Geography is such a fun subject to teach and learn, especially with an interactive geography notebook. I feel like it’s the first step towards my children thinking beyond themselves, their neighborhood, or even their country and acknowledging their global citizenship. It can inspire them to take care of their environment, develop a love for travel, and so much more.
Interactive notebooks are exactly what they sound like! Kids create notebooks filled with fun and engaging entries, like lift-the-flap, spinners, and more. It gives them a chance to interact with the material, instead of just reading or note copying!
Geography Interactive Notebook
Last year, we spent a lot of time exploring globes and maps. We also spent a lot of time practicing kinder-level map skills through worksheets and printables from around the web.
Since we were going to deep dive more into geography and history this year, I wanted to find a new and fresh way to present the information and check for mastery. I also wanted it to be in a format that she could reference, as we move through other social studies units. Thus, the geography interactive notebook idea was born!
Parts of the Geography Interactive Notebook
This project begins with “Parts of a Globe” and “My World” chart, explaining the difference between continents and oceans. These two pages are from a FREE printable set on TeachersPayTeachers that can be found here! (Note: She has some other great interactive notebook elements worth checking out too!)
The next page is a “Label the Continents and Oceans” printable that I also found FREE on TPT here! We just cut it out to use inside her journal, instead of a standalone activity. When we were doing this activity, I realized that the “My World” printable was missing the Southern Ocean, so make sure to add one on your own!
I should start by saying that, technically, our state standards call for continents and oceans in second grade. However, Ruby has expressed an interest in more clearly understanding the differences between continent, country, state, etc and has a keen interest in travel (probably from my day job!). It made sense for us to go ahead and stretch now, especially because we spent so much time on basic map skills last year.
For this part of the notebook, I had to DIY and designed my own printable, which you can find here. Each continent gets its own page, with an outline of that continent and some fun flaps to fill out. Kids can just write their answers under each flap (skip printing the last set of pages), but Ruby and I decided to use some fun illustrations and type up her answers together (using the last set of pages).
My Place in the World
“My Place in the World” will tie into reading “Me on the Map”. I found another great and free printable on TPT, which can be found here. It’s specific to Louisiana (parish instead of county), but could be used as a guide for other locations. There are tons of other “Me on the Map” type of activities available on TPT too!
I wanted to find a way to recap “map skills” in her notebook, since those will largely be practiced outside of it. I’ve made my own printables for this section too. The first page is about the compass and compass rose and can be found here! The next page is some common map vocabulary and can be found here!
This section will include a map of the United States, our National Symbols, and some of the famous landmarks. This is another printable that I’ve made that can be found here!
We’ll transition to information about our state using yet another free printable from TPT, where she’ll color our state on a U.S. map. It can be found here!
Then, we’ll mostly duplicate the Country section with a similar printable about Louisiana. It’s another printable that I’ve made that can be found here!
More to Come
In my next post, I’ll be sharing our parish, city, and landform printables!