The following is the fourth part in a six part series written by CLCD President Marilyn Courtot. Aimed at reviewers and writers, we will be running a new part every month.
Types of Books
Nonfiction/History & Geography
History and geography books provide concrete facts, but also offer the opportunity to answer related social issues. The American Association of Geographers in conjunction with the National Council for Geographic Education has identified six essential elements to promote the learning of geographic principles.
First, books and activities must help children learn THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS such as how to use maps and other geographic representations, how to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface. Second, kids need to know about PLACES AND REGIONS, more specifically that people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity and that the physical and human characteristics of places are vitally important. Third, young readers need to understand PHYSICAL SYSTEMS such as the physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface. Fourth, children should be aware of HUMAN SYSTEMS such as the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface and how human actions modify the physical environment. Fifth, children should recognize that the ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY includes the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources and sixth THE USES OF GEOGRAPHY, most importantly how to apply geography to interpret he past, present and plan for the future.
A good book for history and geography has a perspective, and this perspective can be more important than the factual information. The CLCD database provides many good choices to help children enjoy geography and history. These books incorporate one or more of the themes noted above.
Additional information relating to the educational standards can be found at http://www.ncge.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3314
Publisher and Editor