Expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese doesn’t need to be boring. Since I created a set of bilingual geography learning resources a couple of months ago, I’ve been working on how to expand my daughter’s geography knowledge in Chinese.
If this is your first time visiting my blog, I started introducing Chinese geography words in our learning routine. I’ve written two blog posts below to detail how and where I began, as well as the bilingual resources I created to teach entry-level Chinese geography words at home. Here they are:
- How to make a DIY Montessori-inspired felt Continent Map?
- How to introduce Chinese geography words to kids playfully?
Now, my daughter has pretty much learned all the Chinese geography words contained in the bilingual resources I created.
What’s next is to help her build on the Chinese words she has learned.
To save you time, I thought I might well share with you what I’ve been using and the resources I’ve found to expand my daughter’s Chinese geography knowledge.
Note, the resources I’m going to show you here is not finite. It is ever-growing. I’ll continue to update this post and share it with you as I discover.
Here is what you will find in this post:
Table of Contents
- The bilingual geography resources I’ve created.
- The books I use and recommend to expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese.
- The bilingual world map and the globe for children learning geography in Chinese and English.
- Some videos I’ve found to expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese.
1. The bilingual geography resources I’ve created.
In my blog post, how to introduce Chinese geography words to kids playfully, you can find out more about the resources I created to teach my daughter all of the following Chinese geography words at home.
Remember, these words are just a starting point for little learners from 5-6 years above.
As for the geographical locations of the continents, oceans, and landmarks, you can teach your child at the same time as introducing the pronunciations of the Chinese geography words.
Alternatively, teach your child the Chinese words first and gradually introduce reading about continents, oceans, and landmarks. Try and see what works for you and your child.
At our home, I taught my daughter reading the words first because at the time I only had a few but not the books and the videos that I’m going to share with you in Part 2 – 3 of this post.
Now I have them and still looking for more, I’d present the 5-part cards with the books when teaching each continent box. I’ll talk about more on how I prepare for each Chinese geography session at home in Part 3 of this post.
In summary, these Chinese words are:
- The world’s seven continents and five oceans 世界七大洲五大洋 (Aisa 亚洲, Africa非洲, North America北美洲, South America南美洲, Antarctica南极洲, Europe欧洲 and Oceania大洋洲, Pacific Ocean太平洋, Arctic Ocean北冰洋, Atlantic Ocean大西洋, Southern Ocean南冰洋, and Indian Ocean印度洋).
- The world’s ten landmarks 世界10大地标( Leaning Tower of Pisa 比萨斜塔, Eiffel Tower埃菲尔铁塔, Taj Mahal泰姬陵, Arch of Triumph凯旋门, Statue of Liberty自由女神像, Temple of Inscriptions铭文寺, Empire State Building帝国大厦, Big Ben大本钟, Parthenon帕台农神庙, Pyramids of Giza吉萨金字塔).
- The thirty-five animals of seven continents 7大洲的35种动物 ( Panda熊猫, Flamingo火烈鸟, Cobra眼镜蛇, Peacock孔雀, Pangolin穿山甲,Wolf狼, Badger獾, Headhog刺猬, Reindeer驯鹿, Lynx猞猁, Alligator鳄鱼, Chinchilla毛丝鼠, Anteater食蚁兽, Toucan巨嘴鸟, Macaw金刚鹦鹉, Seal海豹, Killer Whale虎鲸, Emperor Penguin帝企鹅, Crested Penguin冠企鹅, Albatross信天翁, Raccoon浣熊, Beaver河狸, Bal Eagle白头鹰, Rattlesnake响尾蛇, Grizzly Bear大灰熊, Giraffe长颈鹿, Hippo河马, Rhino犀牛, Zebra斑马, Cheetah猎豹, Kangaroo袋鼠, Koala考拉, Platypus鸭嘴兽, Frilled-neck Lizard伞蜥蜴, Cockatoo美观鹦鹉).
I know. It looks like your child has to learn a lot, right? Yes, but not in one day.
Please read my blog post, how to introduce Chinese geography words to kids playfully, you’d know that I organised all the resources in seven continent boxes. I use one at a time.
As a reference, sometimes, I’d use a few days to teach one continent box because our learning time is only 30 minutes a day. You don’t need longer than that as young kids tend to lose focus after about 30 minutes.
2. The books I use and recommend to expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese.
Now, let’s take a look at the first set you can use to expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese. It’s called World Geography （环球国家地理绘本）.
As we live in Australia, apart from creating Chinese teaching materials myself for my daughter, I had to source many Chinese books from China, including this set.
Honestly, no one paid me to say this; this set of books is probably one of the best geography books in Chinese that I’ve ever come across for the following reasons:
- All texts are in Simplified Chinese, and information is concise. No Pinyin though, which is understandable for this type of book.
- The illustrations are well-drawn and reflected the cultural and geographical features of each country. No wonder because the illustrators are from six different countries: China, Italy, Spain, Russia, Colombia, and Poland.
- This set has covered all seven continents: the people, the cultures, the landmarks, the animals, the scenery, the food, the music, and the art, etc.
I reckon this set was the best buy for me so far. Reading is a big part of my daughter’s Chinese learning at home.
I’ve bought many children’s books from China, and lots of them turned out as a waste of money. Some of the books had strange storylines, and some of them had not-so-captivating illustrations.
But this set, World Geography (环球国家地理绘本), it ticks all the boxes. If my daughter approves it, it’s good enough for me.
If you want to buy this set of books for your child, you can do so here on Taobao where I purchased.
Just a word of caution, younger kids (age six or less) may not be interested in these books yet because they haven’t developed the geographical concept. When your child gets to year one like mine, they will start to learn continents and oceans, etc. Then, they’d be more engaged with these books.
Another set I use to teach my daughter about animals is The Cat in the Hat Learning Library (戴帽子的猫科普图书馆). Here they are:
But for little kids, they’ll need us to read to them for the stories in this depth anyway, which is ok for me as I love reading to my daughter. Here is where I purchased.
I’ve also got two more books about animals below:
The good thing about these two books is that they have Pinyin in them, which helps my daughter to read the books by herself. For a 6-year-old, there are many Chinese characters in these books she can’t yet recognise. Pinyin allows her to read without interrupting the flow of reading.
If you are not sure if your child needs to learn Pinyin, my posts below might help you to decide:
As far as preparing for teaching goes, I recommend to pre-select the chapters or stories that are relevant to what you are teaching for that day.
If you’re running out of the time, then you can read these pre-selected contents at other times. I usually read them before bedtime or sometimes before my daughter gets up bed in the morning.
The goal is to expand your child’s Chinese geography knowledge. So it doesn’t matter when you read to your child as long as you keep reading.
3. The bilingual world map and the globe for children learning Chinese and English.
For bilingual children, learning Chinese is just as important as learning English. So, whatever teaching aids I buy, I try to buy in Chinese and English. There’s no exception when it comes to maps.
Once your child has reached six years old and moved on from the felt map, it’s time to consider a bilingual world map (2D) and a globe(3D) to further expand your child’s geography knowledge in Chinese. Here are the world map and the globe we use:
The world map
This map has two sides. The front side is the map, and the other side has printed flags. It also comes with movable flags. On the back of each little flag, it has information such as the capital, language, geographical location, and the overall size of that country.
To start, you can ask your child to play games such as “matching the flags” or “I Spy”.
Once your child is familiar with the Chinese words for continents, oceans, and animals, etc., you can ask your child to place all the Chinese and English labels in my bilingual resource on the map. You can also ask your child to tell you the locations of the continents, oceans, and where the animals might live without the labels.
With the same approach, you can play these games on the globe as well.
These are just some of the ways you can use this map. I’m sure you can figure out other ways. Here is where I bought it.
The globe can give your child a more realistic view of our planet. It helps your child to transition from 2D to 3D maps. I usually use the world map and the globe side by side.
Wait. There is another cool function of this bilingual globe: it glows and shows the constellations when you plug it in. The power cable is a USB cable with a separate power plug. It means you can either plug it into your computer or on a wall power outlet.
I bought this globe in 2017. Unfortunately, the link for this shop has expired. But I’ve found a similar product here in the same shop if you want to purchase it. I believe this newer version talks in Chinese and English as well, which is handy if you don’t speak Mandarin.
4. Some videos I’ve found to expand children’s geography knowledge in Chinese.
Watching YouTube videos that are related to geography and animals is another way I use to expand my daughter’s geography knowledge as well as to improve her Mandarin listening comprehension.
While being conscious about the screen time, I’d search and save the videos that are educational to compliment my teaching.
The way I do it before each Chinese geography teaching session (30 minutes) at our home is to get all the resources ready beforehand.
Here is how I prepare before each geography session:
- The 5-part geography cards – refer to how to introduce Chinese geography words to kids playfully for more details, or download the resources directly from my shop.
- The books with the relevant chapters pre-selected – For example, if I were to teach Asia, I’d have the pages about Asia and the pages about the five animals ready for my daughter.
- Have the relevant videos (iPad) ready just in case we still have time to watch – I’ve created a few playlists in my YouTube account where I saved all the children-friendly and educational geography related videos in Chinese.
The resources I shared in this post are only the tip of the iceberg. My goal is to show you teaching and expanding children’s geography knowledge in Chinese at home is possible, and hopefully to inspire you to find more resources to expand your child’s Chinese geography knowledge.
By the same token, you can use a similar approach to teach your child’s other areas of knowledge in Chinse such as the solar system.
Learning Chinese vocabulary is just a starting point. Create more opportunities and or find more ways to expand your child’s geography knowledge is what I’m getting at – it could be reading or traveling. I think you get that.
What are the resources you use to expand your chid’s Chinese geography knowledge? If you have something interesting, why not share with us at the Panda Mama Chinese Facebook community, or leave your comments down below? Love to hear from you.