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This is my all time favorite book for introducing kids to maps. I used this back when I was teaching second grade, and again when I taught first grade.
It does a very nice job of putting it all in a context that kids can understand, and she's got a nice series of "Me _________" books.
If you're curious I have a series of posts on my blog that you could do over an extended period of time, but this activity is set up for if you're doing this in a classroom or in a limited amount of time.
You could do this a couple of ways, to save on paper I made a layered book and cut the paper in half to make two books per set. I like the look, and it's a little different.
Than after reading the book they made a much simpler version of the book for themselves. Here's what all of the pages look like (minus the This is me page because my kids wrote their names on that).
To get the map images I just did a google search of blackline images for the specific area I wanted. I looked for one of the United States, North America, and the world. For the words you can go here for the printable.
Since we did this as part of a co-op we did it with older kids as well (age range was 4 years old to 5th grade), and the older kids helped the younger kids complete it and write their words, and in completing their own wrote all the words.
For their city they drew a picture that made them think of their city, but you could also find a map of their city.
Obviously there are a lot of extensions you can do with this book, here are a few:
1. This is a simplified book, have them actually look at a map of their city and find their street.
2. Plan a treasure hunt from the map of their house or school. I did this with my kids when we reached that part of the book and they LOVED it!
3. Some other good book tie-ins are: "How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World," and "How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the World." (both of which are units in their own right).
4. This is a great launching point for further geography studies. That was the purpose of our using this book again, we're about to restart our state studies.
If you want to start looking into United States studies some more, here's some blogs that have interesting ideas to look at: Superheroes and Princesses, Musings of Me, Adventures in Mommydom (yes I'm attempting this). Also, Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn hosts a geography/history linky each week where you can get some other ideas.
I'm still working on my go to place for International geography ideas. I know Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns is doing some, as is Confessions of a Homeschooler. But, if you have any suggestions of where else to look I'd love them for when we go international in a year or two.
Where do you guys go to for geography ideas? Any favorite blogs or websites?