Reading Around the World: Elementary Geography and a Free My Country Study Packet

One of the most fun ways to teach geography in the younger grades is through reading and doing activities from countries all around the world. I did a geography unit with my younger girls when they were elementary aged, and we had the best time. We read books about other countries and cultures. We made crafts. We cooked food. We played traditional games. I know that they learned far more than just reading about continents and countries from a textbook. Even now they can remember a good bit about the countries we covered.

In this post, you’ll find a booklist and some activities for countries in all seven continents. There are also some general geography books and activities. If you want some in depth geography learning, you can use these resources to create your own unit study. Use my free Create Your Own Unit Study ebook and planning pack here.

Or just use the resources to learn a little about each individual continent. At the end of the post, don’t forget to pick up the free My Country Study packet. Elementary aged kids can use this packet for any country study. It would be fun to create a notebook with a country study from each continent.

Geography books for kids and a free printable country study
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General Geography 


Geography books for kids and a free printable country studyThe Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Kids)

The Everything Kids’ Geography Book: From the Grand Canyon to the Great Barrier Reef – explore the world! by Jane P. Gardner.


Make a paper-mache globe with these instructions.

National Geography Kids has a great site where kids can learn all about countries all over the world.

Scholastic has a fun, interactive Global Trek where kids can choose a country they want to “visit” and take a virtual trip to learn about that country.

Education Possible has a free Geography Terms BINGO printable.

My Little Poppies has a great post about using Google Earth in your homeschool.

Homeschool Share has some great activities that correspond with Jan Brett books to tour the world.

Countries in North America



Geography books for kids and a free printable country study
Smart About the Fifty States (3rd-5th grades)-US

The United States of America: A State By State Guide (3rd-5th grades)-US

Our Fifty States (2nd-5th grades)-US

The Kids Book of Canada (3rd-6th grades)-Canada

Good Night, Canada (age 2+)-Canada


Find some great ideas for learning about the American Revolution here.

These Canadian fact cards aren’t free, but are inexpensive and would make a great resource from learning about Canada.

Countries in South America

Geography books for kids and a free printable country study
Up and Down the Andes (1st-3rd grade)-Peru

Biblioburro: A True Story From Colombia (K-2nd grade)-Colombia

The Rainforest Grew All Around (K+)- various, rainforest

A Pen Pal for Max (K-3rd grade)-Chili

Victoria Goes to Brazil (1st-3rd grade)-Brazil


Countries in Europe


Geography books for kids and a free printable country study

The Cat Who Walked Across France (K-3rd grade)-France

France ABCs (K-5th grade)-France

Italy ABCs (K-5th grade)-Italy

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World (1st-4th grade)-Denmark

Fair Monaco (1st-3rd grade)-Monaco

Eloise in Moscow (4+)-Russia


Paddington’s Guide to London takes kids on a tour of the city featuring some of the sites related to everyone’s favorite bear- Paddington.

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook all about France, as well as one about England.

Adventures in Mommydom has some fun recipes and activities to help kids learn about Ireland.

Homeschool Share also has a list of all of their free literature resources that correspond with learning about European countries.

Find instructions for ten crafts from France here.

Countries in Africa



Geography books for kids and a free printable country study

A Long Walk to Water (5th-8th grade)- Sudan

We All Went on Safari (5+)-Tanzania

Jamba Means Hello: A Swahili Alphabet Book (3-5 years)-various, Swahili language

Wangari’s Trees of Peace (K-4th grade)-Kenya


Ducksters has a whole page of information about Africa with  links to different countries and a printable map.

Homeschool Share has free unit studies and lapbooks that correspond with a variety of African countries.

This is a free lesson plan to help kids learn about the seven natural wonders of Africa.

You can find a free Africa’s Lands coloring page here.

Learn Create Love has instructions for making African tribal masks.

Geography books for kids and a free printable country study

Countries in Asia



Geography books for kids and a free printable country study

Four Feet, Two Sandals (1st grade+)

Sami and the Time of Troubles (3rd grade+)- Lebanon

Bee-Bim Bop! (PreK-2nd grade)-Korea

What Should I Make? (PreK-1st grade)-India

I Live In Tokyo (K-2nd grade)-Japan


Homeschool Share has a free lapbook about China.

Get free Asia geography worksheets from Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies.

123 Homeschool 4 Me has a free printable China booklet for kids.

You can find a food art activity and recipe from India at Kitchen Counter Chronicles.

Kid World Citizen has some cool Indonesian folk tales and a slide show about animals from them.

Countries in Australia





Geography books for kids and a free printable country study

Antarctica (K-3rd grade)

Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica (K-2nd grade)

Explore Antarctica (1st grade+)

Magic Tree House: Penguins and Antarctica (1st-4th grade)


Get free printable Life Cyle of a Penguin Cards here.

It isn’t free, but this packet from Teachers Pay Teachers would be a great way to compare and contrast the Arctic and Antarctica.

Active Wild has a great guide to Antarctica that has also has pictures and links for further study.

Blue Bear Woods has instructions for making a cool ice cave.

Find some fun science ice experiments here.

And now you can download a FREE My Country Study booklet. Your child can pick a country to learn about in more depth. The booklet contains pages for recording information about the country they choose.

Free printable country study packet

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