Sunday, June 2, 2013

Australian Geography Resources

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Alongside all our history studies we like to keep track of what's happening on the map. This is pretty important for my map loving boys, but more then that it also really helps them see where things happened. Often it's a bit of a shock to see, "Wow, this happened there? I live so close to that!" We're pretty free spirited with our geography as the boys have been locating places on a map or globe from a very young age. In fact, Morgan's fun with Children Around The World is one of the only times we've used a more formal geography curriculum.

To keep track of what's happening, first we need a map. Rather then fuss over getting a nice big map or anything like that, I decided it would be just as easy to print one out from MegaMaps. Keep in mind that when you print out Australia it will not be broken down into states. You'll have mainland & Tasmania. So rather then print it as large as we did for Europe we went with a slightly smaller version with only 16-25 pages. Even if you know the landscape it might be a wee bit tricky to put together because of how it prints out, but the results are worth it.

Once we have our map pulled out it's pretty easy to simply mark the places our studies take us. Referring to an atlas to be sure you mark it correctly is often a big help, but remember if you mark lots of the little bays & inlets that are mention in My Father's Islands or other explorer books you may find they've changed names a few times over!

Lastly, our library has this lovely set of books entitled Our Australia. They are put out by Australian Geographic, but considered fictional & are located in the Junior section of the library. There are 12 books in the series, & each book takes you to a new place around Australia. It's written in story form, but loaded with facts, fun,  & historical information. There's true snapshots of locations, icons, peoples, & animals common to the area.

The true facts are mixed into the fictional story, all though in the back of the books are some extras. Things like Aussie Slang, Aussie Jokes, & a few extra Aussie Facts. All up, they're pretty fun little books which will add some nice geography to our Australian studies!

Something else to keep in mind is that if you nip over to the lovely Our Australia website you'll find some lovely pages to go along with each of the little books if you want to include them in your studies. There's maps for the children to use if they want small ones for their notebooks, comprehension questions, links for more information, and other little goodies to use.

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