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Trail Guide to World Geography

by Cindy Wiggers

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Trail Guide to World Geography by Cindy Wiggers. Paperback, 128 pages, $18.95. Published by Geography Matters. Please support HomeschoolChristian.com by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors link or Amazon affiliate link.

Trail Guide to World Geography is a teacher's manual that provides week-by-week plans for one year of world geography study for elementary through high school aged students.

The lengthy instructions section at the beginning of the book offers many creative ideas for making geography interesting and fun. Specific lesson plan suggestions for second to fourth grade, fourth to seventh grade, and seventh to tenth grade are shown along with recommended resources by age level.

Lesson plans for weeks one through twenty-seven are shown on two pages each. The first page of each week has "Geography Trails," two simple questions per day for four days. The questions are provided for three levels: primary, intermediate, and advanced. Mrs. Wiggers suggests that advanced high school students should be assigned both the intermediate and advanced questions. The topics of the questions begin with the world and move on to the individual continents. The author says that just answering these questions will provide a good background in geography.

The second page of each week consists of "Points of Interest," a section of activities for those who wish to dig a bit deeper in their geography studies. The mapping sub-section provides activities for mapping of locations on the continent being studied or items such as the equator, Arctic Circle, and oceans during the weeks that the world is studied. The "Trail Blazing" sub-section offers many research and hands-on ideas, such as cooking, writing papers, and doing salt dough maps, for further study and refers frequently to assignments in The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide by the same author. The next sub-section, the geography notebook, gives basic instructions for starting a notebook and recommends research ideas, once again referring to The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, for it. The final sub-section coordinates activities in another book, Teaching Geography Through Art, co-authored by Mrs. Wiggers.

A unit study using "geography through literature" for the book Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne encompasses weeks twenty-seven through thirty-six. Ideas for mapping and arts and crafts are included along with spelling and vocabulary, comprehension questions, additional research suggestions, math applications, spelling, and vocabulary.

The appendix includes a map of the former Soviet States, "geography through literature" book lists, illustrated geography dictionary reproducible pages, and an answer key.

Recommendation: Trail Guide to World Geography offers the week-by-week guidance that many parents need for studying geography. The instructions section of the book is loaded with ideas, but frankly, I found that there were SO many ideas of creative approaches that what actually needs to be done got lost. When you work with this book, I would suggest reading a couple of weeks of lesson plans and then going back to the instructions.

In order to implement many of the activities in the "Points of Interest" part of the program, you will need to purchase Teaching Geography Through Art and The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide. You could get by without The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide by using the outline maps from Uncle Josh's Outline Map Book if you are willing to make up mapping activities of the important locations on each continent yourself. If you have The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, Uncle Josh's Outline Map Book will not be needed.

Trail Guide to World Geography provides a well-laid out plan to make geography studies interesting and painless.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's Geography Section for interesting ideas and resources!
Review of Geography Songs
Review of Geography Through Art
Review of Hands-On Geography
Review of Eat Your Way Geography Cookbook Series
Review of A Child's Geography
Review of The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide
Review of Uncle Josh's Outline Maps
Review of Hold That Thought Note booking and timeline products

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