Thursday, June 10, 2010

Learning Geography (Things we like, including Aunty Dot)

Aunty Dot's Incredible Adventure Atlas, by Eljay Yildirim, is Crayons' favourite geography resource right now [2013: and still is!]. We bought it a few years ago from Hampstead House; it was published in 1997 but is still listed on Amazon. Aunty Dot and Uncle Frank have won a trip around the world; the book is full of their letters home (real letters in real envelopes), maps of their travels, and photos of their souvenirs. "Well, here we are in busy Beijing. Elephants weren't such a good idea--if we'd stuck with them we would never have gotten here! Beijing is a real contrast from our journey across the Tibetan Plateau, where we hardly met a soul. There were plenty of yaks, though--very useful animals!"
Children'sAtlas.com: "The Book, CD-Rom, and Website That Work Together." I posted about this rummage-sale find a few weeks ago. Published in 1997, still occasionally available (on Amazon); the CD-Rom runs fine on our computer but the website is gone. Crayons found this a lot of fun and fairly challenging, although she bought up all the "souvenirs" so fast, by playing a couple of favourite games and winning a certain number of points, that she lost some of her interest in trying out the other activities...we'll probably bring it out again next fall anyway.
We found Hammond's Discovering Maps in a sale bin at a department store. There is another edition available on Amazon, but this one is pretty up to date (2006). Ponytails has been using this for general map skills, and the Apprentice also found it useful for a twelfth-grade class that required knowing facts about the "world's longest rivers" etc. It also offers little tips like the fact that if you point at the North Star with one hand and at the horizon with the other, the resulting angle will tell you how many degrees north or south of the equator you are. (How you're supposed to measure the angle while holding your arms like that, I'm not sure, but anyway...)
Maps and Globes: a classic Reading Rainbow selection--looks like a little kids' book, but there's a fair amount of information in there. "Globes (unlike flat maps) are shaped exactly like the earth--like a ball or sphere. They are very tiny models--the earth is really 30 to 40 million times bigger than the globe in your classroom. Globes, because they are round, put all the world's geography in its proper place; they give the truest possible view of the whole earth."
Geography Songs--don't all homeschoolers know about these? "The British Isles, the British Isles..." The Apprentice used to sing the Scandinavia song at the top of her lungs on the swingset, which the elderly lady next door found amusing as well as educational.

[2013 Update:  There were a couple of other resources originally included in this post, but they turned out not to really make the grade, so I've cut them out.]

1 comment:

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Just bought the Geography Songs CD - glad you guys like it!

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