How To Use Let’s Go Geography with Multiple Grades
Let's Go Geography is a flexible curriculum that can adapt to a variety of age levels.
With Let's Go you can teach geography in your homeschool to a wide range of grades all at the same time, saving you time and money.
You choose the activities based on the children you are teaching.
For a classroom, the same principles apply. You adapt the activites you choose to the grade or grades you are teaching.
How does all this work?
Geography for Grades K-2
First, this geography curriculum can be used for grades K-2 as is without any adjustments or companion products.
The few tweaks to these grade levels are the things you may NOT want to do. Like the Notebooking (journaling), or the extra reading, or additional maps.
But let’s get specific so you get the full picture.
Suggested Schedule: Grades K-2
Here’s what a weekly lesson for Grades K-2 might look like:
You will need approximately 1 hour a week with early elementary geography students. And this is what that hour holds:
- First, find the country on a map and color it. You may find & color other things on the same map, too, depending on the lesson.
- Then look at the flag, and color yours to match. These can be glued on the corresponding Flag page or in a supplemental Geography Passport. The Passport is an optional resource that is really appealing for the younger ages.
- Then take 10-15 minutes to explore, watching the video clips & maybe using the optional library books or recommended atlas. You will be talking about everything you see. The curriculum does not discuss politics, wars, or any topic that would be upsetting to a child. You will want to focus on how people live, animals in the country, the country’s biggest attractions (both in nature and man-made), and that sort of thing.
- Save the best for last!! Lastly, comes a geography craft project based on something unique about that country. Too stressed for time? Just offer the themed coloring page. Some kids want to do both. Always write the name of the country on your projects to reinforce the big idea of the day.
That’s really all it is.
And little by little, week by week, kids become more and more confident about their knowledge of the world. It really is that easy.
Geography for Grades 3-5+
But what about the same geography curriculum for older students?
The curriculum has been used very successfully for grades 3-5 in homeschool settings with just a few minor tweaks.
Before I get to specifics, here is a link to a homeschooler using Let’s Go Geography for one child in 5th grade. Her comments are helpful!
And here’s more comments from a mom using Let’s Go with her 6th grader!
First of all, coloring the flags is fine, but older kids may want to use colored pencils, not crayons, and glue them on the “Flags of [Continent]” page included in the curriculum, rather than the supplemental Passport.
Secondly, older students will find the country on the continent map included in the curriculum, just like the smaller kids, but they won’t stop there.
Older kids will also need a map of the theme country. If you are a curriculum subscriber, all Country Maps are provided in your Account.
As they learn about the country, students find key places and points of interest as they are discussed.
For instance, if you mention the Serengeti National Park in your discussion of Tanzania, you then pinpoint its location on the Tanzania map to label it.
For the final hands-on project of each lesson, most older students won’t want to color or do many of the cut-and-color geography projects that the young ones love so much. Those need to be traded for activities that match their age level.
Rather than a craft, kids in Grades 3-5 complete a Writing or Journaling project at the end of each lesson. That’s where the Let’s Go Geography Discovery Packs come in.
The companion Discovery Packs provide several activities for students in Grades 3-5.
Discovery Packs have a 2-page spread of notebooking pages to coordinate with each Let’s Go lesson. There are decorated blocks for specific information on each country, with Writing Helps and a Teacher Key in the back.
What about younger writers who want to participate?
Students in Grades 1-2 who enjoy writing can complete just the 1st page. This usually asks for the basic facts and location (map) information that can be adapted to their grade level.
Creating a Glossary starts with introducing a new geography term weekly that relates to the theme country. For instance, “glacier” for Alaska, “fjord” for Norway, “archipelago” for Denmark, or “geyser” for Iceland.
To make a Geography Glossary, students write a definition of the word, draw or glue a picture to illustrate the word, and list specific places on the globe where the term is located.
For instance, if the term was the Northern Lights, the student would list several places in the world where the Northern Lights can be viewed.
Discovery Packs give coordinating terms for each lesson, resource links to find term definitions, and a printable page to use for all of it.
Although simply reviewing the highlights in each lesson will give kids enough to write about on their Discovery Pack pages, outside resources (like a book, website, or atlas) give greater detail and may allow older kids to look at topics that the little ones skip, such as government, politics, war, and history.
What outside resources can you use?
An atlas is a very good option. Our preferred atlas is DK’s Geography of the World. This atlas lists countries grouped by their continents, similar to what Let’s Go Geography does.
A second option is to use the website link in the curriculum, or another approved website, to investigate further.
And a third choice is to read from the suggested library books listed in the curriculum.
Suggested Schedule: Grade 3-5
If you plan to use this geography curriculum in a co-op or other small classroom, here is a suggested schedule:
Suggested Schedule for 55-minute class, Grades 3-5*
5 minutes — Continent Map Activities (PLUS Country Map Activities)
5 minutes — Flag Activities (cut, color, glue)
15 minutes — Lesson (video/books)
30 minutes — Craft &/or Writing Activity &/or Geography Glossary (described above)
Classroom Tip: While including 5th graders with younger siblings has been successful in a homeschool setting, the coloring and crafts are not generally age-appropriate for an entire classroom of 3-5th graders.