Unschooling Resources: Geography


Books

Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
This oversized DK book focuses on several children and the countries in which they live. Filled with photographs of the children's homes, family, friends, possessions, food, churches, schools, and more. Lots of pictures. Thoroughly enjoyable!

The Children's Atlas of People and Places by Jenny Wood
An atlas filled with photos of the towns and countries depicted in the maps. Contains information about the lands, cultures, people, etc. A good general atlas.

Earthsearch by John Cassidy
Like Explorabook (see general science resources), this "kids' geography museum in a book" is phenomenal! Includes a recycled Russian Coke can for a book cover, a "population clock" (hourglass), a punch-out earth, several foreign coins, a sheet of toilet paper, a packet of rice, and much more! Wondering why? Search out a copy of this book and find out. This is an amazing resource, filled with surprises. Intriguing and cool, once you pick it up, you can't put it down! Highly, highly recommended.

Horrible Geography by Anita Ganeri
With titles such as Wild Islands and Bloomin Rainforests, this series tickles the funnybone while offering oodles of geographical information.

On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
This sweet picture book explores weather around the world, all on the same day. Twisters in Texas, hailstones in India, rain in Brazil....

The Reader's Digest Children's Atlas of the World
Yet another oversized book. This atlas includes maps peppered with illustrations of animals, crops, historical sites, etc. For instance, Japan includes illustrations of brown bears, Japanese cranes, rice, Mandarin oranges, traditional fishing boats, a Shinto priest, World War II monument, Kabuki theatre, Tea, Sumo Wrestlers, etc. Also includes project ideas (Japan's is an origami penguin).

Somewhere in the World Right Now by Stacey Schuett
A nice book to read along with On the Same Day in March (see above), Somewhere in the World Right Now introduces the idea of time zones in a beautiful way. While one child is going to bed, another is waking to a new morning. As one child sits down to dinner, another is dreaming. Each illustration portrays both the scene and a map of the area. Gorgeous.

The Usborne Book of World Geography
Much like The Usborne Book of World History, this book is almost comic-like. There are chapters on houses of the world, maps, oceans, people, and the earth, itself.


Games

All About Town games
These games were put out in the 1980s for many different cities. The board is a map of the city, and the object is to advance to different stores before other players. An obvious advertising ploy (stores paid money to the gamemaker to be included), but a fun introduction to road maps. Action figures have often taken up residence on our city map for lots of imaginitive play.

Geo Bee Challenge
From National Geographic. This board game is more child-friendly than other NG board games, though it is less well-made. Three question levels, including true or false and multiple choice. Players try to collect eight Golden Geo awards.

Global Persuit
Put out by National Geographic, this game features trivia cards with three difficulty levels and an ever-changing map, as well as a satisfyingly huge 12-sided die. Copyright 1987.

On Assignment with National Geographic
Another NG game in which players answer trivia questions (3 levels - easy, moderate, and advanced). The object of this game is to collect 6 photo cards from different countries. Game board is a map of the world. Copyright 1990.

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego
The classic kids' geography board game. Also look for the television game show and for several Carmen Sandiego computer games.


Movies and Shows

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego
The world's greatest thief is on the loose and it's up to two young detectives to find her! In each episode of the cartoon series, Carmen leads the detectives through different parts of the world. Lots of trivia - lots of fun! Look, also, for the Carmen Sandiego gameshow!


Software

Dundjinni - a full-featured fantasy map creation program. It allows users to create walls and floors, place objects, insert text, and more. Though it is specifically designed for fantasy role-playing games, this software is relatively easy to use and can be lots of fun for kids.


Websites

Antipodes Tool
If you were to dig a hole from where you're standing through the center of the earth and out the other side, where would you end up? Find out with this antipodes tool from Ze Frank's If the Earth Were a Sandwich project! Easily find the antipode of anywhere in the world. Powered by Google Maps.

Animated Atlas: Growth of a Nation

CIA - The World Fact Book
Tons of facts about countries of the world.

Geography from The Rudiments Of Wisdom Encyclopaedia by Tim Hunkin
A collection of thousands of strange, categorized facts in cartoon form. Amazing! In this section, you'll find cartoons on navigation, maps, compasses and more. Lots of fun. (post #217)

Google Earth
"Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips." This is an extraordinary program, and it's free!

IKnowThat.com (Post #13)

List of Geography Web Games

My Wonderful World
A new campaign by National Geographic. This link takes you to a list of cool geography websites for kids.

Owl and Mouse
Lots of free map games for downloading.

The Upside-Down Map Page

Where's George?
"Do you ever wonder where that paper money in your pocket has been, or where it will go next? This is the place to find out." Very cool site!


Miscellaneous

A globe! This is a must! Close your eyes, spin it around, and find out where you're going to live when you grow up! Poland? What's it like there? Is it crowded? What do people do there? Eat there? Wear there? Believe there?

Flat Travelers Homeschool
Based on the "Flat Stanley" phenomenon, group members "print or draw your Traveler, laminate it and then mail it along with a blank journal to someone in another area, state or country. The host family treats your Flat Traveler as a guest and takes it places they go. After a short time your Flat Traveler is mailed back to you along with a completed journal and perhaps some photos, postcards and/or souvenirs. You look over your Flat Travelers journey and plot it on a map. Some families keep a scrapbook with all their journals, souvenirs and photos inside. Some families send out one Flat Traveler and other families send out dozens! You can make this project as simple or as detailed as you like. This is a fun way to learn about geography and history among many other subjects!"

Knit US State and Canadian Province Potholders
Or, perhaps they could be patches for an afgahn! If you love to knit, or know someone who does, this could be a fun project! Link includes patterns and pictures.

Maps! Maps! Maps! Of here, there, and everywhere! Road maps, contour maps, etc. Plan trips (real or fanciful), find where friends and relatives live, play with them, admire them, learn to fold them, and much more. Maps are cool!

Shoebox Swap for Homeschoolers
This Yahoo group brings together homeschoolers from different geographical areas. Then, members can swap shoeboxes filled with things like postcards, newspapers, drawings, rocks, maps, sand from a beach, pressed plants, coins, etc. from their respective states or countries. Very cool! (Post # 968)

Travel guides from anywhere and everywhere.

Collect stamps, postcards or money from around the world.
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