Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: This Is the Way We Go to School


How do children around the world get to school everyday?  How do these means of transportation differ from the way you get to school?

This is The Way We Go To School, by Edith Baer, depicts the different regions of the globe by the way that the children who live in these regions make their way to their schools every day. These different means of transport reflect the regional climates and physical features of the environment. Some children walk, some take the trolley, while others go by boat or skis.

And the famous Metro line suits Igor and Ilyana just fine. Go by Copter? By Skidoo? Somewhere, sometimes, some kids do.

Not only does the book explore different regions of the world and ways that people get around in these places, it also explores different cultures of the regions. The children who are presented have  names that are common in the areas that they live. Illustrations of children show them performing acts that may help students learn some of what life may be like for students that live in these countries. At the end there is a page that tells which country each child lives in. On the last page there is a map for students to connect the country with its proper place on the map, providing a greater image of where students are in the world and how far or near they are geographically to the students they have just read about.

Curriculum Connections
This book could be used to show students  a simple map where they can describe places referenced in stories and real-life situations(K.4). It could also be used to describe the location of his/her community, climate, and physical surroundings and the way they affect the way people live, including their transportation.(1.6)

Additional Resources

Book: This is the Way We Go To School
Author:  Edith Baer
Illustrator: Steve Bjorkman
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 1990
Pages: 35
Grades: K-2
ISBN: 0-590-43162-5

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