Teaching Geography With Children’s Literature: We’re Sailing Down the Nile


From visiting temples, to marketplaces, to museum halls to  Giza’s pyramids the book We’re Sailing Down the Nile is a journey your class will not forget! Laurie Krebs seamlessly meshes rhyming and informative text with Anne Wilson’s vibrant illustrations. The book starts off on a river boat that is traveling down the Nile River. The adventure takes the children to seven notable locations in Egypt along the Nile River. They stop at Abu Simbel’s monuments, Aswan, Kitchener’s Island, the Valley of the Kings’ tomb, Al-Faiyum Oasis, Egypt’s capital Cairo and end at The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Kreb’s writes the text repeating the phrase “Climb aboard the river boat! We’re sailing down the Nile. We’ll visit Abu Simbel in just a while (Page 2)” and substitutes in a new location every time it changes. This repetition makes the book easy to follow for students and the rhyming help captivate your students’ interest. The book provides simple wording of the text so children can easily understand it and even read it independently. Extra footnotes provide explanation to terms that children or teachers alike might need extra support on:

Kalila guides us to the souk *(marketplace). We buy some food to share. We’ll picnic on the Island (*Kitchner’s Island) with the others gathered there (Page 7-8).

One of the most impressive aspects about the book is the additional support given at the conclusion of the book. It gives a map and description of the journey, history of Ancient Egypt and a lot more helpful background information relating to Egypt. If you are looking for a great read-a-loud book to introduce your class to the geography and history of ancient Egypt this is it!

Curriculum Connections
We’re Sailing Down the Nile
is a great book to introduce geography and the culture of Egypt to your class. The cross-curricular extensions are also impressive as you could incorporate in story writing or a math lesson comparing different country sizes. It could also be used to develop student’s map skills with world maps. In Virginia this book would be suitable to fulfill the Geography Standard of Learning 2.4 a and b, which involves map skills and understanding the culture and environment of ancient Egypt.

Additional Resources

Book: We’re Sailing Down the Nile
Author: Laurie Krebs
Illustrator: Anne Wilson
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 40 pages
Grades: 2-3
ISBN: 1846860407

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