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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch

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Coursework



Geography



Crack the Code
By National Geographic

A fun game to be done in a classroom or with a group. Problem solving skills are used by the students to learn about longitude & latitude.

WEB LINK: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/activities/01/crackcode.html


Geography Matters
Geography Matters carries a large selection of outline maps and other resources for teaching geography.

WEB LINK: http://www.geomatters.com/products/category.asp?CID=1


Geography Tetris Game
A free online geography video game on the Internet. Fashioned after Tetris, but instead of blocks, it has shapes of geographic areas (states, counties, countries, etc). You can choose from three difficulty levels. Easy tells the name of the land block and it is in the upright position. In medium you have the name of it but you must flip it to turn upright then put it where it goes. In the most difficult mode there is no name to the block of land and you must put it in the right direction.

The game is timed so you can race against your best time. To make the pieces fall faster to improve your time if you are confident, use the down arrow rather than waiting for it to fall into place by itself.

You can choose from states of the United States or European Countries, Countries of Africa and more.

Hat Tip for this recommendation goes to the blog Why Homeschool:
http://www.whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/

WEB LINK: http://www.mapmsg.com/games/statetris/usa/


Guns, Germs & Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
By Jared Diamond

AP-level Human Geography course itself is quite interesting, as it looks at geography through five different "themes" including peoples and cultures.

One of the sources they have used for the class is parts of the videos based on Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel. This book fits well into a cultural exploration of geography.

The AP test results indicate this course is more difficult than people think it is/should be. 28% of the test-takers last year scored a 1. Another 17% scored a 2. (http://www.collegeboard.com/html/aprtn/ap_human_geography.html). So, at least 45% of the test-takers would not get college credit for this course. My son's teacher said he thinks the low AP test scores are a combination of:
1) some schools treating it as a one-semester course;
2) many schools offering it to freshman who are not prepared for this level of course. All this being said,

WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393061310?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=03930


Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture
By Harm deBlij, et al

This text is an excellent resource for preparing your high school student for the Human Geography AP test.

WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470382589?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=04703


Human Geography: People, Places and Change
By Annenberg Center

This is a free Human Geography online video course (10 half hour videos).

While designed to be used in conjunction with printed materials available for purchase, you could use it, in conjunction with the free "teaching geography series"
http://www.learner.org/resources/series161.html

and some material from National Geographic online or with the online resources - including quizzes - available from Holt McDougal:
http://my.hrw.com/apps/alchemy/editors/display.jsp?tag=wggeom1ewf_homeir

WEB LINK: http://www.learner.org/resources/series85.html


Longitude & Latitude Lesson Plan
By National Geographic

A nice site explaining the fundamentals of longitude and latitude. It contains some interesting exercises and good maps and graphics. The site organizes information and activities by grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

WEB LINK: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/01/gk2/longlat.html


NASA
This site provides detailed information about mapping the Earth, longitude and latitude, time zones. A good reference.

WEB LINK: http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Slatlong.htm


Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
By Geography Matters

I used this with my younger-than-high-school-age children (13 and 10), but we have really enjoyed the Trail Guide series from Geography Matters. It's a multi-age-level curriculum that can be used from kindergarten through high school, and you can choose from
  • U.S. geography,
  • World geography, and
  • Bible geography.

    I would recommend buying the companion CD-ROM that has loads and loads of helpful printouts.

    Check out their website at
    http://www.geomatters.com.

    WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931397198?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=19313


  • Unit Study on South Africa
    By Knowledge Quest Maps

    Includes reading suggestions, maps and historical timelines, and cultural studies and activities, such as recipes and crafts.

    WEB LINK: http://www.knowledgequestmaps.com/safricaunit.htm


    United States Geography Game
    A timed game that challenges the child to match the names of the states to a map of the continental US.

    WEB LINK: http://www.pibmug.com/files/map_test.swf


    United States Geography Game
    This game requires the child to place the state on a map of the continental US with no border lines.

    WEB LINK: http://jimspages.com/States.htm


    United States Printable Maps
    Reference and outline maps of the United States, territorial acquisitions, precipitation, and more. A good study tool.

    WEB LINK: http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable.html


    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Geography
    By Brenda Runkle

    The focus is physical geography rather than cultural/country geography. It's a beautiful textbook with great pictures.

    My son loved it because it really only took 10-15 minutes of reading a day and he learned a lot. I loved it because there was no prep involved. There are also extra books that come with it that walk you through memorizing all the countries of the world by continent. We did that with our whole family and enjoyed it too.

    This text also comes with a Teacher's Guide.

    WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043R4GRY?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0043


    World Factbook
    By Central Intelligence Agency

    From the site:
    The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

    You can use this source to create your own geography class. We also did a virtual round-the-world tour with all the kids in the family picking out their five dream destinations. We then we watched travel videos, read the travel section of the paper, read books, ate the cuisines and did presentations. There are many fun ways to learn about geography without getting bogged down in statistics that don't really "speak" to the culture and life in a region or country.

    WEB LINK: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/


    World History Map Activities
    By Marvin Scott

    The book contains map outlines for various areas and time periods. My kids supplemented their studies with books (from home and the library) and the internet to complete the outlines. This improved their research skills and it was often the first activity chosen each day.

    An answer key with some historical information was provided in the book.

    This course is not too time consuming. Completion times will vary, but for my young people, the investment was at the low end of what I expect for a high school level course. The book is such that one might choose to use some, but not all of the maps depending on one's interest and time.

    WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0825128803?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=08251

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