Teaching Geography using Children’s Literature: The Whole World in Your Hands



Introduction and Summary:

In The Whole World in Your Hands, by Melvin and Gilda Berger, chidlren will be introduced to maps and their uses.  They will look at their town, state, country, and world.  This text defines the continents, the equator, the oceans, and the poles.  This text also explains north, south, east, and west.   This resource is interactive and gives children a map of a subdivision with street names and asks them to trace certain routes that the children in the story can take.  The authors discuss that on a state map there can be symbols that informs what type of crops are grown there and what kind of animals live there.  In addition, this text provides a map of the United States and asks children to locate certain states.  The text describes why most people do not live the equator nor near the poles, but in between.  At the end of this book is an index for quick reference.

Curriculum Connections:

 This text would be useful for kindergaten level geography.  This resource describes locations using words like right and left to describe east and west (K.3).  This text further provides examples of maps as flat representations and of the round globe, teaching that the world is round like the globe,  It further uses child friendly stories to help students track how they would get to certain real life places on a map (school).  Finally it reviews the oceans and other features of maps. (K.4 a, b, c)

Additional Resources:

 This link provides an interactive and hands on activity for students to assist in their city map reading skills.

This link provides students the opportunity to become more familiar with their own geography in an activity called Where I Live.  In this activity kids write information about themselves, and parents could assist them if they have difficulty with writing.

This link provides many hands on activities which will get children moving in order to learn more about reading maps.

General Information:

Book: The Whole World in Your Hands
Author: Melvin and Gilda Berger
Illustrator:  Robert Quackenbush
Publisher: Ideals Publishing Corporation: Discovery Readers
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 1-48
Grade Range: Kindergarten
ISBN: 0-8249-8646-6