ABC and 123: Teaching with Ticia: Introducing Geography

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaching with Ticia: Introducing Geography

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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?


  1. What a great idea! This is one of my favorite books! I love the whole series....another book I love to use with maps is Mapping Penny's World and a few stories like Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs/Bears. We have fun creating maps of the woods with map keys and symbols. The kids really enjoy it :)

    Curls and a Smile

  2. I purchased Galloping the Globe after reading about it on Jolanthe's blog ( She has some great free printables to go along with the book too! She also sells a Geography-based planner but I haven't purchased it yet...maybe for 2nd grade. :)

    I am planning on using Erica's (COAH) geography download for my preschooler...I love her stuff!

  3. I completed an activity earlier this year with Me on the Map. The activity is captured in a video my kids created. Mrs Saouds Class

    Mrs. Bates from Finally in First did a very similar activity with extras that I liked better than my activity and plan to update mine next year! Finally in First

    Most recently, I completed a unit called Explore New Waters (school theme) where we sailed as pirates through the oceans and explored each continent and a famous landform. The kids really loved this activity and its available for download. Mrs Saouds Class

  4. I've used this book every year. Thanks for reaasuring info. I love your blog and I look to it for ideas :)

  5. love this idea! when we made this book, we looked up our houses on google earth 3d. they LOVED it!

  6. I always love Ticia's geography posts - and this one has some great tips!