A couple years ago I purchased a wonderful hands-on Literature Approach to Geography based on four of the classics by Holling C. Holling. Since the Alphabet Path kept us pretty busy last year, I didn't have a chance to start using it until this year, and my children have absolutley loved this program! Even though my boys are still slowly making their way through their State-by-State Scrapbooks it has been a most welcome addition to our curriculum this year.
(also available here)
"This award-winning study is designed to cover geography, but also includes some history and science as well. The teacher's guide provides the framework for getting the most out of the Holling books as well as four maps (available separately) designed to be colored and labeled by your student. Three main geographic regions of the U.S are covered in this course as well as an introduction to world geography in the book, Seabird."
(also available here)
"This set of four 18" x 24" maps is used with the Geography Through Literature study guide. Each blank map depicts a different area of the United States."
"Books in this series are: Paddle-to-the-Sea, Minn of the Mississippi, Tree in the Trail, and Seabird. Whether following the adventuresome voyage of a carved toy canoe, tracing the travels of a not-so-timorous turtle, or learning about life on the Great Plains as witnessed by an aged cottonwood tree, readers will relish the blend of history, geography, and nature."
Last fall we continued our journey though Geography with this wonderful set of books with the story of Paddle-to-the-Sea. We had read this one before and all my children LOVED it (remember their cute little Modeling Wax Canoes?), so they were very excited to dig in deeper.
While reading about Paddle's journey from Lake Nipigon to the Sea, we also researched Canadian Geese, Sawmills and how they function, Iron Ore, Copper, Freighters, and so much more! The children labeled the States, Capitals and Cities along the path and I even pulled out the couple pictures I have from the trip I took to Niagara Falls with my Dad when I was about Captains age.
Our Completed Map for Paddle-to-the-Sea
Then, in January, we moved on to Tree in the Trail. This was a wonderful story about the history of the Great Plains and the Santa Fe Trail, told by focusing on a cottonwood tree along the trail and the events that happened to and around that tree.
While studying this book, we researched cottonwood trees, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (and added his trail to the map), Comanche Warriors, Flintlock Rifles (and other weapons: Indian arrows and arrowheads), the Wagon Trail to Santa Fe, the Cimarron Crossing and Trail, and much more.
The children labeled the Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the States of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, in addition to their capitals as well.
They found and labeled the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico, and illustrated the Tree in the Trail, the "Yoke" made from the tree, and a cute wagon and buffalo. I thought they did a wonderful job!
Our Completed Map for Tree in the Trail
(click picture for larger view)
We have now moved on to Minn of the Mississippi and will finish up with Seabird sometime during this next school year. That is one of the benefits of home schooling, you can still finish up the extra courses you love even if you are not able to complete them by summer! ;)