Publisher: Bramley Books, a division of Knowledge Quest
Author: Terri Johnson
List Price: PDF Download: $14.95
Reviewed By: Penny Murphy
Map Trek, Volume 1: Ancient World is the first entry in a set of four map collections (Ancient, Medieval, New World, and Modern World) well suited to adding mapwork to your homeschool studies. Ancient World contains 94 pages of notes and maps. Introductory sections include historical quotes that address the question, "Why should we study history" as well as an introduction with suggested methodology, and several pages of lesson plans. The lesson plans are broken into three levels, grades 1-4, 5-9, and 9-12, and multi-level plans ("all levels") are included as well.
You get two maps for every topic, one filled in and one blank. You can use the filled-in map for reference or teaching, and have your students fill in the blank map in the course of their studies, or as a quiz or part of a unit test. There is a lesson plan for each map: adding labels, drawing travel routes, research, questions to ponder and discuss, even drawing a map from scratch on a grid. The first lesson includes a recipe for salt dough, for a tactile map-making activity. The book also contains a glossary of terms used and a list of geographical regions covered in the lessons.
Maps can be printed in color or in black-and-white; the full-color maps in the book print clearly in grayscale. While I printed the maps for our lessons on a black-and-white printer, I found it helpful to go back to the PDF file on the computer to look at the colored map keys when I was correcting my students' work.
Map Trek is an excellent tool that does a lot of your planning for you and makes it easy to incorporate geography into your studies.