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Best geography learning material

Which geography learning material is best?

Is your child intrigued by maps? If they are, then they’re probably enjoying their social studies or history class quite a bit. If you’d like to pique their interest further, supplement their skills with geography learning materials.

Geography is introduced in a variety of ways, whether it’s exploring cultures or learning about topography. However, at the core of geography lessons are maps, and when kids develop a keen awareness about them, they’re able to excel in history class. Geography is also fun to learn, especially when kids realize it’s something they can use in their daily lives.

Our buying guide introduces you to different types of geography learning materials, and we provide an overview of subject matter and exercises. We’re also sharing a few recommendations, including our favorite, Thinking Kids’ The Complete Book of Maps and Geography. This fun workbook covers North and South American geography and has a broad range of fun activities.

What to know before you buy geography learning material

Benefits of geography learning materials

Many parents purchase geography learning materials for enrichment or exam preparation, as they offer kids fun ways to engage with the curriculum. It’s also worth getting geography learning materials for kids who love trivia, as it fosters learning in their favorite subject.

Choosing by grade level

Geography learning materials are clearly marked by their intended grade ranges. The most popular are kindergarten to grade 3, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 to 8. There are also geography learning materials for early learners designed to appeal to ages 2 to 5.

There are more specialized geography materials written in accordance with national geography standards. With these, workbooks or activity books are dedicated to a single grade featuring a more focused curriculum.

What to look for in quality geography learning material

Types of maps

The most common maps in geography learning materials are political, physical, and topographic. There are also some workbooks that cover curriculum related to climate and economy.

Regardless of the geography learning materials you choose, there’s usually a “master” map somewhere. This includes the main regions of study, which could be limited to the U.S. or cover the entire world if materials are globally focused.

Map information

Map information should be clearly marked and presented in fonts and font sizes that are appropriate for your child’s reading level. It’s common for materials geared toward younger kids to include sample maps with a guide that explains how map information is displayed with legends and coordinates.

Exercises and activities

There are countless types of exercises and activities, and no two types of geography learning materials include the same ones. This variety includes popular exercises like map labeling, word scrambles, navigation activities, and matching games. Quizzes and exams are included in only some types of materials, so if you’d like to chart progress, stick with these.

How much you can expect to spend on geography learning material

Simple workbooks with fewer color details cost $10 and below. If you’re looking for in-depth activities that follow national geography standards, you can spend closer to $15. Niched geography learning materials with well-developed curriculum and high-resolution images can cost $25 or more.

Geography learning materials FAQ

Q. What does it mean if a geography workbook is reproducible?

A. Reproducible materials means you can make photocopies of pages so kids are able to practice them more than once. These workbooks are usually in black and white or grayscale, as it can be costly to photocopy high-resolution images.

Q. Are there any other types of geography learning materials besides workbooks?

A. Yes, there are many. There are educational games, flash cards, interactive platforms, and educational video games. Workbooks are often part of larger collections that can include some of these materials as well as manipulatives.

What geography learning materials are best to buy?

Top geography learning material

Thinking Kids’ The Complete Book of Maps and Geography

Our take: Colorful and engaging, this workbook offers a robust survey of U.S. geography.

What we like: It includes several map types. Exercises progress in difficulty level to help gauge progress.

What you should consider: It's designed for grades 3 to 6, but is better-suited for grade 3.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.

Top geography learning material for the money

Evan-Moor’s Beginning Geography

Our take: The reproducible design lets you revisit more challenging lessons for mastery.

What we like: It is focused on global geography and written to national geography standards.

What you should consider The book construction can make it awkward for home use.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.

Worth checking out

180 Days of Geography for Fourth Grade

Our take: It offers diverse maps to discuss the intersection of geography and culture.

What we like: It drills kids on map comprehension. The format consists of a passage or image with questions and answers.

What you should consider: Answers may include information not discussed in the text.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon.


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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