Slapping down a map to label states and countries has never been an engaging way to teach my kids homeschool geography. Drill and kill of boring facts to remember only worked for a short time too.
So today, I am sharing 11 awesome ways to learn geography that don’t include labeling a map because geography is so much more than writing out the names of states and countries.
Can you say snore? zzzzzzzz. (okay, okay)
Including ways to teach geography to a variety of ages, I hope some of these help you to get out of your geography rut.
ONE| Sing geography songs.
You can listen to a sample of these Geography Songs here.
Music helped my boys to remember important key geography terms and countries.
TWO| Learn landmarks.
Learning about the Grand Canyon or the Amazon Rain Forest brings life to geography.
Even when teaching about ancient civilizations, it’s easier to remember them when they are associated with landmarks.
Look here at my information and free minibook about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
THREE| Cover geography with science.
History and geography are not the only subjects that go hand in hand.
Science can also easily be added to geography.
Whether you have a child that eats up geography and could leave science alone or you have a child that runs from geography to study science, combining the two subjects is a win-win.
For example, we made a fun lava lamp when studying about how convection currents rise and fall.
FOUR| Eat up and learn about geography.
Talking about eating, geography is especially fun if you can learn about the different foods of a country.
Isolating this idea more, focus on one food like the breads of the world or the spices of a country.
Have you seen the How Did That Get Here series?
And then you can never, never go wrong with making a food from a country or region.
Looked at a few things we have made when studying about certain areas.
- Make pan au chocolat when studying about France.
- Make celtic cakes when studying ancient civilizations.
- Make baklava when studying about Ancient Greece.
- Make victory soup when studying about the countries of World War II.
- Make Cherokee pan bread when studying the states in the Southeastern United States.
- Make soups from South America.
- Make chili when doing a state study on Texas.
- Make negrinho when doing a study about Brazil.
FIVE| Make a DIY atlas.
My boys loved making a diy atlas when we studied geography using North Star geography for middle and high school kids.
Instead of labeling for the sake of busy work or so it seems like it to your kids, a diy atlas gives them a purpose for map making.
Make the project large if you are doing a world geography tour or make it only for a certain area if you don’t want to get too overwhelmed.
I like easy projects that focus on specific areas.
We tend to get more out of our projects when we can sharpen our focus on smaller chunks of information.
SIX| Unleash your inner artist.
Another way to draw in a reluctant learner or to mix up your geography is to draw it.
Geography Through Art is a multi-age resource and has some terrific resources for hands-on activities.
SEVEN| Use technology.
I love the free world geography games from Sheppard Software.
Shepphard Softward has been around for years and is another great way to change up geography. Another one we love is the stack the states app. The free version is fun.
EIGHT| Do a lapbook or two.
You know our love for lapbooks and in most all of my lapbooks, I add in minibooks for geography.
Also, you can do a lapbook just on geography.
Check out the free geography lapbooks at Homeschool Helper Online.
NINE| Living books and literature.
Another fun combination of subjects is to mix language arts with geography. A living book brings geography alive through a story.
Tell a child a story, adding in hands-on activities and they’ll see a purpose for learning about the world around them.
Though the series of books by Holling C. Holling say they are for upper elementary kids, they are such a precious and meaty resource that I feel you can use them for middle school kids too.
Also, grab this free 166 .pdf supplement to enhance your study of Paddle-to-the-Sea.
Then, I love these free vintage books that are recommend to study geography Charlotte Mason style. They are Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Geography and Long’s Home Geography for Primary Grades.
Scoot by and grab them if you are looking for free geography.
TEN| Geography games.
Of course, who can deny the benefits of learning through games?
ELEVEN| Virtual travel.
And lastly, I love this unique and creative idea of virtual travel without leaving the comfort of your living room. Search for each day on her website. (day 1, day 2, etc. up to day 7)
Don’t settle for boring worksheets to teach geography.
Using one of these eleven ways, I hope will bring a little more pep to your step when teaching geography.
Hugs and love ya,
Also, check out the tips for First Grade Homeschool Curriculum for History and Geography and also 3 Reasons Why Hands-On Geography is Important in Middle and High School.
Are you following my geography board on Pinterest on my first account?
And are you following my newest Pinterest account too?