Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trying a New Geography Activity

The other day I listened to a lecture on CD recorded at a homeschooling conference by Jay Wile about homeschooling high school. There is one idea he shared about how his family "taught" geography that I am starting today with both of my kids (grade 8 and 5). Here is what Jay Wile shared.

Look through the daily newspaper each day, starting on Monday. Find a country mentioned in an article. If a country is found in Monday's paper the looking can stop at that point. If nothing is found Monday, continue each day of the week until a country is found.

Pick a country that has not been "done" by the student yet. I am going to cut the article my son chooses.

Research that country using various reference materials. I will have my kids use a couple of geography reference books that we own and the World Book encyclopedia (paper version) and lastly, the Internet. They will use the Internet to find color photos of the places so they can have a visual connection. Wile had his daughter find certain points of information (which ones I don't recall). I am going to make up my own list of facts that I want them to find.

I will have my kids assemble this data neatly into a two page spread that will be put into a three ring binder to make a geography notebook. I may have them select a couple of color images from the Internet to print and add to the page.

They will also find the country on our globe.

If we're feeling adventurous and have the time we'll make a food item from that country. Since we cook and bake from scratch so often this won't be too hard for us to do.

I can imagine that when this first begins it will be easy to find countries but the more countries that are researched the pickings may become slim.

I also want them to read that article and to connect current events to the place. The article will be included in the notebook (perhaps folded and inserted into a little envelope on the page).

My kids will be using The Wall Street Journal as that's the newspaper we subscribe to.


Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

I like this. I think I could also use it for studig the provinces and territories at home as well. Thanks for sharing.

JC said...

What a great idea! I may have to try it too.

dstb said...


I like this idea!

I may combine this with the free plans that I got from Barb at her blog Harmony Art Mom (just search her blog for Geography). Part of her plan involves using videos from Netflix. I do not have that yet, but many of the Rick Steve's travel videos are on-line for free at Hulu. The videos might be fun to watch after the kids have completed their research.

Thanks for the idea.


Joyful Learner said...

That sounds awesome! I wish there was a newspaper for children we could work with. Teach Mama mentioned one in her state but I have yet to find one in CA.