Monday, February 13, 2012

A stab at teaching Geography!

Hello Readers,

I am the first to admit that I am a geographical moron. I can't follow a map if I tried, I get lost without landmarks and I struggle to find any country on a map except for my own country and a few of the other big ones. But put me in a shopping centre in any place and I can find my way around so go figure...

So I decided I would try very hard not to impart this geographical nonsense onto my daughters and take a giant leap at teaching (my eldest) some geography. So I decided I would start with a map of South America and have it blown up to quite a large size (the size A0) this was quite cheap to do. My husband found a black and White picture of a map with all the border outline of all the countries. I kept one in tact and I cut the other one up into its individual countries to colour in and then stick on the map like a giant jigsaw puzzle. By making it one giant jigsaw puzzle it has allowed Miss S to find where each country goes on the map. I hope by doing this it will cement it in her brain

I also allow Miss S to pick the country we work on. I then print off the countries flag and some pictures of  Flora and Fauna which is native to that particular country (with names if I can find it). I then get her to cut the pictures out and glue them on to the country we are working on. Miss S has enjoyed this because she loves animals and plants and it helps teach a little about each country's uniqueness even though it is on the same continent.

This has also been a great exercise not only in in geography but it has also allowed me to teach Miss S what a legend is and how to read a legend. I am slowly getting Miss S to colour each country in a different colour we then colour the box on the legend the same colour. This is a great opportunity to then explain that by colouring the box next to the name of the country we help other people be able to find things on a map to.

Below are some photos of our project. Miss S completing Brazil. We have since then completed Bolivia and Argentina.
The Map

Coloring in the first country Brazil

We took turns colouring in

Gluing the flag
Cutting out the flag

Cutting out native flora and fauna

Sticking the native flora and fauna on

Brazil all done

Sticking Brazil on the map

Colouring in the legend to match the colour of the country


  1. This a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I have been struggling to gain the interest of my toddlers in geography. I can't wait to try this. What does it cost to blow up a map like that?

    1. Hi Lacy,

      I'm glad you are going to give it a try. I went down to my local officeworks and had it blown up to A0 for $3.50AUD. The reason why I had two was to make it a jigsaw puzzle which is working very well. We finished Uruaguay today and Miss S was able to find it on the map by lookiong for the shape that fits what we have coloured in. Eventually I would love to buy Visual World Geography but this will have to do for now.

  2. Way to go, Kimba - I love this idea!! Our oldest are fairly close in age (as are our youngest, actually), and I love the thought of this! I feel that my son is SOO high energy sometimes, and I lack the patience to set this up (if it were ready made - no problem!). anyway, great job and thanks for the inspiration!

    Oh, as for us, here's my lazy mom way of imparting geography - youtube clips like this and this playing in the background while the kids are playing or while they're eating. granted, it's not 100%, as in some are nations, not countries, but i think it's more important to teach those distinctions later on - i don't think these videos will mess up their ability to learn those nuances later on. also, we have a few geography puzzles of various sizes, and map placemats for them to stare at while they're eating. hope that helps!

    1. Ha ha ha. Patience is a virtue and it is not a virtue of mine either. It didn't take that long to set up. Maybe its a business idea though ........

    2. Ps thanks for the video link. I will be sure to show my two kidlets.