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Monday, October 19, 2015

TOS Review - Drawing Around The World: USA

 Brookdale House Review
Get out your colored pencils and get ready to draw - But, wait! It's history and geography class - What does drawing have to do with learning my states? You're about to find out... I am so excited that I got a chance to review Drawing Around the World: USA from Brookdale House.

 Brookdale House Review

What is Drawing Around the World: USA?

This is a geography drawing program. It uses the concept of drawing to provide a hands-on visualization along with references of a couple websites that provide facts about each state. I received a digital download of a 282-page printable book that I was able to print and use with more than one child.

Discover Sample Pages.

The program consists of 27 weeks of 4-day lesson plans, usually learning about more than one state each week. It provides suggested websites to visit for information about each state as well as a site that allows your child to play online learning games that are state related.

How Did We Use It?

I sat down with both of my girls, one in 4th grade and one in 8th, and began with the first lesson. After we got into it, I realized that my 4th grader was really the best level for learning the states and capitols in this manner, so I continued with just my 4th grader.

We used the suggested 50-states website to get information for filling in the information onto the printed sheets. We also got out the colored pencils to color in each state as my child drew them.

First, my daughter would draw around the dotted-lined state and learn information about each state, such as the capitol, the state bird, state motto, population and how large the state is. This was followed by locating the state on the larger map of the entire United States and then drawing the state onto the map. The study has a new map for each new state, but we found it worked best for us to use the original map and add on as we learned each new state.

By the way: This particular child is an elephant lover, and she noticed right away how the state of Massachusetts looks like an elephant's head and trunk, and the star of Boston made it look like the elephant's eye. Don't see it? Well, she sure did.

We followed the suggestion in the guide to use a website that gave a lot of information about the 50 states. I learned a lot of fun facts along the way about inventions that came from each state. I think I had just as much if not more fun than my daughter, even though learning the states and their capitols was something I obsessed over as a child.

We tweaked the lessons slightly as we went along only in regard to the paper that we chose to print. Instead of printing a new map each day, we added the new state onto the map outline that we had already printed. I discovered that if I carefully laid the free-draw blank map over top of the colored states map that it was easier to draw the state in its proper place on the map.

What Did We Think?

We loved the idea of drawing to learn, but it was more than that. The idea of drawing and coloring and using shapes was the literal "draw" that inticed my easily bored child to want to learn about the states (a subject that she was far too less than thrilled to approach). Turned out that when I introduced the idea of drawing her states, she would actually ask me to to the Drawing Around the World: USA lessons each day.

Find Drawing Around the World and other curriculum from Brookdale House:

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Brookdale House also has tons of other products for learning, including Drawing Around the World: Europe and a series on Writing through history as well as Grammar lessons. Other Crew members got to review these. See what they thought. Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

 Brookdale House Review

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