Editor’s note: these summer geography lessons were inspired by our oldest’s summer mission trip while she was in college. She traveled to the Amazon jungle in Peru in order to share the gospel with the Yagua people who lived along the river, so they traveled by boat. Her small team of college students, led by a few Journeyman missionaries, participated in a “storying’ conference. They each memorized part of the “story” of the Bible to share with the people at the villages they encountered.
Here are my summer geography lessons resulting from this trip.
You can’t have geography lessons without maps
Chart the following:
- Chart the trip – DD flew from Atlanta, Georgia, to Miami, Florida, then to Lima, Peru. From Lima she flew on to Iquitos. Iquitos is a fascinating place as it is the largest city in the world with only water (not road) access.
- From Iquitos, they traveled west by boat down the Amazon approximately 43 miles, then trekked south through the jungle about three miles to the village of Catala Urco.
- Although Catala Urco is too small to see on a map, its GPS coordinates are -3.536683 – 72.758633. If you would like to see where she is, download Google Earth . (Based on satellite imagery, this program allows you to examine anywhere in the world!) Type the GPS coordinates into the search box and label a ‘push pin’ Catala Urco.
- “Explore” the city of Iquitos in the Google Earth program by double- clicking on the small blue boxes. This will enable you to view photos taken by visitors there.
Geography study includes landforms, animal life and natural resources
- How big is the Amazon jungle? What type of climate does it have and what kind of forest is it?
- What types of animal life does it contain? Near the bottom on the right side of this webpage, to hear the sound of a poison dart frog, howler monkeys, a scarlet macaw and the roar of a jaguar, click on each image.
- What types of products are made from plants found in the Amazon jungle?
- What other landforms are in Peru?
We incorporate language arts into everything, even our geography lessons!
- Read my daughter’s prayer blog and record of her trip. (Mom, read first-there are some references to non-believers in her “Lives at Stake” post you might want to censor, depending on your kids. Just cut and paste the blog into a document and edit as necessary.)
- Questions to answer from the blog:
- List a few interesting characteristics about the Yagua people.
- Describe the preparations made before travel to a place like the Amazon?
- What did you learn about the city of Iquitos? How do people get from place to place without cars in that city?
- If you were going down the Amazon on a trip and you only could carry two backpacks, what would you need to bring with you?
- Journal the preparations for an upcoming trip as well as the trip itself. Take pictures, as well.
Use these geography lessons as a template
If you are a newer homeschool mom, you can use my geography lessons as a springboard for your own!
Make sure to include:
- Maps, globe and Google Earth!
- Study of the topography
- Animals, plants and natural resources
- People groups (and their religions)
- Books and resources about the place/country
- Hand’s on projects, like making a cookie dough map!
Also consider including having your student complete a diary, journal or series of blog posts about the journey!