Elementary Spotlight: Geography

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Elementary students need an engaging tool to learn the basics, the physical and political geography of their school, their neighborhood, their town, their state, and the world. Our Interactive Atlas was designed specifically to build those skills and expand that knowledge base.

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The Interactive Atlas opens with a map of the continents and major oceans.

From identifying basic knowledge—continents, oceans, countries, and capitals—to creating unique, individualized maps that illustrate specific ideas, the Interactive Atlas places a powerful geography learning tool into the hands of students.

I was able to use the interactive atlas with my 2nd-grade class to chart the courses of some of the early explorers such as Marco Polo, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and Columbus! It was so beneficial to look at the world map and then be able to zero in on the explorations routes originating from Portugal. I think this gave the students a much clearer picture than what they get looking at a class map. It is hard to see a country the size of Portugal.

—Paula Green, Curriculum Pathways Master Teacher

Drawing tools in the Interactive Atlas allow students to experiment, using geography lessons created for exploration of standards-based geographic topics like deserts, islands, and rain forests. For example, Mapping the Sahara provides resources for students to learn more about the Sahara Desert AND create a map illustrating what they've learned!

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A student-generated map, created with the Interactive Atlas, illustrating features of and facts about the Sahara Desert.

Our geography resources don't end with the Interactive Atlas. The audio tutorial about the Sahara Desert, used in the mapping lesson described above, can be used on its own. Other resources cover similar topics such as the Amazon Rainforest and Australia.

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Using the Amazon Rainforest audio tutorial, students identify the size and location of the rainforest and consider the environmental challenges it faces.

Our free, interactive resources can help students study and map the world, beyond the roof of their house.

Looking for more geography resources? Check these out!

Mapping the Ten Largest Islands
Identifying Countries Using Mnemonics
Mapping the Most Populous Cities
Mapping the World's Most Populous Countries
Mapping Australia and New Zealand
Mapping the Amazon Rainforest

 

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About Author

Molly Farrow

Molly Farrow taught high school history for 11 years in Wake County and Durham County. She also taught at the Taipei American School in Taiwan. She received a M.A.T. degree from the University of North Carolina and a B.S. degree in Political Science from Wake Forest University. Outside work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and their dog, Dante.

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