Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Product Review: Memoria Press Geography


Do you know where Algeria is? How about Bulgaria, or what the capital of Lebanon is?

Honestly, I would take guesses as to a couple of those and probably land in the general area, but world capitals? Not my forte. Which is why, when this Geography I came up for review from Memoria Press I thought it was exactly what some of my charges needed.

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What It Is:

Geography I, meant for grade 4+ students, covers the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. A part of the world that is very important, but that we might not know much about. The goal of the curriculum is that each student would be able to identify all the countries and their capitals in that region on a map. Each week you will study 2-3 countries. In the student text there are 2 pages per country. Here your child will read a couple of paragraphs highlighting historical events. There is also a section that gives some insight into its culture today and shares interesting information. There is a Fast Facts section which gives the country numbers and stats: population, religions, language, climate, resources and more are all listed for easy reference. On the opposite page is an easy to see map of the country. including neighboring countries, rivers, major mountain ranges, and oceans. You can see a sample page of the text here.

Your child will then complete a page in their workbook. There is space to copy the capital and country, and a place to record some facts that they learned from the text. There is also a map to fill out; these include cities, mountains, rivers, or lakes. For each map there are between 4 and 12 things to label. These are conveniently listed in a word bank on the page. You can see sample pages of the workbook here.

I also received The United States Review of States and Capitals.  This review workbook is meant to be done after your child has learned all the states and their capitals. Once a week your child will complete a half page review sheet. These worksheets include identifying states, matching states and capitals, and capital and state spelling. Also meant for grade 4+, this simple yet thorough review is a nice fit for those students who have studied United States geography.

What You Get:

Geography I has three soft-cover books:

Student Text - This 103 page text book has all the information on the countries. There is an introduction to geography, plus introductory pages to each geographical area. At the end of the book are colored photos of all the flags from the countries. You can purchase the text for $14.95.

Student Workbook - The workbook contains all of the correlating worksheets that go along with the text and is divided into 8 sections. At the end of each section is a review page. This page is an empty map, which the student labels and colors. At the end of the workbook is a final review, which covers all the countries and has the student write each country and capital and label them on a map. You can purchase the workbook for $11.95.

Teacher Guide - The teacher guide has all of the workbook pages with the answers listed. I found this to be especially helpful with the reviews. Those European countries can be hard to learn! In the back of the Teacher Guide are the quizzes and tests; after each review lesson their is a quiz and after each section is a test. There is also a final test that gives a comprehensive overview of the entire course, and is the perfect way to wrap up your geography program. You can purchase the teacher guide for $12.95.

The United States Review of States and Capitals has 2 books:

Student Workbook - This 25 page workbook has all of the worksheets you need to complete this supplement program. You can purchase it individually for $5.00.

Teacher Key - This book has the answer key for all of the pages in the student workbook, plus quizzes that are to be done each week. There are also tests for each region and a final test to be done at the end of the year. You can purchase the Teacher Key for $7.95.

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You can buy all of the above books in a bundle package for $48.00.

How We Used This:

I used this with Dasher. Over our review period of 4 weeks we worked through the Middle East countries and began to study North Africa. We read the text together; her reading level is a bit behind so I would have her read the first paragraph in the text and then she would follow along as I read the rest aloud. She would then complete the worksheet in her workbook. At the end of the Middle East section there was a 2 page review, and then I copied the Middle East quiz, test, and final test from the Teacher Key and gave it to her. We did our geography 4 days a week and spent about20 minutes each day studying.

What We Thought:

Sometimes I think that geography is the forgotten subject. This was a perfect fit for us, from the appropriate text to the simple workbook pages. I really liked the facts that were listed in the text. I learned a lot about post-war Iraq in the short section we read and appreciated the facts about the colors on the flag, climate, and resources.

The workbook was very age appropriate for 4th grade. I especially appreciated that as part of the worksheet, the student copies the country name and capital three times. Repetition and copywork is a wonderful way to teach things and I loved how that was implemented in the workbook. I also really appreciated the Word Bank, printed right there on the worksheet. Even I can't spell Riyadh, Khartoum, and would probably mess up the spelling of Mediterranean too.

The United States review was a solid supplement. Dasher has not studied US geography yet, (Don't worry; it's on the list of curriculum choices for next year!) so I had my two older ones do some of the worksheets. They liked the simplicity of it, while I loved the incremental approach to reviewing states and capitals.

Memoria Press has so many great curriculum packages and resources...check out what they have at their website.

And other members of The Crew reviewed not only Geography I but Prima Latina as well. Check out what they thought by clicking below.


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