Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Barefoot Books' World Atlas/Learning Geography with the Olympics (giveaway)

When I first noticed the Barefoot Books World Atlas I was immediately intrigued, as Bookworm1 (age 5) is very interested in maps and loves staring at them and figuring out where various things are. (Most importantly, he likes to know where certain animals live.) Barefoot Books has done a nice job creating a large, colorful and informative atlas designed specifically for ages 8 and up, but which is suitable for younger ones as well.

Barefoot Books World Atlas opens up with "The Story of Our Planet" which shares the history from an evolutionist point of view. As a Creationist, I disagree but do not find this to be distracting to the usefulness the rest of this book provides.) The second page spread shares "The Story of Map-Making" and after that we take a look at different parts of the planet. We begin with oceans, specifically the Pacific, and there are little icons of things like giant squids, killer whales, the Easter Island statues. There is also a fold-out flap which contains an illustration of the marine food chain. Throughout the book you will find lift-the-flap options which enable you to learn interesting facts about anything from the Vikings of Norway, to Indonesia's 130+ active volcanoes, to Kestrals. Each page spread also focuses on a particular continent or area with icons of people, animals native to the land, natural resources, and well-known land marks. The colors, as I mentioned, are bright and cheerful and my sons (even the three year old!) have enjoyed looking at this.

Furthermore, Barefoot Books has offered a World Atlas iPad application in conjunction with the book.

The iPad app follows the same vein as the hardback book - it displays a map of the world with icons. The fun thing about the iPad app (yes, it is fun!) is that you can double-tap the icons in order to learn more about any particular person, place or thing. There are real-life photographs to show the children what the objects really look like. There are also audio explanations for each item and videos on occasion. The two oldest bookworms and I spent some time investigating the globe together via this app. We rotated taking turns exploring things around the world. (First Bookworm1 would take a turn picking an icon, then Bookworm2 and so on and so forth.) I asked them their opinion of the "game" and they said that they both enjoyed it.

Now, of course, the timing of our exposure to this book and iPad app couldn't be more perfect in light of the upcoming Olympics. Barefoot Books has come up with a list of ideas for parents to do in order to help teach their children geography in conjunction with the games. Perhaps you will find one of these suggestions helpful as we approach the Opening Ceremony:

Using the Olympics as a World Geography Lesson for Children

  1. Enjoy some food from the country of your child’s favorite Olympic athlete
  2. Have a World Atlas app or book handy while you watch the games and learn one fun fact about each country in the competition
  3. Make flags representing the countries competing in your child’s favorite competition
  4. Get out that world map and mark it with medal counts as you watch the Olympics together
  5. Learn how to say Hello in the different languages of the countries represented in your child’s favorite sport
  6. Read books with your children about the different countries and cultures represented in the Olympics
  7. Have your child pick an athlete from a different country, then research their training conditions, and discuss why the land the athlete comes from helps contribute to their athletic abilities (ie: marathoners from Africa train in desert heat and higher elevations, etc.)
  8. When the medals are handed out and the flags go up, the winner’s national anthem is played. Find out what the words of the national anthem mean and sing it with your child
  9. Learn the capital cities of the countries of the athletes participating in your favorite Olympic sport
  10. Figure out what time it is in the home country of the winning athlete and help your child calculate the best time for the athlete to call home and share the exciting news with their family

Will you be participating in the games in some form or fashion with your kids? (I hope to talk more about our own plans in the next few weeks.)

In honor of the Olympics, Barefoot Books also has a generally offered to give away ONE World Atlas book and ONE iPad app to one of my readers here at Reading to Know. Would you care to win? Simply leave a comment below. For grins, let me know which country you intend to root for (aside from the good ol' U S of A, of course!).

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER, as selected by Random.or, IS #3 - Sherry at Semicolon!! Congrats!

This contest is open to U.S. Residents only and will be open through July 31st.

Thanks to Barefoot Books for their ideas for enjoying the Olympics with children and for offering a copy of their World Atlas and access to their iPad app to my family in exchange for our honest opinion. Thanks also for offering a giveaway to another of my readers! This is wonderfully generous and I'm excited to be presenting this opportunity. And that's the plain truth!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Sign me up! Looks great!

As a complete non-athlete, I'm sorry to admit that actually cheering for someone other than a U.S. team member has never crossed my mind. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

Stephanie said...

I would love the atlas - sadly, we are iPad-less around here still. : )

We can't WAIT for the Olympics next week and I'm hoping to plot out a few ideas for us this week.

Sherry said...

I love to win the book. I'd also love to have an iPad for the app to on :)

Anonymous said...

How exciting! My husband just gave his iPad over to me for educational use only! We still love old fashion books this. We LoVED watching the Winter Olympics! I can't wait to watch the Summer games with the kids. We spent a lot of time in the Olympic room at the Atlanta history center in GA. I cab't wait for the connection to spark. My kids say we will cheer for Ireland since their great-grandparents were born there.

Annette Whipple said...

I think of Canada often with the Olympics...and since I have British and Australian friends...I cheer very quietly for them, too. :)

No iPad here, but we have an iTouch. :) With the Olympics coming (and already watching a bit) we've determined we need an atlas and a globe in our home!

Mikaila said...

We need an atlas for our homeschool bookshelf and this one looks awesome and intriguing! Geography is one of my extreme weak areas and I need all the help I can get. ;) As for the Olympics... We don't have cable and haven't been keeping up with the games AT ALL so apparently we need to look into that! :)

Ramona said...

Would love to get this book for my classroom & use the app for the I-pad. I'm working on adding to the nonfiction books in our classroom. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Please enter me in contest. Would love to win.

Jessica B. said...

We'd love to win.
Of course we cheer for the USA in everything, but we also like a good underdog story... In gymnastics (my sport), that means Italy, France, England or really anyone besides Russia, Romania, China...

Julia said...

This looks like a wonderful geography resource.

I have to admit we are also non-athletes so will be cheering for anyone from the US.

Bluerose said...

This looks great!

It wasn't until last week that I realized the Olympics are around the corner. How sad is that?! I do enjoy watching random events, though.

Other than the U.S., I guess I cheer a little for Australia.

Alison said...

I would love to win!

I honestly haven't considered what country would be my second choice. I usually enjoy cheering on the under dog after the USA. :)

*carrie* said...

Ooh, I love geography. My parents had two cool books put out by Nat. Geo. that I enjoyed looking at as a kid: one was all about the U.S., and the other about the world.

I'm looking forward to the Olympics. Since I lived in France for a brief time, I enjoy watching their athletes, and I'll also cheer for Romania because of some connections we have there.

Rainbow said...

How relevant! Just the atlas though bc no i products here. After the USA, I'd love Mexico to win medals.

Rainbow said...

Forgot to mention my email- thanks!

bekahcubed said...

I can identify with Bookworm1's fascination. I remember endlessly spinning a globe and putting down my finger to stop it. I determined that I would live wherever my finger landed and dutifully (joyfully) went off to find my animal atlas to see what animals lived in that particular area.

I was, unsurprisingly, an indiscriminate traveler and world-animal lover--which meant that wherever my finger landed, I was quite pleased with what I found.

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