If you feel like your current homeschool studies are getting a bit stale, I encourage you to take a short trip around the world with your children! As a way of diverting a bit off of our history of the world study, we are conducting this "Geography Journal" series on the side. We take approximately two weeks off of our normal routine and do some "traveling" together to keep things interesting.There are many ways one can conduct this study but ours starts out with a blank composition book and a country. To make it easy, we have prepared a printable with daily journal ideas. You will find it HERE if you are interested in doing something like this. Each day, we simply do some reading on the country we are "touring" and include a journal entry or two (as shared below).
For fun, the first thing to do would be to decorate the cover of your composition book. Pictures or clip art of globes and maps would be wonderful. Perhaps you can make up "passports" for each child with their picture and use them as a cover. Either way, it is a nice and creative start.
Page 1 Entry:
Title your first page with the complete name of the country. Outline (or print out a black-line map) a map of the country you are studying and paste it into your journal. Find the capitol city and label it on the map. Include a drawing of the national flag. Record which continent your country is located in. Optional: Record the main religions.
Page 2 Entry:
Title the page “Famous People in _________________________” and record all the famous people you are familiar with in the country you are studying. As you learn more about the country, continue to add names to this list. Don’t forget about missionaries!
Page 3 Entry:
Title the page “Books Read About ____________________________” and half way down the page add another title “Movies Watched About ___________________________” (this is a great time to watch movies about missionaries). Enter all the books you are reading and all the movies you watch pertaining to the country you are studying. Continue to add to this list as you go along.
Page 4 Entry:
Title the page “Famous Places in ____________________________” and list all the interesting places you read about pertaining to the country as you go along in your journal. Make sure to include interesting land features such as famous mountain ranges, etc.
Page 5 Entry:
Title the page “Interesting Animals in ____________________________” and list all the interesting animals you read about pertaining to the country you are studying. Choose a favorite from the list and illustrate the page with a picture. (We use the Draw and Write Through History and the Draw Write Now Series series for the how-to-draw part. We also included the accompanying copy-work from that series in our journal.)
Page 6 Entry:
Title the page “Interesting Facts about __________________________” and list accordingly.
Page 7 Entry:
Choose a person from the country you are studying and do a biographical sketch about them. This would include a picture or drawing of them in the middle of the page surrounded by short notes of the person’s life such as date of birth, death, interesting facts and what made them unique. Don't forget to include some missionaries!
Page 8 Entry:
Write out a list of the special resources that the country you are studying has (such as gold, copper, types of native foods such as kiwi, pineapple and so forth).
Page 9 Entry:
Draw a picture of people wearing the traditional style of clothing for the country (source).
Do some research on the types of foods eaten from the country you are studying and write down a menu that sounds appetizing. Choose a night during the week and have your children prepare an international meal for the family. For extra fun, dress up in the customary attire from that country (you may need to get creative with what you have which is fun!).
Do a collage page featuring information about the country. For instance, we have a coloring book with many of the countries which shares facts from each country. We cut out the snippets of information and colored them and pasted them into a collage page in our journal. You could also use pictures from old magazines or order travel information from the travel section of the country online and use those images for collage purposes. They will usually mail or provide download information for free.
China here for an example!
Some "General" Geography Resources for Geography Journals:
An Encyclopedia Set
Around the World Coloring Book by Winky Adam (Dover Publications)
Round the World Cookbook by Usborne
Passport to the World by Craig Fromam
Your A to Z Guided Language Tour
This is a fun supplement to have as it explains biblically how the languages were formed from the Tower of Babel and then goes on to take the reader to 26 counties by sharing the language, country facts, cultural and traditional customs, interesting information section, how to greet the people of the nation, learn basic introductory words, the currency, a proverb, traditional costume and modern dress and map. Two pages are shared per country.
Draw Write Now Series by Marie Hablitzel
This is more of a "how to draw" series with matching copy-work but we have found it useful for illustrating our geography journals and for including some good old-fashioned copy-work.
Draw and Write Through History Set by Carylee Anne Gressman
This is also more of a "how to draw series with copy-work" (via history timeline) set but we have found it useful for illustrating our geography journals.
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