Alternate Methods for Teaching Geography

Pin a blank U.S. map to a bulletin board and attach little nametags with long, quilting-style, straight pins. We had several sets of tags: state name, capital city, two-letter postal abbreviation, etc. We did not worry about locating cities in their proper places, just identifying which state they are in. (Precision can come later with more advanced knowledge.)It is a good idea to color the areas outside the map boundaries with colored pencils to indicate water or land. This can help students understand which areas outside the U.S. are ocean and which areas are other countries.

We expanded this idea to cover Mexico when my high-school-aged son was preparing for a mission trip. I traced a rough map of Mexico from an atlas and transferred it to poster board, outlining the Mexican states and making pin-tags with the names of the Mexican states.

Computer games are also available that use jigsaw-puzzle-style shape matching for nearly any area of the world. We used World Discovery Deluxe and enjoyed its many variations.



Many more suggestions are available in our book Taking the Mystery Out of Learning Styles.