OverlapMaps is a very simple, entertaining, and educational website. You select a country, state, river or lake, and then select another geographical area to compare. With a click of the green arrow, a comparison map is generated.
Pretty neat, isn’t it?
The use of OverlapMaps is free so go and try it out. I’ll wait.
Fun isn’t it?
The website is free, but if you want to give your students a little direction, I recommend the OverlapMaps.com Activity Sheets. Right now, Educents has a special deal on the sheets. The e-book contains instructions for using OverlapMaps, plus 10 lessons that use OverlapMaps to learn about continents, oceans, countries, and states. It’s a good value at only $4.99. That’s 60% off the regular price!
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase the e-book, I’ll receive a small commission from Educents.
So what did you find out?
Will Germany fit in the state of Texas?
What’s the largest country that will fit in Alaska?
Your family quizzes one another on what state their cracker or tortilla chip looks like.
Actually that probably makes us weird among homeschoolers.
We are a family who really likes maps.
Before we were married, my husband and I pored over a map together while waiting to pick up basketball tickets. For fun.
Whether it is a matter of genetics or environment, we have 5 children who are all interested in geography.
Here is Lizzie (now 7) playing with a talking globe.
Almost 12 years ago, my husband came up with a great idea for a family project. It took 8 years, but we visited every county seat in North Carolina! Here’s a video that David made to summarize that project.
I confess, we all weren’t always excited about that project. But it is a fun accomplishment.
Our geography studies are something that happens very naturally. We make sure to have maps of all kinds, for all ages.
Disclosure: None of the Amazon links are affiliate links since Amazon.com will not let NC residents be affiliates due to a disagreement about sales tax. I’m not bitter about it.
We love map placemats like these. (I recommend looking for these locally. I have found them at Wal-mart.) This type of US map puzzle is great for preschool and early elementary age children.
The talking globe was a wonderful learning tool. However, it was fairly expensive and it unfortunately doesn’t work reliably anymore. But, I do consider a traditional globe a homeschool essential. We also have this puzzle globe and this inflatable globe.
There are super geography apps available now. My kids all love Stack the States and Stack the Countries.
Google Maps and Google Earth are amazing tools for geography exploration. William loves to explore both places we have visited and places he’d like to go. David always studies the route before a trip and uses Google Maps to map cross country courses and running routes.
Another thing that we have done as a family to study geography together is watch educational videos. We enjoy How the States Got Their Shapes. (Viewer discretion advised. There is occasionally some bad language. We also like season 1 better than season 2.) We also liked this History Channel series called The States.
My kids, especially the younger ones, are geography nuts. And though I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about geography, their interest is mainly because of my husband. His enthusiasm for the subject is contagious!
When I saw Passport to the World as a book available to review from New Leaf Publishing Group, I knew it would be a great book for my kids. I was definitely not disappointed!
Passport to the World is unique in its focus on the spoken languages. The book is arranged alphabetically with one language representing each of the 26 letters of the alphabet.
For each language featured there are:
Full-color 2-page spreads
A small map of the country where the language is spoken and chart of vital statistics
How to say Hello, Goodbye, Thank you, and Peace
Photos of people and places
Also included are a removable “passport” in the front of the book with stickers to be used as each language/country is “visited”. The book is written from a Biblical world view, beginning with the history of language at the Tower of Babel, and ending with suggested websites that provide assistance to needy children around the world.
This is a great book to use as a springboard for other study or to read alone. I can’t tell you how my kids like it because once I saw it, I decided to wrap it up for them. Shhh…
Disclosure: I received this book for free as a member of the Book Reviewers for New Leaf Publishing Group. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Our last book club meeting of the year was yesterday. The assignment for this month was to pick any place you would like to visit and share information with the group. My daughter chose New York as her place and decided that she would like to make a lapbook and share it with the group. We have unfortunately not done much lapbooking this year, so I was happy when she chose to make one. I found this topic a very easy one to put into mini-books.
My daughter designed this New York City lapbook completely on her own, so you’ll see there’s not a wide variety in types of mini-books. But, as I usual, I needed to remind myself about the PURPOSE of lapbooking. The purpose is not in seeing how many neat books you can put in a folder, but is to summarize information that you have learned about a particular topic in a way that makes it interesting both to make and look at again in the future. Or at least that’s why I want my children to make a lapbook. I did find pictures for her mini-books on-line and helped to guide her to some of the topics of the mini-books.
Empire State Building Book
The Statue of Liberty Book
Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum
The Chrysler Building
Inside flap open
New York Population Fact Book
Maps of New York – Inside this book are maps of each of the boroughs.
I was proud of the independent work that she put into this lapbook. There were several other books that she planned to make but ran out of time. We will be working harder this coming school year on not procrastinating but doing more daily work on projects.
Last night my family made up a fun geography game. All you need is a map of the United States and at least 3 people to play. You can assign one person to be the judge and use the map to check the others’ answers. Or, if you are playing with someone who is fairly confident about U.S. geography, you can just have someone check the map when there’s a dispute.
Here’s how to play the game. (All this is done without the players looking at a map.)
The first person picks a state.
The next person picks a state that borders the first state.
The next person then picks a state that borders the second state, but cannot reuse the first state.
If you pick a state that is incorrect (i.e. doesn’t border the state or has already been called.) you’re out.
Play continues until you run out of states. (You either have named all the states or get to a point where all the bordering states have already been called.)
The last person to be able to name a correct state wins the game.
An example game might go like this:
Georgia (this is the only choice because SC only borders 2 states and NC was already named.)
That would be the end of this sample game because all the states that border Louisiana have already been named. This is a great game for exercising your memory 🙂 You could try to see how many states your family can name without getting stuck. You could also add saying the capital when you said the state. There are lots of possibilities with it.
We had a great time playing this game. The older kids (5th and 3rd) were quite competitive. Even my 1st grader was able to play on some of the states. I think this may inspire the kids to study their maps more.