List of Geography Teaching Materials for Elementary Age Kids
Geography is an important and useful subject to teach, yet finding learning materials for elementary age kids can be a challenge. Geography can be a broad subject. You may want to teach US geography, the countries of the world, map reading and physical geography.
I'll point you to some resources that will help build up a comprehensive geography curriculum. These are some geography learning resources that homeschooling parents or parents who want to supplement their child's education, may find helpful. The list includes books, workbooks, coloring books, software, free websites and iPad apps.
A workbook can be very helpful for teaching basic geography. The best book I've found so far is The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, Grades 3 - 6. This book has 352 pages and could easily be used for 2 to 3 grade levels. It includes map reading skills, basic introductions to each state, continents, oceans, climate maps, time zones, longitude, latitude and much more. The Complete Book Of series is an excellent series overall.
Atlases are useful for giving a basic overview of different countries around the world. The National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers and TIME For Kids World Atlas are good options for older elementary students. The National Geographic Kids Beginner's World Atlas is a good option for kindergarten to 3rd grade. Younger children may also love Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas: Earth's Astonishing Animals and Where They Live. They can learn about animals and different parts of the world at the same time.
United States Geography
The United States of America: A State-by-State Guide is a good introduction to each state for about 2nd grade and up. I personally love Smart About the Fifty States. It's best for around 1st to 3rd grade. If you're looking for something a little more indepth, 50 States: A State-by-State Tour of the USA is good for 4th grade and up. This book is well-written and a lot of fun.
Coloring books can be a fun way to teach geography. Dollar and 99 cents stores sometimes carry coloring books that have basic overviews of the states or countries of the world. The United States Coloring Book and Around the World Coloring Book are two very good coloring books that can be used for 1st to 5th grade.
Stack the States and Stack the Countries are two excellent iPad apps that can be used for kindergarten and up. Younger kids will need help. The apps combine quizzes with games. These apps are very colorful and a lot of fun. There are both free and paid options. The full apps cost 99 cents each. Also, look for map puzzle apps.
Kids Atlas is a downloadable software product for ages 9 and up. This can be a great option for older kids who can learn independently. It has maps for the US states, provinces of Canada and countries. It also includes geographic features.
Carmen Sandiego is a fun way to teach both US and world geography. It's aimed at 8 to 12 year olds.
If you want software for younger kids, DK My First Amazing World Explorer is a good option. It includes videos and games.
Games and Puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to learn the locations of states and countries. Some options are:
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden USA Map Puzzle
- GeoPuzzle World - Educational Geography Jigsaw Puzzle
- The 50 States Book and Magnetic Puzzle Map
- Combination US + World GeoPuzzle
- LeapFrog Tag Maps: World (for use with Tag Readers)
- T.S. Shure US Map Floor Puzzle
Sheppard software has free world and US geography games. These games are most appropriate for older elementary age kids. http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm
National Geographic Kids has some basic facts about countries that are good for 2nd grade and up. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/places/