Teacher’s Guide to Around the World

Welcome to the teachers’ guide to the Tennessee History for Kids booklet Around the World.

Please do NOT copy the booklets. That is a violation of our copyright and makes it difficult for us to continue to exist. The reason we sell them for only $2 is so teachers will not be tempted to copy the booklets. We print these booklets on non-glossy paper because we want students to write in their booklets and keep them.

If you would like answers to the quiz questions in the booklet, email Bill Carey at bill@tnhistoryforkids.org.

Chapter One: Peninsulas and Plateaus

There’s a lot of content in this chapter, especially for a third grader. I realize that. I think photos are the key to helping students understand and remember what these terms mean.

Click on the first photo to see another image of the Grand Canyon. If you look closely, you can see the Colorado River, flowing at the bottom of it. By the way, I took this photo, and it only after I got back to Tennessee that I noticed the bird in the foreground!

Photo 2 is a plain. True to its name, a plain is very plain. By the way, this particular photo of a plain was taken in West Tennessee, Dyer County to be precise.

Next is a satellite image of the peninsula of the state of Florida. Your students should be able to see Tampa Bay and many lakes.

The fourth photo shows a sign I saw when I was visiting the Jamestown, Virginia, historical attractions. Since I knew that the word isthmus is a favorite with third grade teachers (not to mention third grade students), I just had to take a photo of it!


Chapter Two: A Wet Planet

Obviously we can show you many photographs of rivers and lakes. Here are four of my favorites:

* In Photo A, the Cumberland River is joined by the Obey River in Clay County.


* Photo B is of the Hiwassee River in Bradley County–a photo that makes you want to go rafting!

* Photo C shows the Mississippi River. Since the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers are controlled by dams, many people are surprised to see how fast the Mississippi River flows, especially between November and April. It is not to be trifled with!

* Finally, our friend Brian Wilcox (one of the teachers who has helped us edit our booklets over the years) took this remarkable photograph (Photo D) of the Tennessee River, where it passes through what is known as the “Grand Canyon of Tennessee,” west of Chattanooga.


Chapter Three: Boundaries and Bridges

There’s a lot of very interesting content in chapter 3 which might get your students thinking, or talking, and might be the basis of a follow-up lesson.

On page 14, for instance, I mention the importance of bridges. In the year 2019, in Tennessee, we take bridges for granted. As recently as 50 years ago, Tennessee had more than a 50 ferries which took people and cars from one side of a river to another, because there weren’t enough bridges. Now almost all of those ferry services are gone.

However, on the side of a highway in Smith County, you will find an abandoned ferry (the ferry in the picture).

On page 14 we mention canals, and of course the most famous canals in the world are ones such as the Panama Canal, the Erie Canal and the Suez Canal.

Tennessee doesn’t have any famous canals. But we nearly did. Click on this image of the 1832 Rhea Map and look closely at it.

When this map was made, in 1832, there was talk of a canal that would have connected the Hiwassee to the Conasauga Rivers–which would have meant that boats could have floated all the way from the Tennessee River to Mobile Bay! However, the canal was never created.


Chapter Four: Pinpointing a Globe

The photograph on page 17 shows third grade students playing with an earthball-sized inflatable globe. I’m a big fan of inflatable globes. I think there are many lesson plans to be created where the students stand in a circle, and the teacher tosses around an inflatable globe, asking them questions about world geography and latitude and longitude. Kinetic learning, I suppose.

Latitude and longitude are difficult concepts to show in photographs. Fortunately, there are some pretty cool markers all over the world that have latitude and longitude information, the Equator, etc. On the right, for instance, is a photograph of my niece Deborah Carey, in Kenya.

The naval flight officer pictured on page 22 is none other than me (Tennessee History for Kids founder Bill Carey). One of my navy buddies took this photograph of me, sitting in my workstation, on a P-3 Orion airplane in 1990. A lot of what is in front of me is my old navigational instruments–a lot of which is now hopelessly outdated.

You can see my latitude and longitude in front of me. Here is an interesting assignment: (I’m at about 31 minutes, 33 degrees North; 140 minutes, 25 degrees West.) Also, I’m heading west. Get out a globe, find out where I was, and see if you can guess why I was smiling.


Chapter Five: Our Home Continent

Click on the image of the map for a larger version of the map on page 27.

Show your students this photo of Tasiilaq, a town in Greenland. Ask them what conclusions they can draw about life in this town in Greenland from looking at this photo.


Chapter Six: Land of Small States

Our designer, Angie Jones, was not amused by my plan to hand-write the names of the states and the bodies of water onto the template maps. “Those are going to look terrible,” she told me, and  she insisted on doing (professionally) the maps shown on page 30.

Click on the map and see the one I originally wanted to use. You think she was too harsh on me?

Meanwhile, the students are going to need some practice memorizing these states. So Click here for a pdf of the blank map of the New England states which you can print out and give them.

Finally, there are many photos in this booklet that make you want to see the world. (And there is NOTHING wrong with that, is there?) In any case, the photo on the left is one that I took on a visit to Acadia National Park, in Maine.

Click on it and see if it makes you want to go there.


Chapter Seven: The Mid-Atlantic

Click on the image below to see the page 34 map and here for a pdf of the blank map of the Mid-Atlantic states.

The picture of the bridge is a different photo of the New River Gorge Bridge, shown on page 33. This bridge, one of the highest in the United States, was featured on the West Virginia quarter in 2005.




Chapter Eight: Midwest

Click on the image to see the page 39 map, and click here to see a pdf of the blank map on page 40.

Chapter Nine: The Southeast

Click here for a pdf of the blank map of the Southeastern states.

One of the more unusual places in the Southeast is the Everglades, the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United States. The best place to see this place is at the Everglades National Park, and the best way to see it is by boat. In this picture you can see what parts of the Everglades look like.


Chapter 10: Mountains and Plains

Click on the image of the map to see the page 47 map and here for a pdf of the blank map of the Mountains and Plains states.

The Mountains and Plains states are interesting because they contain the flattest parts of the continental United States, and the most mountainous parts of the continental United States.

Colorado is one of the states in the Mountains and Plains region. Parts of Colorado are as flat as can be, but parts of it contain huge mountains. Click on the image for a great photograph taken at the Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado.

Chapter 11: Pacific West

Click on the image of the map to see the page 51 map, and click here to see a pdf of the blank map on page 52.

I actually took the photograph of Cape Flattery, shown on page 49.  Look this up on a map to see where this is. It is the furthest northwest point in the mainland USA! I have to tell you, it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and I practically had the whole place to myself when I was there.

Click on the picture to see another photo I took there.

Chapter 12: Southern Neighbors

Third grade students have a lot to learn, and third grade teachers have a lot to cover. I wonder if one way to help students learn all these states and all these countries is to use jigsaw puzzles. Here are a couple of boys learning about the geography of a continent using jigsaw puzzles.

The satellite image is of South America. Click on it to make it large. This satellite image are incredibly instructional because you can see the Amazon rainforest, the Atacama Desert, and the snow-covered mountains that lie near the border between Argentina and Chile. In the Southern Hemisphere, the temperature gets colder as you get further South, which may be obvious to us but it might not be obvious to third graders.


Chapter 13 Small Only in Size

Click on the image of the map to see a larger version of the map on page 62.

If you have traveled to Germany, you probably know that the castle on page 58 is Neuschwanstein Castle. Students may recognize this castle from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (or do they not watch that movie anymore?).



Sidebar: Never Seen the Ocean

When we revised this booklet in 2018, we very nearly deleted this sidebar about immigrant children and Ellis Island. But the photograph on page 66-67 kept me from doing it.

Every child in America should see this photo. Click on it to show your students.



Chapter 14: Desert and Savanna

Africa consists of large amounts of desert, savanna and rainforest. Click on this satellite image to see what it looks like from space.

You may notice that I’ve spelled savanna one way here and another in the early editions of the booklet. Which one is correct? Well, both of them, actually. It is becoming more common now to spell the word without the “h,” but British spelling still calls for the “h”. (Apparently, I was late in getting the memo.)

Chapter 15: The Largest Continent

Click on this satellite image  to see what Asia looks like from space. You can clearly see the desert of the Arabian peninsula, the tundra of Siberia, the Himalayas and the Mongolian Plain.

Here is another photo of the Great Wall of China. Your students will be interested to know that the Great Wall of China took more than 2,000 years to build and stretches 12,000 miles!


Chapter 16: Land Down Under

NASA image

You can click on the image to enlarge the satellite image of Australia.

Page 80 features a wonderful photo of someone scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef. I’m sorry to report that the Great Barrier Reef is seriously endangered. If you look this up on the internet, you will find many articles about this.

Finally, on page 96 is a photo of the dog fence in Australia. Click on this image (below) to see a larger version of this photo, which will allow you to read the sign. And you thought we were making it up!

Schultz photo

Chapter 17: The Ice Continent

Antarctic Search for Meteorites program

Many of the inhabitants of Antarctica are scientists who have websites which are easy to find. If you look for some of them you will find wonderful photos from there.

One of the best ones that we have found is the Antarctic Search for Meteorite Program. These professors go to Antarctica and look for meteorites!