Each month the Special Days list will include multiple opportunities for geography studies! (See right sidebar for the current month’s list or use the search bar to access other months.) Some months will have a “Heritage” theme. For example September is ” Hispanic Heritage” so the countries of Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America could be included in the month’s lesson plans. Other geography lessons can be based on Statehood Anniversaries and Country Independence Days which are also included as entries in the Special Days posts. In fact, we just finished a study on The Bahamas that we began on their Independence Day (July 10, 1973).
Both the kids and I look forward to our geography studies! We generally include mapping activities, fun facts (natural resources, population, currency, landforms, etc.), event timeline, famous people, key words and phrases of the language or lingo, culture, music, art, landmarks, religion(s), holidays, unusual customs, a recipe, a video tour, a postcard art project, and occasionally another hands-on project. We have a binder that we continue adding to as we learn about places.
Our local library has a good selection of books and DVD’s to help with geography studies. We also get a lot of our information from web searches using the country’s name and “travel tips. I find it good advice to preview everything before sharing with your family!
Below is my online “go-to” list when preparing for a geography study.
We enjoy watching “Geography Now” videos and will check there first when looking for ‘country’ videos. We will usually find a virtual tour or travel guide on Youtube to watch, too. (When using the Youtube search bar, I will include the words “for students” or “for kids”. This saves me quite a bit of time previewing because bad language or an inappropriate image is less likely) .
“Get all sorts of information on any country including a map, a picture of the flag, population and much more!”
Maps and Facts http://geology.com/world/world-map.shtml
Geography Project Ideas https://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/10-hands-on-history-and-geography-activities-for-kids/
Around the World Craft Ideas http://www.freekidscrafts.com/world-crafts/
Country Notebooking Printables http://www.notebookingnook.com/freebie-country-study-notebooking-pages/
States Videos and Facts
States Notebooking Printables http://harringtonharmonies.com/2013/06/free-state-notebooking-pages-2.html
States Lapbook Printables http://www.homeschoolshare.com/connections__usa.php
Printable Maps http://www.yourchildlearns.com/megamaps.htm
Blank Timeline Printables http://notebookingfairy.com/timeline-notebooking-pages/
I will often make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle to include with a country study.
Christian Resources and Prayer Projects for Country Studies https://joshuaproject.net/global/countries
Recipe Collection from Around the World for Families http://globaltableadventure.com/
Foreign Language Courses http://www.languagetutorial.org/
As I’ve said before, I love combining several subjects into one topic! I keep a daily journal and subject checklist and will often be able to checkoff Geography, History, Art/Music Appreciation and Application, Cultures, Religion, and various sciences such as Zoology, Geology, Botany during a week long (or longer) geography based study.
Language Arts naturally fits into a geography study with the subjects of
- Reading Comprehension,
- Foreign Language
- Composition and Penmanship
Math lessons are easily added to a geography study.
- Figuring travel time and costs to visit,
- Calculate currency conversions.,
- Use map key measurements to calculate distances from home to the place being studies
- Graphing a map
- Half a recipe or cook for a party
- Temperature ranges and averages
- Statistics – Population, Gross National Income, %’s, and graphs
- Math usages from data – tallest mountains, sea level heights, river widths/lengths, area in square miles and/or meters.
- Anything with numbers that comes up during a Special Days – Geography study.
(This post is actually ‘Part 3’ of a series in which I’m explaining how my family learns across the curriculum with topics selected from the Special Days list. For the series introduction click here. For Part 2 how we use famous birthdays for biographies with resources, click here. And, Part 4, science studies click here).