students. It covers science, math, social studies, history, geography to name a few and there are many videos in each subject. Definitely worth a look for geography and more.
16. PBSKids GO! Postcards from Buster videos, games, and blog. Postcards from Buster centers on Buster traveling to various places with his father, who is a pilot. Buster heads to a location and learns about aspects of family lives and local culture. My kids really love these videos right now. I’m not sure if he is a homeschooler but his travels totally inspire my homeschooling.
17. Travelling. Travel is not just great for learning landscapes. Mark Twain said it best:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Remember, it doesn’t matter if it is a day trip to the town next to you. It counts!
18. Rand McNally Notebook Essentials – This is meant for middle or high schoolers to put in their binders but we just leave it around and look at it. It is packed with info, including a U.S. map with facts, a world map with facts, geography terms, an illustrated map and glossary, state and government facts, and a timeline of U.S. History.
19. The Library – Your public library has more books than you could ever buy. And they don’t have to be on “geography”. We talk all the time about where we think the characters in our books are from. And we visit our library often.
20. The Alphabet of Nations. See if you can find West Xylophone!