Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: We’re Riding on a Caravan

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We’re Riding on a Caravan is written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Helen Cann.  This book chronicles the journey a family makes along the silk road in China.  As the family travels from Xi’an to Kashgar over the course of a year they make many stops to trade in places such Lanzhou and Turpan.  Throughout their travels the family trades silk for the many items they are going to need to survive their passage on the silk road.  The final pages of the book provide the reader with a map of the silk road, a story about the origins of silk and brief history of the silk road.

Curriculum Connections

We’re Riding on a Caravan is a great book to teach students about how far people used to have to travel to get the goods they needed and desired.  This book can be used to reinforce a lesson about maps (K.4) and understanding the relationship between the environment and the culture of ancient China (2.4).  It can also be used has an opener to lessons about about American journeys similar to the silk road such as the Oregon trail.

Additional Resources 

  • The Silk Road Project this site offers some interactive curriculum and music from the silk road
  • Map of the Silk Road clear and easy to read map of the silk road.
  • Making silk this site offers a detailed description about the making and history of silk and how it has not changed for hundreds of years.

Book: We’re Riding on a Caravan
Author: Laurie Krebs
Illustrator: Helen Cann
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 28 pages
Grade Range: 1-3
ISBN: 1-84148-343-5