Remember those country reports we all created when we were in middle school?
We were required to look up statistics like land area, languages spoken, population, etc. We also included maps and photos of the flag and important landmarks.
As we are moving through our middle and high school geography lessons I am starting to realize how valuable these reports really are!
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By studying geography, students learn about the world in which they live — this is extremely important as our world continues to get “smaller” by becoming more connected every day. Because our world is increasingly global minded it is important for our children to get to know the countries and cultures in which people live and work all around the world.
As part of our North Star Geography program, my students have each been creating their own atlas. Included in the atlas are Continents and Country Fact Files. These graphic organizers include questions about human and physical geography such as climate, population, common languages, physical features, government, and more.
My children love trivia and interesting facts therefore they have really enjoyed completing these reports. Some of the information for each Fact File can be found in an atlas or almanac, but others require a bit of research on geography websites.
During our research we have identified 5 helpful geography websites for middle school students.
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a very helpful resource for kids gathering information for research projects about different countries.
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communication, transportation, and military issues for 250+ world entities. This site also includes flags, maps, time zone information, and more.
Time for Kids Around the World
With Time for Kids Around the World students can learn about day-to-day life in countries around the world.
After selecting a country to explore kids will find facts, a history timeline, native lingo, and beautiful photos. They can even learn about a child’s “day in the life” experiences in that place.
National Geographic Education
For generations National Geographic has been THE source of geography information for learners of all ages. Did you know – “the National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888”.
The Students section of National Geographic Education offers a variety of learning tools including homework help, activities & games, maps, videos, and more.
We recently discovered Cultural Jambalaya and it has quickly become one of our favorites for images and stories of cultural geography.
Cultural Jambalaya is a photography-based nonprofit organization that aims to celebrate cultural differences. They use beautiful photography from around the world to create educational videos for students.
Videos describe customs & rituals, family life, transportation, jobs, religions, and world heritage sites. Currently, videos are available for Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. You can watch the videos online for free you just have to register your email address (there is no fee for registering).
The About Geography online directory includes major concepts and themes of geography as well as information and maps about countries and states around the world.
Some of the many topics discussed on this site include cultural & human geography, careers in geography, history of geography, geographic technology, and more.
* Remember parents, be sure to check out any websites you kids are using to make sure they meet the needs of your family.
We would love to hear what useful resources your family is using to help with geography studies!