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Geography study of the USA

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I am looking for some picture books to help DS8's study of the USA. I'd like a series of books that provide a decent amount of geographical information about each of the states (if such books exist?). We are not looking for history books as we already have the Betsy and Giulio Maestro books for this.


I have looked online and there is a lot of info there, however DS prefers books to read from, rather than a computer screen.


If you have any recommendations I would love to hear. :001_smile:

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Crabtree: All Around the U.S.

What’s in the Northeast?

What’s in the Southeast?

What’s in the Midwest?

What’s in the Southwest?

What’s in the West?


Crabtree: Rivers Around the World

The Mississippi

The St. Lawrence


The Crabtree books are solid, enjoyable, non-fiction, nicely illustrated. A bit more advanced than the Maestro series. I would check before getting them for an 8 year old could be perfect, or too advanced... Illustrations are photos, not drawings.


Holling, Holling C. Paddle-to-the-Sea. (Read-aloud)

_____. Minn of the Mississippi. (Read-aloud)

_____. Tree in the Trail. (Read-aloud)


Holling books are FABULOUS!!!!!!! Lovely art, color painting on each page, plus lots of little b&w sketches. Gail Gibbons also has one on the St Lawrence -- excellent illustrations.

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Thank you Alessandra - these look great!

Thank you mysticmomma - we have GtG. I'm not really looking for a program as such as we never got around to GtG so we are trying a different approach - continent by continent.

Alte Veste thank you for the reminder - we do have one of those DK travel books somewhere - good place to start.

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What about the "Which Way USA" series? It's in magazine format I think, and published by HIghlights Magazine.



Math Mammoth also has a 50 states series, if you're looking for cross-curricular activities.



Which Way USA looks great but they only post within the US. We are in Australia.

Will check out MM (we use this for our math program).

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Thank you - would love LOVE video recommendations.



Here is our list -- fro doing regions of U.S.









Note -- our library system has multiple copies of most of these, so I imagine they are pretty widely available elsewhere.





BBC Atlas of the Natural World: The Land of the Eagle (2 disks)

Netflix DVD


This is unbelievably good, looks at North America from an environmental and historical perspective. Well filmed -- I think it would be enjoyable for an 8 year old, even though some of the broad concepts are sophisticated.


History Classics: The States (4 disks)

Amazon $15


Great for kids, goes state by state (in a random order). Lots of easy to digest info. If you could only watch one thing, this might be a good choice.


How the States Got Their Shapes (4 disks)

Netflix DVD, Amazon Instant (except for disk 4 w/ pilot episode)

Introductory disk available on iTunes for $3.99

Note: there are two seasons so far, only season 1 is on Amazon Instant at this point


This sounds like it is boring, but not at at all. The host of the series is edgy & funny; dd loves him. It is organized by themes -- like how railroads affected state shapes, how slavery influenced boundaries (that's how OK got its panhandle). Compelling viewing. Each episode is an hour or so -- TV length, except the pilot, which is about 2 hours (pilot was not available for instant view when we watched it).


There is a book also -- goes state by star. Dryer, but fascinating for an adult.


America’s Great Road Trips and Scenic Drives (6 disks)

Netflix DVD, Amazon $36

Do not confuse with similar 4-disk set.


The first three disks are the fun ones, with a guy in a little red car zipping from one scenic place to another; a great way to get a sense of what the country looks like. The last three disks lose the red car and are sort of boring-interesting -- don't know quite how to describe it. If you buy a 4 disk set, you will get an extra disk with excruciatingly boring patriotic songs + scenery.


We used this with a kid's atlas and marked off the journeys.


Treasures of America’s National Parks (6 disks)

Netflix DVD, Amazon $23


There are LOTS of national parks travel videos. We happened to like this set best, but the videos are not terribly different from one set to another.


We used this with a National Geographic guide to NP.


The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Ken Burns (6 disks)

Netflix Instant, Amazon Instant


The Ken Burns videos are distinctive, because they are not travel videos, but rather a chronological look at how our parks were created. Fascinating -- I don't know if they'd be too sophisticated for an 8 year old, or not. There are a lot of good stories about people -- like John Muir -- that are compelling for any age. Superb quality writing and photography.


Discoveries - America


This is a series put out by Bennett-Watt in Issaquah, WA. There is a video (about one hour) for each state. Some of the info is covers geography and history, and some is a bit weird -- profile of a commercial roadside attraction, for example. We fast forward over some segments. These are in last place for quality, but they are the only long state by state videos that I've found.


Globe Trekker -- popular videos, but a lot of very questionable (as in unsuitable for kids) material can pop up. Sometimes indexed under Pilot Guides.

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Adding some more book selections -- a bit of an odd choice, but they work for us, as we love food. The intro to each chapter is full os history, customs, etc and usually very well written, with lots of photographs. Available used for not much money.


Foods of the World (Time-Life) (Reference)

American Cooking : Creole and Acadian.

American Cooking : The Eastern Heartland.

American Cooking : The Great West.

American Cooking : The Melting Pot.

American Cooking : New England.

American Cooking : The Northwest.

American Cooking : Southern Style.

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