Geography has always been a part of our learning environment from the maps and globes around our home to the conversations regarding the settings of the many stories we read or listen to on audio. Since the girls enjoy learning about the world around them and we are studying United States History, Brookdale House's Drawing Around the World: USA has been a nice addition to our studies.
We received Drawing Around the World: USA as a digital copy to be reviewed. The foundation of the program is drawing each state in its correct location and as similar as possible to its size and shape. This makes printing out the lessons a necessity.
About the program and how we used it ...
We included Drawing Around the World: USA in our evening work. I have found that if we have some learning activities available during the evening, the day isn't as long and the activities are somewhat like a wind down.
Each evening we completed the daily lesson. Each week's lessons follow the same routine. Day 1 includes introducing the new state or states, learning facts about the state, locating the state on a map, and drawing previously learned states onto a blank grid map. Day 2 and 3 focuses on locating the state on a map and drawing all of the previous learned states onto a blank grid map. Day 4 requires listing from memory all of the states that have been learned and drawing the states which have been learned from memory.
There are several types of maps used to help teach about the geography of the United States. When we first learned about a new state, we used a map which outlines only that state. On this map, we also are able to review our state capitals. After being introduced to the outline of the shape, we then see the state as a part of the entire country. This allowed the girls to have a better idea of where each individual state is located in the context of our country. This framed map is used on the first three days of study. Another map that is used only provides an outline of the country. It shows the bordering countries, oceans, and Great Lakes. This is where there memory began to work a bit more. This map is used on days three and four. The last map isn't a map at all. It offers a blank space for drawing from memory the states that have been taught.
We used the program as suggested because of the method. I didn't find it easy to manipulate into my own thing nor did I find it necessary for me to change the program to make it work for the girls.
Our thoughts aboutDrawing Around the World: USA
The girls thought drawing to better solidify their geography skills was fun. It was engaging and allowed them to be actively involved in the map making. I liked that the program didn't simply have them label where a state was located, but actually involved them by having them place the state on the map.
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