• David

Geography Educational Resources

Updated: Apr 17

The current environment means that nearly every child in the world is schooling from home. I shared many of my family's favorite geography educational resources at the 2017 annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). I have also presented geographic topics at homeschool conferences for both teens (How Maps Lie; Maps and the Scriptures) and adults (Without Geography, You're Nowhere). Those presentations are filled with resources and information, and I wanted to encapsulate some of our favorites here. If you have one you love, let me know, and I will add it!

Computer Resources

Printable Maps

Map Exploration and Games

  • Google Maps Our children spend hours exploring the earth with Google Maps. They've even taken their own virtual road trips using StreetView.

  • Google Earth Google now has a web-based Google Earth platform that includes games as well as a desktop platform that has increased functionality. I love the aerial imagery time slider. You can see what your neighborhood looked like decades ago!

  • Geoguessr This is a web-based game where you are dropped into a Google StreetView scene and you have to use context clues to guess where you are. The closer you are, the more points you get.

  • The True Size Of... An fun exploratory website to help understand the some map projections distort area. You can highlight a state or country and move it around the world to see how it compares in size to other places.


Hard-Copy Maps Atlases

  • World atlas (lots of options, but Goode's World Atlas is the standard student atlas in academia)

  • Children’s atlas (we’ve really liked the now-out-of-print The Reader’s Digest Children’s Atlas of the World)

  • Road atlas (such as Rand McNally)

  • Large world wall map (equal-earth.com has some great free, detailed, downloadable world maps both political and physical)

  • Large US wall map (highly recommend The Essential Geography of the United States of America, imusgeographics.com)


  • Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller; children's picture book

  • Train of States by Peter Sis; children's visual reference book

  • How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein; just what it says: an interesting and informative treatise about how each state got its shape. Lots of maps!

  • How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier; great for teens to understand how maps work.

  • Maphead by Ken Jennings


  • Global Pursuit (old National Geographic board game)

  • Five-State Rummy (School Zone Publishing)

  • USA board puzzle (if you can find it, I highly recommend Ryan’s Room USA Map Puzzle)

  • World map puzzle

  • Map jigsaw puzzles

  • Scrambled States of America (card game that goes along with the book)

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