Geography Nook & Simple European Countries Unit

We are still banging away at our school room, although we have given up setting ourselves ‘finish by’ dates because they keep coming and going with alarming regularity and yet the school room still isn’t finished.  The geography area is however and it is being put to great use with my easy peasy European geography unit.  Actually calling it a unit is a bit of a stretch but I’m determined that my children do a little better than these poor people at filling in a European map (view without children, there are a few swear words present – it nevertheless is a very, very funny read which had me crying with laughter.  Thanks go to Ticia for the link).  And yes, I would have fitted right into that group with ease, geography being my poorest subject!

Anyway, here is our geography nook:

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We have a huge wall map of the world, a shelf for educational DVDs above, a unit to hold all our geography games, maps and books as well as our globe and a nice collection of National Geographic magazines.

One slightly closer up of the unit:

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Some of the books
Some of the books
Games and other learning resources
Games and other learning resources

And the map:

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Our geography nook was completed just in time to be helpful for studying our easy peasy European Geography unit.  It gives the children a point of reference for each country before they research using their computer.  It also allows A5 and B3 to be part of it in a small way.

I had contemplated doing a huge European geography unit over the summer, but for now I’ve shelved that idea in favour of Leonardo DaVinci.  Well, can you blame me?  DaVinci promises to be highly entertaining as well as educational.  European countries, not so much.  However, I did want the children to experience a small amount of European culture and I also wanted them to at least be able to point out the countries on a map.

So here it is.  Claire’s easy peasy European geography unit in six simple steps:

1) Write out some information you want your children to research about each country:

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2) Cut strips into squares.  One piece of information on each piece.  Fold and place in a basket:

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3)  The children take it in turns to choose a piece of paper, continuing until there are no more left.

4)  Using the resources available to them (above) and their personal computers, the children research the answers to the questions on the paper:

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5) Then gather children to give an impromptu 5 minute presentation:

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6) Repeat with other European countries.  Should take under 30 minutes, start to finish, each day.  See, easy peasy!

 

 

 

 

 

30 comments

  1. I have to admit I’d be no better than the Americans on that link – I don’t think my geography lessons ever covered this! And even if they had, I learnt absolutely nothing from geography at school. Can I come and do your Europe unit?

  2. I would also fail miserably at filling out that map. Nor we I be nearly as witty about my loss for placement 🙂 We are always pointing out countries on maps/globes, but apparently none have stuck! Have fun with your easy peasy unit! (DaVinci will be so much fun!)

    1. T and I can not wait for DaVinci (thank you for correcting my spelling by the way!! – I wondered why spell check didn’t like it!)

  3. Hi Claire, I am really enjoying your blog, I wonder if you saw the moth stone on homeschool creations last week
    http://theswedishbushcrafter.blogspot.se/2014/05/paint-moths-on-rocks.html

    my daughter also loved to make a plush cell model, she still has it in her bed ( she is 20 now!!!!)
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Plush-Cell-Model/
    I might have shared it already sorry if I did!!!

    You are a great mom and have wonderful kids, God bless you richly Myriam from Switzeland!!¨¨again!!!!

  4. Your geography nook is really nice! We are doing a geography study for the summer semester…Divinci sounds much more interesting but we’ll study him in our science when regular school starts up.

  5. Hi again Claire, I was preparing ieas for a friend when I found some ideas I wanted to share with you
    For your bugs project, do you have the books from ed emberley , He makes fingerprints animals and bugs which could be fun for your littles, Susan kapuscinsky Gaylord made some fun little books with these om her blog Making books with children, the post is called celebrating ed emberley.I couldn’t find the link but on her blog she uses a book called palm leaf book
    For the biggerones there is a blog called That artist woman
    http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2013/05/pastel-resist-bugs.html
    ok that’s all for now…happy homeschooling 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for all the wonderful ideas. When I have a bit of time I’ll go through each and every one. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I am determined that my kids will know geography better than me! Love your little nooks. You come up with the best ideas. Maybe when you are finished you can do a little e-book on homeschooling nooks! Seriously. Since we don’t have much wall space in our house, I have large maps attached to science boards that can folded and stored for the weekend. It seems to be the best solution for us. Every morning during devotions, we pray for a different missionary family. The children have fun finding the country on the map. Just one more way to learn geography.

    I like your idea of researching the different countries. May try that one.

    1. I love your missionary idea for geography! We did something similar when we read a book about the prayer needs of all the different countries in the world, and the children (much younger then) would try to find each country.

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