Are your kids learning geography in school? Do you teach them about other countries at home? Can your child read a map? Does he know the cardinal directions? Can she read a compass?
I hope you answered yes to all of these questions - or at least one!
All week we are celebrating Geography Awareness Week, which emphasizes the importance of geography education and geo-literacy. This year's theme, Declare Your Interdependence, explores the ways in which we are all connected with each other. From the daily decisions we make to the clothes we wear and the food we eat, we rely on the hard work of other people in other countries to supply us with goods and services.
To help us all out, the National Geographic Education website has put together a Toolkit with resources and printables for hosting your own event, be it as a group or simply at home with your child. In addition, you can find activities, profiles, maps, videos, and more on their site.
They've also put together the interactive game, Global Closet Calculator, in which students discovere their own global network by rummaging through their closet to see where most of their clothes come from.
I've shared our geography study resources for elementary school before, but there are really so many wonderful geography-themed books, games, and websites out there that I thought I'd list a few more here.
- Shake the States app This is so much fun and I am absolutely amazed how quickly my kids have learned where the states can be found in the US. If fact, a few months ago we were watching Jeopardy! and one of the questions was about a state. It showed an image of the state, and my daughter immediately recognized Iowa. Seriously, who recognizes that shape? (Sorry, Iowans.)
- The Amazing Pop-Up Geography Book (Amazing Pop-Ups) by Kate Petty and Jennie Maizels
- Got Geography! by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Philip Stanton
- Geography For Fun Projects by Pam Robson
- Brainbox All Around The World
- Name That Country Game
- Chile has put together what is without a doubt one of my favorite sites in Spanish. Mi Geografía is divided into three sections (Kids Ages 5 -10, Ages 11 - 17, and Parents & Teachers) that are filled with printables, videos, games, trivia questions and more. It is just so well done. Try it and see what you think.
- Dibujos para pintar is another good website with interactive games to teach geography.
- Como aprendi geografia/ How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
- El maravilloso mundo de la geografia by Kate Petty