Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: Where Do I Live?

where do i live image

In the book , Where Do I Live?,  written by Neil Chesanow and illustrated by Ann Iosa, the reader goes on an adventure that starts in his bedroom and leads into the great universe.   Chesanow expands on the reader’s concept of the world by moving outside of the bedroom to the house to the neighborhood to the state and eventually into outer space.  With the turn of a page, the reader can get a bird’s eye view of the world around him.  I especially like the way Chesanow starts the reader with what he can see everyday, like his bedroom, his house, and his street.  Then Chesanow takes the reader higher to view the neighborhood, city, state, country and world.  Making the connection of each smaller part to the larger world should help kids see how maps and the globe represent real images on Earth.  The words start basic and the pictures are clear.  “You live on a special piece of land.  Do you know what land is?  It’s the stuff you walk on.  It’s the ground.”   New words for kindergarten or 1st grade students might be neighborhood, city, suburb, country, state, continent, solar system, galaxy, and universe.  After taking the reader into outer space, Chesanow guides the reader slowly back to home, making a perfect review of the concepts just introduced.

Curriculum Connections
This book is ideal for grades K-1st with the introduction of map concepts and vocabulary such as country, state, and continent.  This book shows how each person is part of a neighborhood, city, state, and world all at the same time.

Where Do I Live? can be used to introduce students to maps, a round Earth, and land.  The book shows maps representing large land masses and objects from above.  Readers will be able to see where they live compared to where people from other states, countries, and continents live (VA SOLs K.4, K.5, and 1.4).

Additional Resources

  • The song Where Do I Live? and other geography songs can be used to reiterate the concepts of maps, regions, and communities that were introduced in the book as well as to teach other map terminology.
  • For hands on fun, have students try out their own map drawing skills.
  • The website for free world maps and US maps provides individual paper maps for students to color and label.

Book:  Where Do I Live?
Author:  Neil Chesanow
Illustrator:  Ann Iosa
Publisher:  Barron’s Educational Series
Publication Date:  1995
Pages:  48
Grades: K-1
ISBN: 0-8120-6541-7

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