Friday, February 8, 2013

Mt. Hope Academy Curricula ~ Geography

"Blobbing" the Continents

If History is the “when” of all subjects, geography is the “where.” Geography is certainly a part of history and can be studied as such (Story of the World activity guide makes that an easy task), but I wanted to share a few other resources for geography.

The boys cover gobs of geography in their Classical Conversations classes. Each week they learn five or six locations (countries, cities, natural features, etc.) and spend time tracing maps. They are working their way up to the 7th grade Challenge class where they will be drawing the entire world freehand by memory.

For a similar approach without the CC materials (or as supplemental work), I recommend starting with “blobbing” as recommended in The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education. Students start by folding their paper in quarters to represent the equator and prime meridian. Then they draw “blobs” in the general area of each continent. The maps gradually increase in definition and detail.

I have used the world map drawing lessons in Draw Write Now, Book 7: Animals of the World, Forest Animals for both basic blobbing and more accurate continent shapes.

World Geography Songs with Audio CD is by far my favorite resource for learning all the countries of the world. The songs are very catchy and the resource comes with a workbook for locating the countries by region.

Around the World Coloring Book is a nice inexpensive option for learning about specific countries with younger children—especially children who enjoy coloring.

Sheppard Software is an free online site with many levels of geography games and quizzes by region. It makes geography review a breeze. Stack the Countries (as well as Stack the States) is our go-to geography app for the iPad.

Maps and Globes is a fantastic picture book introduction to, well, maps and globes. It covers a large amount of information while still being enjoyable—great for a wide range of ages.

Just this year I purchased The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, Grades 3 – 6 for the boys to work through over the next couple years. It is nice to have available when I need independent work for them to do!

I think that about covers geography. Now, when we study other subjects, we can not only say when, but where!

Next up: Literature


dawn said...


Is the Complete Book of Maps and Geography reproducible, or does each pupil need one?

We use a lot of similar resources, how encouraging :)

Heidi said...

It is not reproducible. I'd purchase one for each student. :)