Monday, July 6, 2015

How We're Doing U.S. Geography

This Kindergarten year one of my big focuses with Canaan is learning all 50 states and their place on the map. This has been pretty fun since Canaan has loved it so far.

Canaan BEGS to play our United States games, especially U.S. Bingo and "Scrambled States of America". We've altered the rules a bit for this one and found a way to play that works perfect for his age and knowledge level. We've also taken a bit of the race/speed aspect out so it's more enjoyable for him. Because the point isn't competition, the point is to make it fun so he wants to play and learn!

Figuring out if he has a state close to Georgia. 

We also practice learning the cardinal directions with his compass. This included one trip out on a rainy day where he pretended to be "lost" and used his compass to find his way home.

We talk about the "Man in the Map" that lives in the middle states. I saw this online when looking up ideas for teaching Canaan, and was like WHAA?!! Canaan's mind was appropriately blown to - he saw this on our pin board and rushed to tell Daddy about it. "DAD!!! There. is. a MAN in. the United States!!!!"

FYI, Iowa is the face, where the man's EYES are!

We listen to funny state songs and make up other funny ways to remember the states (like, how we decided that Curious George lives in Georgia, Vermont is shaped like the letter "V", and Arkansas is "arching" over it's neighbors). This is so fun for me and brings me back to being a kid. I remember so clearly to this day, when my dad told me that in Pierre, South Dakota they PEE. AIR. Yep, it totally clicked for my 8 year old self!!

Annnywho, we've also found a couple of good apps for learning the maps. He gets quizzed on their location, and then uses his map (craft paper from Hobby Lobby) to locate the state. So far he knows a few random ones on his own - Florida, Indiana, Maine, California, and Texas - and the rest he's finding quicker and quicker on the map. He's also learning to say them correctly. It was pretty cute though for a while when he called Arizona, "Arizon-ya".

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