Beginner Geography with WonderMapsLisa Rupertus
Kindergarten is a wonderful year for school. Kids soak up everything you teach them, and they are still eager for more. For example, on a recent road trip from New Jersey to Florida, my Kindergartener asked me dozens of questions as we passed through the many states along the way. Those questions led to discussions about geography, mileage, customs, last names, and landforms.
Naturally, when we arrived home this homeschool mom decided some basic geography lessons using WonderMaps were in order for him.
WonderMaps is perfectly aligned with both history programs from Bright Ideas Press — The Mystery of History and All American History. It contains Historical Maps, The World, Continent Maps, Regional Maps, Maps of Countries, American States, and even Thematic Maps. And each map is customizable with dozens of different options.
Ideas for Teaching Basic Geography
- Show the child the full United States map and color in each state you study as you go along.
- Pick one state and learn its location and some facts about that state (landmarks, relatives locations, state birds/flowers).
- Keep everything together and use the booklet you make as a review tool.
- Ask questions about our country — colors of the flag, how many states, ocean names.
- Teach the four cardinal directions.
How the Lesson Looked for Us
For our learning purposes, I printed an outline map of the United States. We talked about how many states there are, and I had my son name as many as he could from memory. Then I picked our home state of New Jersey to begin our notebooking adventure. Using a WonderMap of New Jersey, we studied the shape of our state and identified where it lies in the USA, coloring it in with blue pencil.
We talked about our state motto and bird.
For our next state, I let him choose which state to study. He chose Florida. We followed the same format of looking at the main map then the individual state map.
I’m keeping all of these WonderMaps in a folder for him to reference. We will do one state a week, and at the end he will have a geography notebook he can refer to. We will also be reviewing the previous states each week to keep them fresh.
Of course, this kind of geography lesson is very simple because my son is so young. As he progresses in grades, we will take a more indepth look. For now, though, I’m happy that he is becoming familiar with what our country’s outline looks like, how each state is shaped, and some facts about each state.