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Facts About Countries

Social Studies 

WSU10

Full Member
Next year I would like to do something with the countries around the world. I teach 5th grade, and despite my focus being on the United States, I want to have information up in the room about countries from around the world. I have a large poster/map of the world that I am going to laminate and hang on one of the empty boards that I have. I have been searching online for a place to find information about specific countries. I'd like to find a site that has one page overviews about each country. It would be fairly easy to type everything myself, but it would be much easier to have a book to make copies from. If anyone has suggestions on books to look at, or even a site that has one page overviews, that would be much appreciated.


Thanks!!!
 
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RebeccaH

Senior Member
C.i.a.

I had to so relief one day for the Indonesian teacher. Not being able to speak the language my husband suggested doing facts about Indonesia and our own country. I used the CIA site and cut and pasted the info that I thought was useful for them. Or I just found this page
http://www.factmonster.com/countries.html
I love doing countries around the world.
 

kmob

Senior Member

myoung

Senior Member
How about making the kids do the work and host a geography fair. Each student researches a country and learns about its history, culture, food, clothing, etc. Then at the end of the project, they made a display board, dress (maybe?) in authentic clothing, have food (maybe?) and prepare a summary of what they learned. Kind of like a social studies science fair...
 

MiddlingAZ

Senior Member
My 6th graders are doing a country research project right now and these are the Web sites I gave them to use:

http://kids.yahoo.com/reference/world-factbook
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/places/find/
http://www.factmonster.com/countries.html
http://www.atlapedia.com/online/country_index.htm
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ (there is a pale yellow bar on the upper right, above the world map, which says “Select a Country or Location” and has a drop down arrow)
http://www.infoplease.com/countries.html
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/country.html (for the flag and official names)

The CIA world factbook is a treasure trove, but the vocabulary/concept level is extremely high. They will need tons of help understanding the one page overviews (Introduction/Background) and/or if you have them look at any of the other sections (Geography, etc.) Extensive high-level vocabulary such as GDP, literacy rate, etc. The Yahoo kids site uses the same CIA background paragraph (without simplification) and selects a few of the CIA statistics to list.

The National Geographic site is MUCH more kid-friendly and the info is very readable. It's not all on one page, though. You have to click through slides. It only features 20 countries. Factmonster is also much better for kids than the CIA site, although I think for 5th graders they would still need a lot of help decoding the vocabulary. I think that might be the one you want to go with, since the overview is all on one page and they feature a lot of countries.

In the past I have used a product called CultureGrams (kids edition--for upper elementary) because the school I was at had a subscription. They were great and I just looked them up online becaue I might want them for next year-- you can buy one copy to print for $4. For more copies you have to buy a site license--looks to me like 50 individual country reports are $25. You could buy one and see what you think of it

When I rather hurriedly looked for sites for my students to use for their reports, I did not look at online encyclopedias, so maybe that's a thought.

As far as books, I noticed at our Book Fair that Scholastic has a series of books called Exploring Countries with individual titles. They are grades 2-4, so would be very readable for 5th. But they are about $20 per book.
 

ajmm115

Senior Member
books

Is it just too obvious, or have you already gotten an almanac and/or a world atlas. The Hammond one that I have - about three years old - has probably everything you'd want to know.

Sadly, I think we've come to the time when, instead of teaching kids to use computer sources, we're going to have to teach them to use - BOOKS! Not being snarky here. My grandchildren run right to the computer when we have a book shelf of reference books. We've had a couple of contests on the speed with which we could locate information, and I've never lost. Of course, I'm cheating because I know the books so well and know exactly which one to grab. But that's the point. They don't, and SHOULD.
 

WSU10

Full Member
Thank you everyone for the responses!!! Some of the ideas sound great, especially about becoming the ambassador to a country. I may have to do that.

Whenever I do a project, I require the kids spend the first two days researching out of a book. We then spend a day or two using the internet, and lastly I give them the option. It is still extremely important to be able to use the books, and for the most part, they seem to have a basic understanding of where to look for information. Although some do have struggles.


I now know what I'll be doing for my first unit next year. Thank you!!!
 
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