Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crew Review: MapTrek e-book Set by Knowledge Quest


I love maps.

My kids seem to have inherited a bit of my love, and I hope as they get older, that love and fascination with the world will grow.

So, yes, we do a fair amount of geography to coordinate with our studies. 

I have been impressed with Knowledge Quests products for some time, and own a few.  For this review, we were given the downloadable versions of the MapTrek 6-ebook set ($47.00).

This 230-map set includes practically every historical map you could EVER want for your students.  History is broken into 4 time periods: Ancient, Medieval, New World and Modern (I’ve provided links to each level so you can see which maps are included in each set). The US set contains 235 maps that cover just US history.  There is over lap in the US and World History sets when the US was involved in an international event, such as a World War I .

Here’s what you get with each set of maps:
1.  Fully colored, labeled and correct teacher map.
2.  Unlabeled, lightly colored student map.  The map’s title is printed on it (so you can identify which map goes with which set of instructions)
3.  Lessons plans divided up by classical age levels:  grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This collection will last you for all your students.  This are really fantastic.  Just today, we re-visited American Immigration (a topic we studied in May), and these were the directions for my grammar kids (level A):
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Now that I think about it, I could have bumped them up to complete the labeling of all the states, since we learned them well last year.  Hmmm, maybe we will pull out the maps tomorrow and finish labeling them!
4.  A glossary of terms used in the lessons is included, just in case you haven’t covered “axis” or “NATO” quite yet.  Or in case a certain someone cannot recall what “immigration” means.  In the fall, we’ll be using the Modern set of maps, and I will copy the glossary for my older two (8th and 4th grades) so they can have them handy.
DSCN0997I like to use atlases and maps while the kids are doing map work.  This way, they are learning to use reference books and are not relying on me to point to each spot they need to find.  Saves my sanity and helps them learn more. 

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After Levi wrote out all the state abbreviations for his map, his hand was getting tired.  I used clear tape with the label maker so he could finish the map and label the ports of entry timely and without tears. 

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Luke, on the other hand, needs to practice copying and labeling more.  I wrote the names of the ports on a dry erase board and he copied them to his map.  Quite a colorful map, don’t you think?

My recommendations and thoughts:  While I do think that this is a great family activity (with younger kids finishing before the big kids), it could easily be handed to a student who is a good reader.  Provide them with a variety of historical atlases and have them complete the directions independently.  You can then check it against the teacher’s map and grade it.   I will probably do this with some of Ben's geography work this fall (8th grade), because he needs practice using references and researching.

I highly recommend this set of maps.  You can use them with a wide variety of history curriculum.  You can download samples (opens in a pdf file). Don’t forget to see what other reviewers thought of this product AND Knowledge Quest’s Time Maps.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

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