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A Review of The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide

Dateline: 01/27/99

The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide (by Maggie Hogan and Cindy Wiggers) is a fun and fascinating activity book for educators. Designed for use in the classroom or the homeschool, it contains a plethora of ideas and activities to make geographic education exciting.

Though some geographical concepts are not explained clearly, and some are explained incorrectly (the book gives full credence to torrid, temperate, and frigid zones, calling them arctic, temperate, and tropical), for the most part the book would provide an instructor with a pretty good overview of geography.

The first chapter of the book provides information about basic teaching methods (such as how to use a dictionary and atlas). The second and third chapters are a "geography refresher course" where concepts are simplified for the instructor. Unfortunately, sometimes this simplicity too much so (i.e. the book describes the sun as being "109 times larger than the earth," it doesn't say that this comparison is based on the diameter; a better method of impressing the difference between the size of the sun and earth would be the fact that the volume of the sun is 1.3 million times that of the earth.

The remainder of the book includes activities, great outline maps, activity sheets, masters for flash cards, and lots of facts. The book, as the title states, deals with timelines as well. It incorporates a great deal of history into the activities and this helps to provide the social studies teacher with a more social studies-style lesson versus pure geography.

Overall, I think that The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide is a great publication and belongs in the collections of elementary or secondary school geography or social science teachers. Unfortunately I think that the price ($34.95 plus $5.00 shipping) might be a little steep for the homeschool market, one which could really benefit from the book. The Ultimate Guide is available online through the link at the beginning of this article or by calling 1-800-426-4650.

Read my other reviews of geographical products.

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