We love, LOVE, Geography. As a language learner and world traveler, a world map makes my heart beat. Although these days, most of our traveling happens by looking at our world map and finding travel videos on YouTube to help us see the world.
Until we travel again, we are getting to see the world from home and it is so exciting. We are learning the names of capitals, countries, directions, oceans, continents, and so much right from our home. There are a couple of resources that I want to share with you that we use as well as a FREE Printable that we are using in our home.
As we are learning Spanish through content, it is very important that we provide our children with plenty of input in the target language, Spanish. We also want to make this input accessible in print at all times, so we are labeling our home with plenty of signs in Spanish, including signs around our world map for Geography class.
This month we are focusing our attention on studying Africa’s geography since we recently partnered with Trades of Hope to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur. As world changers we have the opportunity to empower women out of poverty all around the world and send cloth diapers to women in Uganda who don’t have access to any diapers for their babies. Imagine, that. I would love to tell you more details (leave a comment) or simply visit my website at Trades of Hope to learn more.
How to Teach Geography Bilingually in English and Spanish in your Homeschool
Read in English:
One of the favorite books that we use is a fantastic resource, written by fellow homeschooler Jamie Martin. She wrote Give Your Child the World, a book, filled with lots of picture books and books to read as a family (or read aloud) about different countries in the world. It is divided into continents and countries. She also gives a brief description about each book and the ages it targets.
Although her book is written in English, any family would greatly benefit from it. If I want to read a book in Spanish, I simply go to google and search the name of the book and add the word Spanish next to it. In doing that I can usually find the title of the book in Spanish, if it has been translated.
Another fantastic book is The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World. Just by reading this book, you get to go on a world trip, reading facts, seeing pictures, and learning so much about every country. Every country gets a whole page. Love it!!!
One last resource in English is Child’s Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People – From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China . I love that this book gives an intro to basic terminology used in Geography. This book will be a great companion to use when using the FREE Printable I am sharing with you at the end of this post.
Reading in Spanish
This is the one book I am very drawn to because I have heard so much about it through different homeschool groups. This one is in my wish-list, hoping to get it soon.
In my home we grew up with a world atlas in Spanish, it is a must have. I really like that this one is in Spanish. It is so important to read in Spanish and build up our knowledge in Spanish.
Keep a Wall Map Accessible (or Visible)
We spend a lot of time looking at our world map, noticing the countries, names, locations, and pretty much everything in the map. We keep it on the wall as a reference, so that whenever we read a book and a country or language is mentioned, we can quickly reference it on our wall map.
Use a World Map for Reference
For example, a few months ago we read The Family Under the Bridge. This book is set in France where Paris is mentioned all throughout as well as a major river that runs through part of France. During our read aloud, we stopped a few times to find Paris, France and the river on our map.
Talk about the Terms used for Referencing a Place on a Map
We talked that France is to the East of the United States, across the Atlantic Ocean. We also talked about the countries neighboring (limítrofes) France.
- Talk about directions (direcciones)
- Talk about neighboring countries
- Talk about oceans, rivers
- Talk about location (how far or close to the Equator a country is)
- Talk about their current season and your own.
- Show where the North and Southern Hemisphere are located and its implications to the seasons of the year and the weather.
Our World Map
This is what ours looks like. It is so simple, but it has sparked so many conversations around our table. At some point, I would like to get this scratch map, looks really nice and I think the kids would have fun scratching the places we have read about through our read alouds, places visited, family locations, etc.
Look at the Globe – El Globo Terráqueo
Having a globe is so important, too. We talk about “El globo terraqueo” (the globe) and that the “tierra es redonda” (the earth is round). It gives us a good reminder of what the earth looks like. I also really like that we can clearly see La Línea del Ecuador (Ecuador Line) in the globe and follow it all the way around.
What is Geography? Qué es la Geografîa? Video for children in Spanish. Thanks to YouTube we are also able to go on world tours. Search the name of a country or city and type in virtual tour. Definitely preview videos before showing them to your kids, just in case.
Cooking World Foods
Another interactive, hands-on way to learn Geography is by making food recipes from a different country. We have made Dutch food, Chinese, Chilean, Mexican, and Italian food so far. It has been a joy to share the kitchen with my kids while they learn Math and Geography at the same time.
This cookbook is fantastic!!!! Eat Your Way Around the World is a cook book with recipes from around the world. Each section is divided by continent and by country. You could easily pair it with Give Your Child the World.
Bilingual Geography Signs – Free Printable
So far I have only put up the north, south, west, and east signs. I will be adding more signs as we encounter more Geography terms in our readings. One curriculum I would love to try is Beautiful Feet Geography. It would be a study on Geography through literature.
Get Your Bilingual Geography Signs Free Printable for your homeschool or classroom. Let me know in the comments if it is useful for you or if you would like to see more resources like this one.
Download your free printable below:
Have fun learning Geography!