This year I’m helping a friend of mine teach a geography class for kindergarten and first graders at our homeschool co-op. Our plan is to give these kids such an interesting and exciting introduction to geography that they can’t help but want to learn all about our world! We have seven weeks to focus on the seven continents, so the first week we will start with North America, combined with a basic introduction to geography. We found a really cute craft called Where do I live? on Pinterest, but the thought of cutting out seven circles each for sixteen kids was daunting, to say the least. So we decided to come up with our own design, based on rectangles- which are, as we all know, much easier to cut than circles, especially if you have a handy-dandy paper cutter like I do. 😊
Here is our simplified version of Where do I live:
First, decide how large you want your book to be. We settled on making the largest page a square 8 1/2″ by 8 1/2″. Each subsequent page is 3/4″ shorter than the page under it so that the page titles can be seen clearly. But don’t cut the pages until you have them printed with their titles! I designed a word document with a title for each page so that I could just print each page and then cut it to size, rather than trying to mess with the copier or write the titles in my unimpressive handwriting. If you choose to make your book the same size as ours, you can benefit from my free printables!
Let’s take this one page at a time.
Page 1 – My Home.
This is the simplest page to prepare. Simply use this free title page– print on white card stock, then cut your page to 4 3/4 inches, just below the words, “My Home”. Your students can either draw a picture of their home or glue a photo of their home to this page.
Page 2 – My City.
Print the “My City” title page on your choice of white or colored card stock and cut the page to 5 1/2 inches. I chose photos of things and places that make our town unique, copied and pasted from google images (do a google search for your town, then click on “images” at the very top of the search page. You can then right click on an image to copy and paste it to a word document. I found that it work well for me to choose 3 photos, resize to about 1″ by 2″, then copy and paste them to make three columns, one for each photo on a word document. Here is what I did. Cut these out and have your students glue them to the my city page. If your students are older, you could have them write about special things in your city or draw pictures or bring in their own photos. Since we are teaching 4-6 year olds from 3 different cities, I printed a photo from each of the cities and let all the students glue on of each photo on their page.
Page 3 – My State.
Print the title page on your choice of white or colored card stock and cut to 6 1/4 inches. Print a map of your state and either something your State is known for or your state flag or flower or bird onto regular paper. Have your students glue these pictures onto page 3. If you live in South Carolina, you can use this state map and this state bird and flower printable featuring our Carolina Wren and Jessamine.
Page 4 – My Country.
Print the title page on your choice of white or colored card stock and cut to 7 inches. If you live in the United States, you can use this free printable. I chose a map with SC highlighted, but you can use any outline map of your country- just adjust the size to be less than half a page so you can fit it on your title page. Have your students glue this map onto their “My Country” title page.
Page 5 – My Continent.
If you live in North America, you can use this printable. If you live somewhere else, simply paste your continent in place of North America on the page. Print on white or colored card stock and cut the page to 7 3/4 inches. Students can color each country in the continent a different color to reinforce the concept.
Page 6 – My Planet.
Print this page on white card stock and cut the page to be 8 1/2 inches long. This way you have a square as your last page of your “Where do I live” book. You can have your students color the land green or brown and the oceans blue.
You can staple all the pages together at the top, or punch holes and tie them with string, or punch holes and use brads to hold them together. If you use them as part of a notebook or folder project, you can punch holes and use two of the folder brads to hold your book in the folder.
Tips and Ideas:
If you have a paper cutter, you can use the built-in ruler on it to measure for your page lengths. If you do not have a paper cutter and need to cut several of each page, you may want to make a cardboard template to use as a cutting guide for each page and use a pizza or fabric cutter on a cutting mat or cardboard if you have one. Otherwise, simply use a ruler or straight edge to draw a line to keep your cuts straight. *I highly recommend getting a good paper cutter if you will be making more than a few copies of this craft. There is a LOT of cutting involved, and it can all be done with a paper cutter in a fraction of the time it would take to cut by hand.
If you edit any of the pages, I highly suggest test printing 1 copy on regular paper before printing onto card stock.
Make sure you glue the maps and pictures at least 1/4 inch down from the top of each page so you have room to staple or punch holes at the top of the page.
If you are working with very young children, remember to give them one page at a time and explain the instructions for each page before handing out the pages. Otherwise you may end up with lots of pretty coloring and gluing, but not necessarily on the correct pages and not much understanding of the concepts you are trying to teach. 😉