Learning about the United States with the New National Geographic Kids United States Atlases


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Schools are starting back up and so are homeschools. This has been a crazy year for schools. Most of my friends' children are still doing remote learning. Hazel is back in the physical school and the school is doing a great job keeping them social distant as much as possible. Hazel has told me she sometimes forgets she is even wearing her mask. I have not gotten to that point but I don't wear one for the entire day. Today I thought I would look at some educational books and lessons. I have the latest editions of the National Geographic Kids United States Atlases and I want to share them with you, give you some ways of using them and also have a round-up of map activities and lessons. Are you ready? First we will look at the Beginner's United States Atlas

This atlas is meant for grades 2 through 5. It is not as packed with information but has plenty in it. It is for the kids who are starting to understand maps and how to use them. The beginning of the book explains about what a map is and how to read one. There is then information about the United States and its capital. Then there are chapters based on the location of the states: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, etc. There is a page about the region in general and then there is a page about each state.

As you can see on the chapter cover page of the Southwest, there is a bit of information and some beautiful photos. You will be able to compare it to what is in the other atlas for older kids. 

For the state there is the information like the flag, state flower and bird as well as other interesting things about the state. 

Let's compare the Beginner's United States Atlas to the United States Atlas. 

The National Geographic Kids United States Atlas 6th Edition is more detailed and has more complex maps. The information in the beginning includes how to use the atlas, the physical map, climate map, natural hazards map, political map, population map, people on the move map (about minorities) and an energy map and then there is a page on Washington, D.C. including a map of it. It is then divided by regions of the United States like the Beginner's one. However the pages have much more information. There are three pages to introduce each region.

The first page of the region has information like the total area of land and water, the highest and lowest points, longest rivers, largest lakes, climate, and vegetation as well as the total population, the states in it, the largest and smallest states, the most and least populous states and the largest city in the region. 

The next page of the beginning of a region features two maps--the physical and the political maps of the region. 

The final page of the regional introduction includes a bit about the culture and what the region is known for. There is also a map on each one showing where the photos in that section are from on the map. After the introduction to the region come the pages on the states.

As you can see the state pages in this one are much more detailed. There are facts, photos and information about each state as well as the state bird and state flower. This book is recommended for grades 3 to 7. It would be perfect for research on states as well as teaching to use maps. I was thinking of a plan a road trip project and see where the kids would want to go. If you want to do more world activities be sure to check out the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021 that I shared last week. It has world maps and information about different countries. I also found some different lessons on-line including some from National Geographic Kids. Some are meant to do with their large maps but could be altered for the smaller ones.

Then I asked fellow bloggers for ideas of teaching maps. Some of these are about creating your own maps and others are about reading maps and more. Together they will make a great unit on maps!
2) Tour the USA Map Intro from The Natural Homeschool 
3) Hometown Resist Map Art from Our Family Code
4) Maps and Globe Learning from 3 Dinosaurs
7) Playdough Map of the USA from Mama Smiles
8) Book Mapping from KC Edventures (LOVE this! Tying in books with map activities)
9) Montessori Continent Work from Carrots are Orange
10) Make Your Own Globe from Rainy Day Mum
11) Mapping Magic Treehouse Adventures from Rainy Day Mum
12) Making Felt Maps from Mama Smiles
13) Salt Dough Map from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
15) Peter Rabbit Mapmaking from Inspirational Laboratories
16) Destination USA Game This is a favorite game of ours as well as anyone we share it with!
19) Make Your Own Treasure Hunt from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
20) Make Your Own Scavenger Hunt Map from Barley and Birch

I also have some other books to help you teach about maps and using them.
10) Constellation Map from Rainy Day Mum
11) Learn about Marie Tharp and her mapping of the ocean floor

I hope you will check out these books and different activities. Have fun with maps!!