Thursday, May 5, 2016

Homeschool Review: Maps, Charts, and Graphs E: United States and Its Neighbors


First Son completed this workbook last year, in fifth grade. These little books continue to be a favorite with all the children.

This book has 32 lessons covering maps, keys, finding directions, map grids, latitude and longitude, scale, landform and relief maps, contour lines, elevation maps, comparing maps (average yearly precipitation vs. Canadian agriculture), highway maps, and using an atlas. It also discusses different map projections and their best uses and special purpose maps (time zones, rainfall, center of population, earthquake zones).

I appreciate all the map work as these are skills we don't cover systematically in any other way. (We use lots of maps in history, but they tend to be mainly geographical in nature rather than maps used to answer questions and derive information.) First Son, probably not unlike most 11 year olds, needed a bit of help when using maps to find driving directions. With the advent of GPS devices and mapping software, this may be a dying skill, but it's one I hope he eventually masters.

The last few lessons cover graphs, tables, charts, and diagrams. These are less necessary for us as they tend to be covered well in our math lessons but it's nice for the children to see how those skills can appear in other ways.

There was a rather odd lesson on analyzing pictures in which the student was asked to study historical pictures and then answer questions based on them. Much of this lesson was subjective so we mainly talked through it together. In addition, there was a lesson on political cartoons and their interpretation and time lines.

Reviews of Previous Books in the Series
Level A: The Places Around Me
Level B: Neighborhoods
Level C: Communities
Level D: States and Regions

I've linked to Amazon above, with my affiliate link, but when I'm buying these workbooks, I always purchase them from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts which has good prices and excellent service. I don't receive anything from them if you order, but I hope you do.

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