Monday, July 19, 2010
For my maiden voyage into the sea of curriculum reviews, I investigated the This Old Schoolhouse Magazine's June module, titled Travel the World, available for $7.95 at the This Old Schoolhouse store. This Old Schoolhouse June 2010 Module
This 52 page e-book is a quick introduction to the world of geography and has activities that can be used for a variety of ages.
I have been making an effort to study geography lately at our house, as it is one of those things that often seems to get pushed aside for math and English. This e-book is a great beginning place because it not only introduces a lot of geography terminology, but has embedded links to definitions, maps, and games to reinforce facts all in one resource.
The book begins with basic map reading and geography terminology, such as equator and prime meridian. It briefly touches on the five oceans with links for further exploration, and then goes on to the continents and their land features.
Six worksheets are provided for reinforcement. Only one is the standard fill-in-the-blanks, and all of them differ in format, from word searches to a rebus puzzle. Seven pages are devoted to making a Travel The World lapbook. Coloring sheets and copy work pages in printing and cursive round out the main elementary section.
The high school component of this e-book has a link to a geography challenge and breaks the field of geography into specialties. There are essay prompts and sections that tie geography into literature, history, and even small business.
Two recipes are included, along with a page of internet resources and all the answers to the worksheets.
This e-book would be good for a brief foray into geography with little preparation needed; I think it would have a good home in a family that likes technology, working on the computer, has little physical storage space, and needs things laid out, ready to go. Unfortunately, that is not quite my family. We tend to like the solid feel of a book in our hands, and while this e-book can be printed out, you miss all the extras provided by the embedded links. This also means being tied to a computer with internet access, and since our dinosaur laptop died last year, that also means being tied to a desktop at our house.
One thing I would liked to have seen is a section describing how you can make a ball (globe) flat (a map), as those kinds of questions always arise in our house and I am always flailing for an answer. And as the cook in a family with an adventurous palate, I would also have loved a few more recipes.
But overall, as a one-stop place to get some geography into your school, this is a great beginning.