Drawing Around the World (USA): A Geography Review!
What is it exactly?
Rosie (4th grade) and I have started working on learning the fifty states for her geography lessons this year. Drawing Around the World is designed to help kids memorize the states and their capitals, along with facts about each state. The program has you draw one state at a time, adding on new states to the ones you already know, until at the finish of the curriculum you end up being able to draw the entire state map from memory.
It’s a really cool way to learn about the USA. This is something that will stick with kids for a long time. Especially if your child is a visual learner like mine is! It’s so simple, yet it’s a fresh new way to learn the state map and state capitals without dreary memorization drills.
The lessons look like this:
The first part of each state lesson is to fill out an info sheet on the state. The ebook gives you suggested sites to look at in order to find this information.
We loved how the first page for each state has a place to draw the state in the shape of a picture you design. Rosie thought Maine looked like a howling dog or wolf. This makes it easier for kids to remember the shape of the state, both when redrawing it in other lessons in the future and when recognizing it on a map after the geography curriculum is long gone.
Rosie’s only qualm with the state info sheets was that she didn’t have enough space to write the industry and facts.
The following day’s lessons for each state only take a few minutes. Each day you trace the state on a lined map, and then you draw it on a blank map. You add in all the states you’ve learned so far too.
The week’s lesson plans:
Day 1: Learn about a new state. (In some lessons, learn more than one new state.) Fill out the state info sheet(s). Draw the state on the map, mark the capital, then draw all the other states learned thus far and their capitals.
Day 2: Draw the new state and all the other states you have learned so far on a blank map and add in the capitals of the states.
Day 3: Repeat Day 2’s lesson on a new paper.
Day 4: List all of the state names and capitals learned so far. Draw all the states you’ve learned about on a map, without looking back at the previous pages.
Simple, repetitive, short, and challenging. A great way to memorize the states!
It seemed very easy at first, with only the New England states learned. But I can see how it will get much more challenging as time goes on. I’m interested to see how Rosie does with it.
I like that the lessons are short. I feel like it’s easy for Rosie to sit down and work on this without a lot of preparation on my part or anything complicated to slog through. We just flip open the binder, where I have preprinted the lesson pages, and start drawing. Awesome.
The course is designed for ages 4th through 12th grade. Since it’s an ebook it would be an easy curriculum to use with multiple grade levels. I think a child younger than 4th grade could even use this curriculum as long as they can read and draw on a basic level.
One more great thing about Brookdale House! I had never heard of this company before our review, but as it turns out they have a ton of Charlotte Mason friendly curriculum. Their entire focus as a company is to teach children in a simple, direct way without needless fluff. They even have a section on their website about the Charlotte Mason method!
They have a series called Writing Through History that I would love to check out at some point in the future. Other reviewers on the CREW reviewed some of the Writing Through History curriculums, which you can read at the banner link below. The Writing Through History courses include dictation, copywork, and narration.
Other CREW reviewers did the Drawing Around the World: Europe edition curriculum too. Since the USA version is so awesome we will probably be ready to do the Europe one next year!
Hop over to the Review Crew’s blog to check out all the other member’s reviews of Drawing Around the World and Writing Through History, along with several other curriculums from Brookdale House.
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