Home School Geography

Making a Town Guide Book

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One of our Home School Geography activities was making a Guide Book about our local town.

My children hate to do things without a reason. Investigating the history and geography of our local town was 'boring'! So instead, I suggested we make a small guide book about our town (aimed at visiting children), run off a few copies and give them to our local tourist information office and library. Bingo!! A project that interested them! A geography activity that 'had a point'.

Kids geography project

As well as geography, this little project has got them researching the history of our town, writing, taking photographs and got them out into the fresh air - although perhaps the 'fresh' part depends how busy your city is!

Homeschool Ideas

First we brainstormed what would interest kids visiting our town, and then we put together a list of ideas that we could include in the booklet.

  • Five fun facts about your town or city.
  • A map. This could be a simple street map drawing made by the children - or they could plan out a walking tour of the city and map that.
  • Write a small page about the history of the town, or about some interesting geographical features. It would be fun to include a quiz about about it on a later page.
  • Make a small photo treasure hunt for the children to do. You could mark the positions of the photos on the map you made.

  • Add a panoramic photograph of the town. For details of how to do this, see the photography for kids page. Here's our market town :

home school geography - a panoramic photo

  • Make a coloring page. Either get the children to draw one, or use a copy of Photo to Sketch to convert a photograph into a line drawing.

  • Write a review of some great places to visit or eat in the town.

  • Make a word search using words about your town. You can make these at this site.

  • Don't forget your town guide will need an interesting cover, and perhaps an introduction explaining who wrote the guide, and why.

Make a town guidebook

One of the nice things about this geography for kids idea, is that it can be tailored to the ages of the children making the booklet.

For younger children keep it simple - a few drawings and photographs - they are usually good at spotting things to photgraph for the treasure hunt! Perhaps you could cover only a limited area - their street for example. Team it with a fun reading book such as Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town or our favorite Katy and the Big Snow.

Older children seem to enjoy thinking what younger children may like in the Guide Book. They could use the PC to put together the booklet themselves. Perhaps you could get the book professionally printed - there are some ideas about that on this page. If they do a good job perhaps they could charge for the booklet. Or what about seeing if they can get some businesses to pay to advertise in it?

If your teens hate to write - then how about making an audio tour of the town instead? Or a tourist video?

This home school geography project has really helped to bring our town to life for us. I hope it does the same for you.

More Homeschool Geography Ideas

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