Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: Geography from A-Z: A Picture Glossary


Introduction and Summary

Geography from A-Z: A Picture Glossary, by Jack Knowlton, is a great resource for elementary students that are trying to learn the difference between a plateau and a plain or a knoll and an atoll.  This wonderfully illustrated book defines sixty-three key geographic terms and includes a picture example to go along with each child-friendly definition.  It introduces recognizable terms such as marsh, rain forest and coastline and then explains terms hardly known by adults such as oxbow lake, escarpment and promontory.  This book is perfect to help children understand geography vocabulary terms in your classroom!

Curriculum Connections

This book would be a great resource for geography lessons where children must identify key geographic terms (Virginia SOL US 1.2 D).  A fun activity would be to give each student several geographic terms and then have them illustrate the terms and present them to the class.   They could also be made into foldables to place in an interactive notebook.  Younger grades could learn the more basic terminology and older grades could have fun learning new terms such as isthmus, strait and butte.

Additional Resources

  • Geography Terms Lesson – A great lesson that teaches meaning and spelling of key grade geographic terms.  Incorporates language arts with geography as students mini passages that have the key terms in them.
  • Atlas Vocabulary Game – Fun online game that allows students to match a geography term to its definition.

 General Information

Book:  Geography From A-Z:  A Picture Glossary
Jack Knowlton
Illustrator:  Harriet Barton
Publisher:  Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Date: 
Pages:  48
Grade Range:  3-5
ISBN:  0-690-04616-2

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