Resource Guide for Geography


Dr. Ava L. McCall



Children’s Books

Computer Software

Curriculum Units





Professional Books and Journal Articles






Children’s Books


Cherry, L. (1992). A river ran wild. San Diego: Voyager Books.


The information picture book illustrates how the Nashua River in New Hampshire and Massachusetts changed over time through the effects different groups of people and industries had on the river from 7000 years ago to now. The text and drawings depict how people change their environment, including polluting the Nashua River during the industrial revolution and later as industries dump waste into the river. It also suggests how activists can lead efforts to clean up polluted rivers so that people and animals can safely use them.


Knowlton, J. (1985). Maps & globes. New York: HarperCollins.


This picture book is written for early elementary and clearly explains the history of maps, the accuracy of globes in representing the earth, some of the distortions on flat maps, and the meaning of north, south, east, and west. The text also addresses components of maps, such as the equator, northern and southern hemispheres, lines of latitude and longitude, scale, key or legend, elevation, and depth. Finally, it introduces the reader to different types of maps, including physical, political, and local.


Leedy, L. (2000). Mapping Penny’s world. New York: Henry Holt.


This picture book introduces young readers to different components of maps, such as the title, key, symbols, scale, compass rose, and labels, then provides examples of different types of maps drawn from the places they represent. Lisa, a young girl, creates the maps of her bedroom, the yard where her dog Penny hides “treasures,” the route Penny’s dog friend Maxine must take to get to Penny’s house, a park where Lisa and Penny hike or bike, and the neighborhood where they visit Penny’s favorite places.


Ritchie, S. (2009). Follow that map! A first book of mapping skills. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press.


The picture book explains the main components of maps: compass rose, landmark, symbol, legend/key, routes, and scale bar and different kinds of maps which can be used to find a missing dog and cat. The text shows aerial views of a yard, bedroom, and other places to help children begin to look at places as a map maker might. It also introduces maps of a community, a park, a city, a geographical region with urban and rural areas, different weather patterns, the location of a treasure, the topography of a place, a carnival, the world, and space.


Rabe, T. (2002). There’s a map on my lap! New York: Random House.


Written in Dr. Seuss’s style, the text introduces children to cartographers who make maps for different purposes, such as to show distances, population, and topography. It also addresses various aspects of maps, including scale, compass rose, and legends. The author overgeneralizes that all maps place north at the top of the map, which should be corrected when discussing the text with children. The author lists additional books which can be used to teach young children about maps and globes.


Sweeney, J. (1996). Me on the map. New York: Dragonfly Books.


The book illustrates a young girl’s location in her room, house, street, town, state, country, and world while also showing maps of each place. Children can make connections between a drawing of a place and a map of the same place. Then the text depicts the girl’s process of finding herself on a map of the world, country, town, street, house, and room. This portion of the text illustrates the use of maps to identify one’s location.


Zimmerman, W. F. (2006). The world is flat: not! Ann Arbor, MI: Nimble Books LLC.


The text shows different maps of the world, including orthographic projections (showing the Earth the way it is seen from space) and Robinson projections. The Robinson projections show the locations of countries; the human population during the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and 2004; the location of crops grown in 1990; and how humans have affected the Earth by building cities, roads, and farms. The author needs to clarify the meanings of some of the colors on world maps when they are first displayed and provide additional information on the world map showing “antipodes” or spots on opposite sides of the Earth.


Computer Software


National Geographic Society. (1999). U.S. regional geography Midwest. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


The software explores the physical and cultural geography of the Midwest.


Stearns, P. H., Nolan, S., and Tom Synder Productions. (1998). Neighborhood map machine. Watertown, MA: Tom Synder Productions.


Students create maps of real and imaginary places, travel around neighborhoods and towns, and learn about direction, symbols, scale, grid coordinates, and other geography skills. ** Addresses skills created by the National Geography Standards**


Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. (1998). Celebrating people, place, and past. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.


Provides an interactive tour of Wisconsin’s rich history, culture, and geography.


Learning Company. (1997). 3rd grade adventures builds confidence and problem solving skills for school. Cambridge, MA: Learning Company.


Computer adventure game designed to develop thinking and problem solving skills. The geography section uses skills such as map grids, keys, and cardinal direction.


Edmark Corporation. (1995). Trudy’s time and place house: Five exciting activities each time and geography. Redmond, WA: Edmark.


The computer software provides five activities that challenge kids to build time-telling skills, develop mapping and directional skills, and travel the world, learning about continents, oceans, and landmarks.


Curriculum Units


Finding a way: Learning activities in geography for grades 7-11. (2000). Indiana, PA: National Council for Geographic Education.


This is a set of curriculum modules that contains geography learning activities. They emphasize strategies to encourage young women in geography and social studies classes. Each module is constructed by different authors.




Module 1: And Justice For All?


Exploring how geographers make decisions about locating hazardous waste and landfills and incinerators.


Module 2: The Nuclear Energizer


Looking for meaning in the locations of nuclear power installations across the United States and examining the pros and cons of nuclear energy.


Module 5: Finding a Way Through Career Geography


Acquainting students with careers in geography and developing a deeper understanding of the relevance of geography in everyday life.


Module 6: A Tour of Your Hometown


Students complete fieldwork and research in order to plan a tour of their hometown and produce a brochure that includes maps, descriptions, and illustrations.


Module 8: The Gendered Geographies of Everyday Life.


Students examine the larger space in which they live for evidence of how it presents and constrains opportunities.


Module 9: Your Space or Mine?


Students determine which space in their schools are generated spaces and how the characteristics of these spaces affect their daily lives and their identity formations.


Module 12: Women’s Education


Examining the importance of educating females in order to raise living standards in Africa and identifying variables that affect the living standards of women.


Module 14: Activity Space and Transportation


Studying transportation decision-making in the context of daily activity spaces and focusing on transportation demands of women.


Module 15: Looking at an Urban Landscape


Methods and new perspectives for looking at landscapes and raising questions about how space and place have different meanings for boys and girls.


Module 16: Polls, Perceptions, and Poverty


Analyzing statewide voting trends, examining reasons why people stay away from the polls, and providing ways for students to get involved in voter registration.


Module 19: Economic Geography and Women in World War II


Exploring issues related to women’s experiences during World War II from a geographic point of view.


Module 20: Women’s Travel and Mental Maps


Using primary sources about women’s travel to create mental maps of a location and to understand how culture and experience influence peoples’ perceptions of places.


Module 21: Mapping Catherine, Called Birdy


Examines the intersection of space, lifestyle, and values in medieval England.


Module 24: Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a More Fair Map


Exploring ways that the geographer’s most basic tool-the map- can be used to bring out the new feminism and engender a new geographic vision.


Module 25: Tales From the Crypt


Gathering and evaluating information about cultural symbols, nationalities, lifespans, and gender issues in a specialized landscape-the cemetery.


Module 26: Using Women in the Material World


Helping students to see themselves in a cultural and physical landscape and to better understand the relationship between gender and space.


Module 27: Taking a Stand


Exploring the kinds of decision-making that multinational corporations undertake regarding where and how to conduct business operations.


Wisconsin cartographers’ guild and Bobbie Malone. (2000). Mapping Wisconsin history: Teacher’s guide and student materials. Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin.


The curriculum guide contains colored transparency maps of Wisconsin’s physical geography (lowlands and highlands, early vegetation), treaty lands, European American settlement areas, mining districts, and areas of different crop production and dairy products. Lesson plans and additional black-and-white maps focus on Wisconsin’s landscape, Native Americans, migration and settlement, cities and counties, mining and shipping, timber, agriculture, and transportation and industry.




Corbett, J.J. (1995). Hail to the chief: The presidential election game that builds your knowledge of U.S. history and geography. Ann Arbor, MI: Aristoplay.


The game looks at different aspects of the states and helps students learn the presidents and location of states.


GEOToys. (2010). GEO Dice. Neenah, WI: Author.


The game board includes a world map on one side with the names of each country printed on the country and the second side shows the capitals of each country printed on the country. The goal of the game is for players to name as many countries and capitals as they can before the timer runs out. Players decide if they are focusing on countries or capitals, then role all five letter dice together and two continent dice, set timer, then write as many countries or capitals that begin with one of the letters from the letter dice and are in the continent shown on the continent dice (Europe, Africa, Asia/Oceania, and the Americas). If a “happy face” is rolled, then players write countries or capitals from any one letter.


Learning Resources, Inc. (n.d.). World treasure hunt map. Vernon Hills, IL: Author. 


The game can be used to teach students about the seven continents and five oceans of the world, specific facts about the oceans and continents, and the locations of the continents and oceans using directional terms. Facts about the oceans include their location, area, climate, and animals that live there. Facts about the continents include their population, climate, main languages spoken, major landforms, number of countries located on the continent, the percentage of the Earth’s land the continent occupies, famous sites, and animals that live on the continent. The game includes a large plastic world map, fact cards about the continents and oceans, and flag markers for team competitions. The game is appropriate for ages four and older.




Graphic Learning Corporation. (1998). Wisconsin map studies program. Waterbury, CT: Graphic Learning.


The kit covers areas such as map skills, geography of Wisconsin, history of Wisconsin and modern Wisconsin.




Breding, P. (2005). The population map. Amherst, MA: ODT.


This map depicts the size of each country according to its population rather than land mass. Each grid square represents one million people. It shows China and India as the most populous nations. Map inserts show where humans lived 100,000 years ago, at the time of the birth of Christ, at 1650 A.D., at 1900 A.D., and population projections for the year 2150. *Not in Polk Library*


Johns, L. (1999). The world. Lancaster, Pa: GeoSystems.


This map is a map of the world where south is the top of the map, a different orientation to the world usually depicted on maps. *Not in Polk Library*


Johnston, D. S. & Brown, B. (1998). How big is Africa? Boston: Trustees of Boston University.


Map compares the size of Africa to the continent of Europe and the countries of the United States and China. Map comes with curriculum guide that contains six lessons to go with the map. The lessons encourage students to appreciate the size and diversity of the African continent. *Not in Polk Library*


Levine, J. (1990). Turnabout map-a new world of understanding. Palo Alto, CA: Laguna Sales.


A map of North and South America with South America at the top of the map. It emphasizes South America to balance the traditional representation of North America “on top.” *Not in Polk Library*


Milwaukee Map Services (1998). Wisconsin. Chippewa Falls, WI: Hubbard Scientific.


A physical relief map of the state of Wisconsin showing the different elevations in various colors as well as raised places on the map. The map includes rivers, lakes, roads, mileage between places, cities, state and county parks, airports, and other points of interest. The main value of the map is showing the various elevations of the different regions of the state.


Nystrom, Herff Jones Education Division. (n.d.). United States. Indianapolis, IN: Author.


A 28" x 18" relief map of the United States showing the 50 states, state capitals, interstate highways, and such natural features as rivers, lakes, deserts, and swamps. The raised areas of the map emphasize the mountain ranges.


Nystrom, Herff Jones Education Division. (n.d.). World. Indianapolis, IN: Author.


A 28" x 18" relief map of the world showing the continents (except for Antarctica), countries, capitals, major cities, and such natural features as rivers, islands, oceans, and seas. The raised areas of the map emphasize the mountain ranges on different continents.


Oxford Cartographers. (n.d.) Map of the world Peters projection. Oxford, UK: Oxford Cartographers. (ORDER FROM: ODT Incorporated, P.O. Box 134, Amherst, MA, USA 01004, 1-800-736-1293)


The map represents countries accurately according to their surface areas, although land shapes are distorted. Map can be used to compare size of countries more accurately. *Not in Polk Library*


Oxford Cartographers. (n.d.). The world turned upside down. Oxford, UK: Oxford Cartographers. (ORDER FROM: ODT Incorporated, P.O. Box 134, Amherst, MA, USA 01004, 1-800-736-1293)


The map is the Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection, which shows countries in correct size in relation to one another and places the southern hemisphere at the top and Africa in the center. Shapes of land masses are also accurate to about 45 degrees with shapes progressively flattened at higher latitudes. The Peters Projection is also an equal area map, but shapes of land masses are less consistent in lower latitudes. *Not in Polk Library*


Russell, G. L. (1998). Map of Indian country. Capital Heights, MD: Williams & Heintz Maps.


The purpose of the map is to present a graphic history of American Indians as they were displaced by the encroachment of European American civilization. *Not in Polk Library*


Russell, G. L. (2001). Native American reservations (map). Phoenix, AZ: Russell Publications.


The map shows the original homelands of Native nations and current location of Native nation reservations in different regions within the United States. *Not in Polk Library*


Map’n’facts: Native peoples of North America. (1985). New York: Friendship Press.


This is a two-sided map. One side of the map compares the area of Native American lands from the past to the lands in 1985. The other side displays where the Native Americans of today live, different tribes and nations, and languages spoken. *Not in Polk Library*


Rand McNally cosmopolitan series: World. Rand McNally & Company.


This is a mercator map of the world. It illustrates traditional map distortions giving prominence to the Northern Hemisphere. *Not in Polk Library*


Map of the world down under. Australia: Universial Press.


This map is drawn with the south at the top of the map to illustrate that maps can depict the world in different orientations rather than privilege the Northern Hemisphere. *Not in Polk Library*


The world Winkel Tripel projection. (2004). Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


The latest National Geographic world map was created by Oswald Winkel in 1921 and it minimizes shape distortion in the polar areas. It is considered a “compromise” projection, which achieves some degree of accuracy of shape, but limits land mass area distortion.


“What’s up? South!” world map. (2002). Amherst, MA: ODT.


The map uses a Van der Grinten projection, developed in 1898, but with the southern hemisphere at the top of the map. The projection distorts the sizes of the continents in the northern hemisphere. Panels at the bottom of the map describe different map projections, including Mercator, Peters, Fuller’s Dymaxion, Van Sant, Lenz, and Guelke. *Not in Polk Library*




Wisconsin Geographic Alliance Newsletter


This newsletter is available to all educators at no cost. It suggests resources for teaching geography. It also contains lesson ideas and plans developed by teachers for all grade levels. If interested contact WIGA office at (715) 836-5161. *Not in Polk Library*


Professional Books and Journal Articles


Anderson, J. M., Atwal, J., Wiegand, P. & Wood, A. A. (Eds.). (2005). Children map the world: Selections from the Barbara Petchenik children’s world map competition.


The book is a collection of 100 maps created by children ages five through 15 for the Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Competition. It includes award-winning entries, runners-up, and the editors’ favorites. The editors also suggest how the maps may be used with children and suggest teachers encourage children to create their own maps.


Berson, M. J., Ouzts, D. T. & Walsh, L. S. (1999). Connecting literature with k-8 national geography standards. The Social Studies, 90, 85-92.


The article suggests children’s literature and activities for teaching the 18 National Geography Standards. The books are from the International Reading Association’s list of children’s and teachers’ choices.


Chicola, N. A. & English, E.B. (1999). Discovering world geography with books kids love. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Resources.


The text focuses on teaching geography through children’s literature in grades K-6. It suggests both fiction (picture storybooks, folktales, legends, myths, wordless books, and chapter books) and nonfiction (concept, alphabet, information books, biographies, and chapter books). Subject areas include location, topography, climate, and mapping. The world is divided into different realms, including: European, Russian, North American, Middle American, South American, North African/Southwest Asian, Subsaharan African, East Asian, Southeast Asian, Australian, and Pacific Realms with examples of children’s literature to teach about each realm.


Getskow, V. (1998). Incredible edible geography. Irvine, CA: Thomas Brothers Maps Educational Foundation.


This teacher resource provides background information on different aspects of geography, including maps, globes, continents, islands, lakes, ponds, mountains, hills, oceans, rivers, and streams and activities to simulate these geography elements using edible products. For example, students can use bread, pound cake, or cookies cut into the shapes of different continents and use frosting to add main mountain ranges, rivers, or bodies of water.


Golden, N. (2005). Exploring the United States with the five themes of geography. New York: Rosen Publishing Group.


The information text briefly describes the absolute and relative location of the U.S. for the first theme of location; the physical features and human features of the U.S. for the second theme of place; the natural resources and changes people made to the environment, including creating water and air pollution for the third theme of human-environmental interaction; different methods of transportation and communication in the U.S. for the fourth theme of movement; and the eight physical regions and product regions in the U.S. which constitute the last theme of regions. The text provides background information on the human and physical geography of the U.S. according to the five geographic themes.


Julio, S. & Hale, J.G. (1997). Great map mysteries: 18 stories and maps to build geography and map skills. New York: Scholastic Professional Books.


This book is designed to help students learn the basic of map reading. It provides 18 lessons, which can be used in a traditional classroom setting or in a cooperative learning environment.


Lintner, T. (2003). Using multiple intelligence theory in K-2 geography. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 16, 20-22.


The article offers suggestions for activities to appeal to eight different intelligences among young students in order to help them learn geographical concepts. The intelligences include: musical/rhythmic, intrapersonal, verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, naturalistic, and logical/mathematical.


Rogers, L. K. (1997). Geographic literacy through children’s literature. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas Press.


This book is based on the five themes of geography standards developed by Geographic Education National Implementation Project. Includes bibliography, list of teacher resources, hands-on activities and grade-level extensions. Focuses on teaching geography through children’s literature.


Stein, M. (2008). How the states got their shapes. New York: Smithsonian Books.


The author clarifies the reasons for the locations of each state’s boundaries. Each chapter focuses on each state, in addition to Washington, D. C., and includes the history of the state boundaries. State borders are the result of colonial boundaries, territorial acquisitions, wars, treaties, slavery, disputes between states regarding access to resources, compromises and negotiations between states and Congress, religious conflicts, natural boundaries, and Congress’s commitment that all states should be equal in size.




Geotoys (n.d.). Geopuzzle: Africa & the Middle East. Neenah, WI: Author.


The 65 puzzle pieces are cut in the shape of African and Middle Eastern countries, including Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Each country’s capital is marked on the puzzle pieces and nearby bodies of water are noted, such as the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Mozambique Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean.


Geotoys (n.d.). Geopuzzle: Asia. Neenah, WI: Author.


The 50 puzzle pieces are shaped like the Asian countries. Each country’s capital is listed on the puzzle piece and bodies of water are included, such as the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea, Gulf of Tonkin, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, and Celebes Sea.


Geotoys (n.d.). Geopuzzle: Europe. Neenah, WI: Author.


The 55 puzzle pieces are cut in the shape of European countries and include bodies of water around Europe, such as the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. Each country’s capital is also noted on the puzzle pieces.


Geotoys (2006). Geopuzzle: Latin America. Neenah, WI: Author.


The 50 puzzle pieces include the countries of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the countries of South America, and the Caribbean islands. Each country’s puzzle piece is shaped like the country and the capital is identified as well as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Tehuantepec, and Honduras, and the Caribbean Sea.


Geotoys (2006). Geopuzzle: U.S. & Canada. Neenah, WI: Author.  


This 70-piece puzzle depicts the shapes, names, and capitals of the states of the United States and the Canadian provinces and territories. The puzzle also illustrates the Hawaiian islands, the Aleutian Islands, and such bodies of water as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, Hudson and Baffin Bay, and Labrador and Beaufort Sea.


Geotoys (2009). Geopuzzle: World. Neenah, WI: Author.


The puzzle contains 68 pieces and includes the countries of the world, the Atlantic, Indian, and the Pacific Oceans, and the Norwegian, Barents, North, Mediterranean, Black, Red, Caspian, Arabian, and South China Seas. Because so many countries are included in the puzzle, the creator listed some countries as too small to print their names on a puzzle piece, including Switzerland, Belgium, and United Arab Emirates.




Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (1996). Exploring Wisconsin our home. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.


A fourteen part instructional series for fourth-grade students that tours the state to show how centuries of interaction between the state’s physical geography and human activity have created the Wisconsin they know.


Films for the Humanities. (1996). Japan geography and climate. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences.


This film discusses Japan’s land, cities, transportation, and climate.


Films for the Humanities. (1994). Australia geography and economy. Princeton, NJ:

Films for the Humanities.


This film examines the geography, cities, the outback, farming and mining in Australia.


Films for the Humanities. (1994). Mexico geography and economy. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities.


This film examines the geography, climate, plants, animals, agriculture and industry of Mexico.


Glover, K. (Producer and Director). (2004). The geography tutor: The five themes of geography. Venice, CA: TMW Media Group.


This DVD explains the five themes of geography including: (1) absolute and relative location; (2) the physical and human characteristics of places; (3) human-environmental interactions including how the environment affects people, how people adapt to the environment, and how people change the environment; (4) the movement of people, goods, and ideas around the world; and (5) regions as defined by climate, landforms, or crops grown.


National Geographic Society. (1992). Geography: Five themes for planet Earth. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This program explores each of the five themes of geography –location, place, human/environment interactions, movement and regions—introducing students to geographical methodology.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the East. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video explores landforms, climate, history of mountains, lakes, and bays, barrier Islands and the Everglades. The video contains a teacher’s guide.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the Central lowlands. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video explores the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Missouri River, river erosion and deposition, climate and landscape, and plants and animals of the East. The video contains a teacher’s guide.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the Northlands. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video explores the regions of the Northlands. It includes terrain and climate, the Canadian Shield, and animals and plant life. The video contains a teacher’s guide.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the Pacific edge. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video explores the change in climate from south to north within the Pacific edge. It includes discussion of plant life, animal life, and tectonic activity. The video includes a teacher’s guide.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the Rocky Mountains. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video discusses plant and animal life in relation to elevation within the Rocky Mountains. It also covers topic areas of glaciers, erosion, and importance of fire to a healthy forest. This video includes a teacher’s guide.


National Geographic Society. (1989). Physical geography of North America—the Western dry lands. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.


This video discusses the three sub-regions of the Western dry lands. Other areas of discussion include erosion, weathering, landscape, climate, and plants and animals within the regions. This video comes with a teacher’s guide.


Sunburst Communications. (1998). Discover the world all about globes. Pleasantville, NY: Sunburst Communications.


This video explores latitude, longitude, and land formations. Emphasis is on understanding how to use the globe. It includes a teacher’s guide as well as worksheets for students in grades 3-5.


Sunburst Communications. (1998). Discover the world all about maps. Pleasantville, NY: Sunburst Communications.


This video explores latitude, longitude, and land formations. Emphasis is on understanding how to use maps. It includes a teacher’s guide as well as worksheets for the students in grades 3-5.




Annotated bibliography list