For the first week, we looked at map work in general and I helped the children put together a little Kentucky Journal, containing some basic maps of Kentucky regions, states surrounding ours, etc. as well as lots of info on various state symbols. They took these home with them and I encouraged them to keep them and make entries whenever they visit various places around the state.
If you don't want to make up your own notebook, you might use one such as the one I'm going to link for younger children:
Here are some pics of the one I made up:
I found the state themed stickers at my local parent/teacher store. These are notecard sized notebooks so they fit small hands well. Any printed text that couldn't be cut to fit the page I simply folded....
Here are some of the general and state related books I suggested prior to the first class:
The most fantastic atlas of the whole wide world by the Brainwaves. London ;: DK Pub., 2008.
Geography. New York, NY : Kids Discover, 2011.
The Kingfisher geography encyclopedia. New York : Kingfisher :, 2011.
Got geography! : poems. New York : Greenwillow Books, c2006.
Geography from A to Z : a picture glossary. New York, NY : Crowell, c1988.
Blast-off to Earth! : a look at geography. New York : Holiday House, c1992.
Rivers and seas. Brookfield, Conn. : Copper Beech Books, c2001.
Our earth. San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 1998.
Maps and symbols. Austin, Tex. : Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1999.
How I learned geography. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, c2008. (Haven't gotten to look at this one yet, but it's an award winner. I think it's about a refugee boy who taught himself geography. Not sure it it's happy or sad, so you might want to pre-read....)
Kentucky. Edina, Minn. : ABDO Pub. Co., c2010.
Kentucky. New York : Children's Press, 2003.
Types of maps. New York : Children's Press, c2003.
I also suggested these landform cards for them, which I utilized with some of the kids in my younger geology class last year:
www.superteacherworksheets.com (These are listed under social studies: landforms - but are actually water form cards - I let the kids color them and wrote a simple definition on the back, then had them laminated at my local parent/teacher store.)
http://www.dynamic2moms.com/geography-countries (Montessori Landform cards that already include definitions on the back - these are in color, too - also had them laminated.)
For next week, we will be looking more in general at the various countries of North America and here is the booklist I suggested for that:
Borreguita and the coyote : a tale from Ayutla, Mexico. New York : Knopf, 1991.
Many nations : an alphabet of Native America. Mahwah, N.J. : Bridgewater Books, 1997.
Sawdust carpets. Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre ;, c2005.
The enchanted orchard : and other folktales of Central America. New York :
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.
Abuela's weave. New York : Lee & Low Books, c1993.
My shoes and I. Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 2010.
Why the possum's tail is bare : and other North American Indian nature trails.
Owings Mills, Md. : Stemmer House Publishers, c1985.
Mexico. Mankato, Minn. : Blue Earth Books, c2003.
Gods and goddesses of the ancient Maya. New York : Holiday House, 1999.
Big-enough Anna : the little sled dog who braved the Arctic. Anchorage, AK : Alaska Northwest Books, 2003.
Mexico & Central America. Austin, Tex. : Raintree Steck-Vaughn, c2000.
Luck. New York : Laura Geringer Books, c2006.
Plank houses. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2005.
Remaking the earth : a creation story from the Great Plains of North America. New York : Orchard Books, c1996.
Saturday market. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, c1994.
Arctic hunter. New York : Holiday House, 1992.
A family in Central America. New York : The Bookwright Press, 1986.
A walk in the desert. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, c2001.
A walk in the rain forest. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, c2001.
Isabel's house of butterflies. San Francisco : Sierra Club Books for Children, 2003.
Mexico : the culture. New York : Crabtree Pub. Co., c2009.
Let's go traveling in Mexico. New York : Morrow Junior Books, 1996.
The Inuit. Mankato, Minn. : Bridgestone Books, c2000.
Hill of fire. New York : Harper & Row, 1971.
Raven : a trickster tale from the Pacific Northwest. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1993.
Wickiups. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2005.
Pueblos. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2005.
The great monarch butterfly chase. New York : Bradbury Press ;, c1993.
The Iroquois. New York : Holiday House, c1995.
The Cheyennes. New York : Holiday House, c1996.
The Cherokees. New York : Holiday House, 1996.
The gift of the Inuksuk. Chelsea, MI : Sleeping Bear Press, 2004.
The Windigo's return : a North Woods story. New York, N.Y. : Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, 1996.
A North American rain forest scrapbook. New York : Walker and Co., 1999.