Following is a list of selected resources teachers may find useful.
Geography for Every Kid. Former science teacher Janice VanCleave has created this activity book for children ages 8-12 to help them learn about the earth and its inhabitants. The 211-page paperback features such topics as climate patterns and population distribution and includes directions for making a compass and plotting the track of a hurricane. Historical information, a glossary of terms, and step-by-step instruction are also provided. Cost: $10.95. Contact: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1 Wiley Drive, Somerset, NJ 08875; (800) 225-5945.
People and Places. Thompson Learning, a book publisher, offers a series of eight books for children ages 10-13 that focus on different geographical environments, such as the Amazon rain forest, the Sahara Desert, and the Mediterranean. Each 48-page hardcover describes the geography, culture, natural science, and history of the area. Cost: $15.95 per book. Contact: Thompson Learning, 835 Penobscot Building, Detroit, MI 48226; (800) 880-4253.
Accidental Explorers: Surprises and Side Trips in the History of Discovery. This 152-page hardcover book, designed for students ages 10 and older, focuses on explorers who made geographical discoveries by accident, such as Jedediah Smith, who pioneered the overland crossing to California; Henry Morton Stanley, who explored central Africa; and Christopher Columbus. The book also includes photographs, maps, drawings of equipment, and a bibliography for further reading. Cost: $22. Contact: Oxford Press, Customer Service Dept., 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513; (800) 451-7556.
The Living Earth and Countries and Flags. Interarts Ltd., a cartographic publisher, has released a set of two 39-page coloring books--complete with colored pencils--for children ages 8-12. The Living Earth depicts various climatic zones--such as the tundra, desert, and grasslands--and features many of the animals and plants native to those habitats. Countries and Flags provides updated maps and flags of more than 190 countries of the world and includes facts about seasons and latitude and longitude. Cost: $12.95 for the set. Contact: Interarts Ltd., 2685 Stephens Road, Boulder, CO 80303; (800) 278-3386.
African Global Studies and Latin American Global Studies. These two packages, available from WorldView Software, are designed for children ages 12 and older. Each contains demographic, political, and cultural information as well as maps, charts, graphs, and glossaries. The software includes test-preparation activities, such as computer-based review questions. Cost: $59.95 for each title. Contact: WorldView Software, 76 North Broadway, Suite 4009, Hicksville, NY 11801; (800) 34-STUDY.
On Location: Settings From Famous Children’s Books. Author Joanne Kelly explores the geography and historical settings of such children’s classics as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods and Sterling North’s Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era. The 129-page paperback, written for children ages 8-14, is divided into sections based on geographical location. Each section includes a brief summary of the books it covers, a biographical sketch of the authors, and a discussion of the location as it was during the time the stories took place and as it is today. Photographs, drawings, and maps are included to help readers visualize the settings. Cost: $18. Contact: Teacher Ideas Press, Attention: Department S, P.O. Box 6633, Englewood, CO 80155; (800) 237-6124.
Where in the World? Designed to teach world geography to children in 3rd grade and up, this game includes six boards covering different areas of the world; 174 cards that ask geographical, economic, and cultural questions about the various countries in each region; 120 playing pieces; a spinner; and instructions. Cost: $35. Contact: Knowledge Unlimited Inc., P.O. Box 52, Madison, WI 53701-0052; (800) 356-2303.
GUESS WHERE! This 19-by-27-inch, up-to-date laminated world map shows all the countries of the world but does not name them or their major cities. Students use a water-soluble marker, which is included and easily erased with a wet sponge or paper towel, to identify countries and cities as well as other historical sites. An accompanying paper map provides all the appropriate names. Cost: $19.95. Contact: Interarts Ltd., 2685 Stephens Road, Boulder, CO 80303; (800) 278-3386.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 1994 edition of Teacher as Geography Resources