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Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:40 PM

Suggestions for teaching geography to a kindergartner?

I thought it might be a good idea to give the munchkin a head start in geography and wondered if anyone had suggestions for a good starting point. I bought him a kid's atlas but I still started talking to him like it was a C-SPAN program. Needless to say I quickly lost his attention. So, any suggestions?

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Reply Suggestions for teaching geography to a kindergartner? (Original post)
RandySF Feb 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Feb 2012 #1
JoePhilly Feb 2012 #4
postulater Feb 2012 #2
customerserviceguy Feb 2012 #13
1ProudAtheist Feb 2012 #3
fishwax Feb 2012 #5
SaintPete Feb 2012 #6
no_hypocrisy Feb 2012 #25
immoderate Feb 2012 #7
Neoma Feb 2012 #8
jberryhill Feb 2012 #9
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 #15
eShirl Feb 2012 #10
mzteris Feb 2012 #11
elleng Feb 2012 #16
grasswire Feb 2012 #12
elleng Feb 2012 #14
pnwmom Feb 2012 #17
OhioBlue Feb 2012 #18
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2012 #19
EC Feb 2012 #20
izquierdista Feb 2012 #21
Roselma Feb 2012 #22
On the Road Feb 2012 #23
shraby Feb 2012 #24
nenagh Feb 2012 #26
RevStPatrick Feb 2012 #27
Name removed Feb 2018 #28

Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:44 PM

1. Buy your child a decent globe, too.

 

Connecting 2D and 3D representations needs to begin early and never end, really.

At least one globe, political or physical, needs to be in every home, IMHO.

I have, literally, hundreds of globes.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:52 PM

4. Yup ... get a globe!!

And for little kids, get one that has some bumps on it ... so they get a sense of how small the mountains really are.

Its been years ... but I seem to recall learning that the earth is actually SMOOTHER that a ping pong ball or billiard ball, if you make the ping pong ball or billiard ball the same size as the earth.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:50 PM

2. Globe. And stamps from all over.

I learned most of my geography and history from stamps and a globe.

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Response to postulater (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:10 AM

13. Yes, while they may seem quaint

Stamps will teach a child geography, history, and maybe a little bit about languages. Bags of foreign stamps would be available in the hobby departments of variety stores when I was a kid, and while I suspect they'd be a bit harder to find today, with eBay you can find anything you want. Like most collectables, the stamp collecting market has been nearly flat, so you should be able to find some "commons" in bulk for dirt cheap.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:50 PM

3. Probably A Very Good Time

 

to start teaching about the two United States.........The United States of America, and The United States of Racist Bigots. Any copy of the 2008 election map would prove fairly accurate.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:54 PM

5. what are some other things he's interested in?

If he has something else that he gets excited about, you might be able to connect it to geography. As a kid I was always fascinated by bridges, so seeing a picture of a cool bridge made me want to know more about where it was. I have a nephew who (like lots of kids that age, I suppose) was really into trains, and one could extend that to thinking about geography (where might that train be going? what would a train from this place be carrying? etc.). Or a kid who likes sports, for instance, might have a certain motivation/interest for learning about cities where various teams are.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:55 PM

6. Get a good, age appropriate US Jigsaw puzzle

something with the state names and capitols.

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Response to SaintPete (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 07:12 AM

25. I loved my US jigsaw puzzle.

I learned the shapes of the different states and how they literally fit together. The only two I still have trouble with due to their similar shapes and sizes is North and South Dakota.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:56 PM

7. K is kind of young.

 

Assuming the kid knows numbers, alphabet, and has drawing skills I might work on things to his scale and experience.

Maybe a map of the room where he sleeps, or the backyard to start.

And an activity that introduces the idea of coordinates. Like battle ship (or improvise a less martial substitute, like laying out a garden.)

Also access to a globe is great. Globes foster curiosity.

Hope that helps.

--imm

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:56 PM

8. Make sure when you get a map/globe...

That you talk about a little about the countries history. Like how the British hate the French, and Americans used to hate the British, and how the Americans still hate the French. Joking...kind of.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sun Feb 12, 2012, 11:57 PM

9. Drop him off somewhere far away and tell him to walk home

 

Just like swimming. Best way is to just throw him out there. Give him $20 and a map.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:15 AM

15. LOL!!

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:02 AM

10. maybe check out "National Geographic Kids"

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:04 AM

11. Start small

With his room, his house , his street, neighborhood, map to school, to the store, his town, map to grandmas or aunts, uncles. Larger,as you go, but connected to what he knows. Maps. Puzzles. Games. Use references he cares about, people he knows or sports teams. Books movies.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:15 AM

16. DITTO, mzt!

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:05 AM

12. start a postcard collection

You can get used scenic postcards for about a dime a piece in many second-hand stores. Get an old shoe box and some dividers (you can make those from index cards or other stiff paper) and he can sort them by country as he collects them. The shoe box can be decorated on the outside with paper or paints.

This can start a life-long hobby that is entertaining and could be profitable -- as well as educational!

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:14 AM

14. Start with having him 'map' his neighborhood,

and go from there, places he's visited (downtown, neighboring towns, etc.) and move on from there. That's how it was done at daughters' school, and they've been well into geography ever since. (They're 23 and 27 now!)

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:50 AM

17. I still remember putting together a wooden puzzle of the US when I was that age

so I bought one for my daughter, too.

(I first showed her a map of our neighborhood -- and marked her friends' houses and her school -- to help her understand the idea of maps.)

And on the U.S. map I also pointed to all the states where our friends and relatives live.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:56 AM

18. My son goes to a Montessori preschool

They just finished their "continent books" which are just pieces of probably 6x6 inch pieces of paper stapled together with the shapes of the continents that they have punched out and pasted on each page. They also learn the "continent song". You can search "Montessori continent song" on youtube to hear it. The philosophy is to engage the senses and have the children learn through their "works" rather than lecture...

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:56 AM

19. Globes are cool.

I still have one we got in the Sixties from National Geographic. It has a clear plastic cradle and a clear plastic cap. And an analemma and all that good stuff.

It has a light bulb inside. And it still works!!

Makes for a very cool night light!!!

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:57 AM

20. My Mom used to let us

make relief maps on big pieces of cardboard and the flour paste mixture and of course tempra paints. Or we used to play a game of finding places on a big map spread across the livingroom floor. I liked the relief maps - which I kept doing well into Middle School age. As I got older the maps got more evolved with volcano's and all.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 01:10 AM

21. YouTube and Google Maps

 

I've never been to Cape Town, but I have driven around and seen the sights, all thanks to Google Maps. Just pull the man down to street view and take a sightseeing drive (without ever having to buy gas!)

Once you see someplace that looks interesting, I'll bet there is a YouTube travel video on it.

And if you like Monty Python, you can always travel with Michael Palin:

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 01:16 AM

22. When my oldest was age 4, I got a big laminated wall map of the United States and hung it in

our hallway. Over the course of a year, we selected a state each week, and I would provide a tiny bit of information about that state. We would just try to copy over the map using tracing paper to get the shape down. We talked about how the shape looked (like a mitten) etc. Never more than 5 minutes a day. Before he hit kindergarten he knew every state in the US and could quickly point to it on the map. He knew traced shapes of the states and could identify them even without the map. On a blank map, he could point to any state without hesitation. When he was five, we started on political maps of the world. To this day (and he's in his mid-20's), he can find a place on a place on a map almost instantly. Given a blank world or US map, he can tell you every single state and every country (and when they changed names, he kept up). Never more than 5 minutes a day. Only for fun. No rules. Worked for my son. And don't forget those cool puzzles. Kids love puzzles, especially when they complete them.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 02:00 AM

23. When I Was in Grade School

I had a lot of geography stuff, including flash cards with maps of countries on them, and a book with pictures from fifty countries around the world. He might be just a tad young for those.

A lot depends on what else he likes and how he learns. Is he a spatial person? Is he better at learning from sights or sounds?

Youtube is a great resource, and allows you to connect a place on a map with what's on the screen. If he likes trains, there of clips of a lot of train trips, eg, the Transsiberian Express. An image search or travel site can bring up a lot of nice pictures on a certain area. As in a lot of other things, your child will be more likely to pick up your own interest in places.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 02:15 AM

24. I used to have wooden a map of the U.S. with the states cut out in their shapes, with the capitals

and other info on each piece.
It was my favorite puzzle. To this day I can name all the states and capitals. Got one for my kids too.
Need to have one of the other side of the world just like it.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 09:20 AM

26. My Dad, who died at the age of 92 yrs, loved geography...

He retained his memory for maps and loved travel....and how he was taught was so simple....during the depression years..

The class made maps...topographically correct from a mixture of flour, water and maybe salt as a preservative.

I suppose the teacher had one of those really old pull down maps on the wall that the class tried to copy... ( obviously many years ago)

Anyway, they got a thick glop of the flour/water/salt (I think it was salt) mixture on a board, maybe on cardboard....and they sculpted the mountains, rivers and plains. Probably the class recreated the St Lawrence River ...

The mix hardened in a day or so into a solid map..maybe they colored rivers, forests etc with food coloring.

When he was older, his Mother had a map of the world taped to the kitchen wall above a table....and when he and his friend were there..she arranged a game of who could find the capital of XXX. Fastest... But that was before TV!

But a little person might get great pleasure from sculpting mountains, rivers and plains...... as long as they did not ingest the mixture.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 10:31 AM

27. Google Earth!

 

Does he like the computer?
There is nothing cooler than Google Earth...

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

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