Teaching geography to children requires some creativity when travel budgets are tight. Since kids can't roam the globe, try to bring the world to them. The facts and figures of geography bore the socks off of most kids, so focusing more on the wonders of the wide world might inspire more interest in young geographers.
At ALEC, the Brashear kids are lucky to have an old classroom map of the world. Despite being a Mercator projection map, it is very useful for our cultural lessons and other geography needs.
Few things get kids involved like a good competition for bragging rights. A small dry erase board or chalkboard could be the start of a daily or weekly geography challenge question. Map literacy is a great skill to develop, with math and graph reading skill overlap, too.
Other great tools for bringing geography to kids can be found online. Lately, the students at ALEC have been having a lot of fun with www.geoguessr.com
This web site features a geography game based on Google's streetview imagery. The player is dropped somewhere in the world with only the scenery and their knowledge to help locate themselves.
The game features a number of map options, ranging from the entire world to individual contries, to single cities. Our favorite map features famous landmarks from all around the globe.
Each round puts the player in a new location and challenges them to guess their location on the inset map. Players have no time limit and can take as long as they want to guess.
After making a guess, the round ends and players are shown how close their guess was. Points are awarded for accuracy.
After completing the five rounds of a game, the player gets to a summary screen. The points total can be shared on social media for extra bragging rights.
This game makes wonderful use of Google's immense collection of streetscape photography, bringing the canals of Venice, the temples of Angkor Wat, the countryside of Japan, and many, many other sights to elementary school students.