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does your 7/8/9 year old know where Italy is? does he/she know that Africa is a continent?

(25 Posts)
hatwoman Thu 15-Oct-09 21:32:50

I did an activity with Brownies last night and was quite taken aback by some rather shakey geography. The girls were looking at the packaging on some food and then finding the countries of origin on a world map. Now I never expected them (for one second) to know everything...and I know it's not their fault...but we had one group looking for Italy in the Americas. (Apparently it's near Mexico.) and another group looking for the "country" Africa. I don't think any of them had even heard of Israel. So how good are your dcs at identifying countries? what has made them good/not so good? do you care? did I come up with a stupidly difficult activity for their age group? just set me wondering.

silverfrog Thu 15-Oct-09 21:37:49

I was absolutely shocking at geography at that age - despite having lived abroad for most of my (then) life blush

I could recognise the countries I/my family had lived in, but anywhere else? not a chance! my older brother found it hilarious to say "silverfrog, show me australia" while handing over a world map, only to see me point out greenland or similar blush

It was, though, purely down to the fact that I had never been taught geography. once my shocking ignorance came to light, my school held a test, found out that none of my year knew much about geography and set about teaching us some.

hatwoman Thu 15-Oct-09 21:40:23

oh that schools now could identify a need and act on it with such lovely flowing logic...

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 21:40:38

DD is 7y and I am not sure. Think she would know roughly where Italy is and she knows its shape.

She knows Africa isn't jsut a country but made up of lots of other countries such as Kenya. Not sure if she would remember it was a contient though.

TBF they don't cover this stuff in Geography in infants.

fruitspooksbatsintheeaves Thu 15-Oct-09 21:41:56

No, I doubt my 12 year old would know actually.

MusterMix Thu 15-Oct-09 21:42:31

italy yes
not sure aotu africa

silverfrog Thu 15-Oct-09 21:43:17

'twas a private school, hatwoman, and a pretty academic one at that (although obv not one which placed any importance on geography wink)

there were only 8 of us in the year, and they did a pretty bad job of teaching us the geography anyway - I'm still not that great tbh (although can now reliably identify australia grin)

ByTheSea Thu 15-Oct-09 21:46:52

DD2 is 7 and knows both these things, but has always been interested in geography.

iheartdusty Thu 15-Oct-09 21:48:33

dd (7) could tell you quite a lot of random information about Italy and Africa, could describe an 'African' village, could name a few Italian towns (due to Pizza Express kids' pack blush) but would not be able to point them out on a map. Like hula junior she knows that Africa is not just one country, but unlikely to recall 'continent'.

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 21:52:16

DD has this game and I have on that I use with my study support group (y1/2) at school too.

Lonicera Thu 15-Oct-09 21:52:51

My 8 yr old asked me the other day if Italy was nearer than Florida -so I guess that's a 'no' then grin

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 15-Oct-09 22:00:33

DS1 has just turned 9 and can recgonise quite a lot of countries. DS2 (nearly 6) can find a few as well but not that many

That's due to the fact that DH is Zimbabwean and so we've looked at maps before, plus DS1 is a car racing/reference book fanatatic so reads about that sort of stuff reguarly.

HuwEdwards Thu 15-Oct-09 22:01:25

Nope. She might know that Italy is in europe and she'd tell you it was hot in Africa, no rain, poor people etc. but geographically, Niet.

Chamomile Thu 15-Oct-09 22:01:50

Ds (8) has a rough idea how many countries make up the African continent and can name several. They did it in Yr 2.

hatwoman Thu 15-Oct-09 22:02:13

we have a globe and it's proved so valuable...if I were a rich patronising philanthrope I'd supply one to every household...(but I'm not so I'll just evangelise....)

with hindsight the activity would have been better with me knowing first all the countries of origin and doing something or other to highlight the countries...and/or make a more simple map...but this stuff takes time...and I'm new to it...(and they did seem to enjoy it)

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 22:03:45

DD has a really big wall map which is useful for browsing, and has a globe/lamp on her room since she was a year old.

Need to get it back out again and start looking. We always do when going on holiday to find it ont he globe with her, but probably should do a bit more.

hatwoman Thu 15-Oct-09 22:08:07

fil bought dds their globe-lamp. dd used to insist that it was turned round so that the "duck" was in a certain place. the duck was australia plus Papua New Guinea. I still struggle to see it.

Pannacotta Thu 15-Oct-09 22:14:21

DS1 is nearly 5 and I am pretty sure he knows both where Italy is and that Africa is a continent.
But only because my Mother bought him a globe light and he loves looking at it with me or DH at bedtime.

megapixels Thu 15-Oct-09 22:21:11

My dd is 7 and she definitely knows that Africa is a continent. She knows the shape of Italy and I think she can locate it too.
We have a globe like some other posters.

hatwoman Thu 15-Oct-09 22:29:44

you see - it's these globes. they should be compulsory.

Lonicera Thu 15-Oct-09 22:36:13

We have a globe and an atlas - my 10 yr old asked for them for Christmas a couple of years ago. His geography is great and he's pretty good at identifying flags too.

My 8 yr old isn't

TheFallenMadonna Thu 15-Oct-09 22:41:46

My 8 yo is very good at this sort of thing, because he has a nerdy interest in flags of the world, and it all comes of a piece.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 16-Oct-09 07:30:32

My dd for some reason has an encyclopedic knowledge of the flags of the world. Apart from the countries she's lived in though, I doubt she'd be able to point any out on the map.

Goblinchild Fri 16-Oct-09 07:36:14

Every class I've taught knows key world geography, unless they have LDs that get in the way.
We have numerous jigsaw puzzles as well as a map and a globe. At least half of my last class can name 10 countries that are part of the continent of Africa, and tested their parents as homework.

cory Fri 16-Oct-09 07:46:19

We have just been reading 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, so ds (9) is hot on longitudes and latitudes. In fact, he's better at geography than I am (all those new countries that weren't around in my days). I am sure it's partly the school.

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