We are continuing on with our educational movies series today. If you missed any of the others, be sure to check out these movies and shows about history, wars and the military and science. While I know many people choose not to watch movies or even television, we have found them very useful in homeschooling our kids.
Geography is probably one of the harder subjects for me to teach my younger kids. Maybe because it was never my favorite subject. I loved learning the 50 states and their capitals, but beyond that, I was never good at it. We typically do some daily geography work and learn about how to read maps and an overview of the United States in elementary, but beyond that, we use our travels to help teach our kids.
But we can’t travel everywhere and I know not everyone travels as we do, so I try to use movies that interest my kids to help get them interested. In fact, one of their favorite shows, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? has sparked some pretty interesting conversations and research.
I also try to listen to their movies as they watch and ask them questions about the landmarks, where it was filmed and more to see if they’re paying attention. It’s a quick and easy way to sneak in some extra learning and quizzing to what they’re already watching.
If you’re looking to add some fun geography studies to your homeschool day, check out these 20 Educational Geography Shows & Movies for Kids!
NOTE: Shows should always be reviewed by a parent first. We do not make any claims to know what is appropriate for your child(ren), that is totally your call. Please review these shows to make sure they align with your family values.
Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? – I loved the Carmen Sandiego games growing up. But just before I graduated high school it was turned into a fun television show, which my kids now enjoy. It is a little cheesy, but it is definitely a fun way for kids to learn about different countries and places in the world as well as a little history too.
Continents of the World Series for Kids – I have not watched this series with my kids, but it is on our Prime list to check out. We will preview each one and if nothing else, allow it to be a great teaching opportunity for our kids in the differences of worldviews. This is what the Amazon Prime description says, “This series on the world’s continents covers all of the basics for age-appropriate learners on each of the continents which, when combined, make up the landmass of the planet earth. With a primary focus on the geography of the continents, each program also proceeds into the history, nature, and geopolitics of the area. Each program opens with a discussion of plate tectonics and Pangaea.”
Great American Landmarks – This is another one we’ve added to our list to watch. Since we travel full-time, this is a fantastic one to view and show the kids some of the famous landmarks around the United States. This short video is free for Prime members and highlights Washington D.C., Grand Canyon, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, St. Louis Gateway Arch, and The Statue of Liberty.
State to State series – This series includes a large variety of titles covering everything from the West Coast to New England, down the East Coast and across the southern route back to California again. Or take an “Alaskan Adventure” right from your couch. While I have not seen this series personally, at only 20 minutes per video, this is a great option for a daily geography series.
The World Atlas – Search – There are a number of different videos in this series. From South America to Canada and the United States to Egypt, Africa, China and more. Kids can take a trip around the world right from your own home. Description from Prime: “The Atlas steps into the digital age. A new one-of-a-kind World Atlas covering all parts of the globe with animated maps from Rand McNally and in-depth cultural and historical information. Each episode is dedicated to different countries, containing four distinct features – physical geography, political geography, popular locations, and thematic maps.”
The Coolest Places on Earth – This series of videos will take students from Mexico to Cambodia to see famous ruins, landmarks around the world, national parks in the United States, American cities, beaches, mountain escapes, and much more!
Memorize the 50 States: On my way across the United States – Want your kids to memorize the 50 states? Try this fun video that engages learners through images, movement, and music. At only 26 minutes long, this video is sure to hold your child’s attention, while helping them learn about the United States.
Scrambled States of America – Based on the popular book by Laurie Keller, kids will love this hilarious story of the 50 states changing places just to change their view. But soon they get so mixed up and forget where they belong, that they might not ever make it back to the right place. This is a quick 17-minute video that will have kids laughing and learning all at the same time. You might also check out The Scrambled States of America Talent Show.
Let’s Learn Countries – This is a super short video that introduces kids to 50 different countries and their flags from around the world all while listening to fun music.
An American Tail (G) – This animated adventure will take kids from Russia to America. Follow Fievel as he falls overboard and then has to search for his family in New York City. Kids can also follow him and his family as they travel west in Fievel Goes West. And don’t forget to follow Fievel and his friends as they take a treasure map and discover a secret world beneath New York City.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (G) – The Jules Verne classic comes to life in this 1954 movie. This DVD has been digitally restored and is in full color, so it will definitely keep the attention of your kids. While this story isn’t true, it is an undersea adventure the kids will enjoy.
Around the World in 80 Days (PG) – This is a modern twist on the old classic, based on the novel of the same name. Frankly, my kids love just about everything Jackie Chan is in, so this is a hit in our house. This is a fun way for kids to “travel around the world” as they see major landmarks from around the globe.
Road to El Dorado (PG) – This definitely isn’t based on a true story, but it is a fun, entertaining movie for kids. You can also have them research and learn about the legendary City of Gold.
Atlantis (PG) – Contrary to many critics, my kids love this movie. It is beautifully animated and a fun adventure under the sea to the lost city of Atlantis. And while this isn’t a true story or based in reality, it has inspired my kids to search the beaches and shores when we visit for “clues” to an unknown world.
NOTE: Movies should always be reviewed by a parent first. We do not make any claims to know what is appropriate for your child(ren), that is totally your call. Please review these movies to make sure they align with your family values.
Hidalgo (PG-13) – Based on a true story, this movie is packed full of adventure and excitement. While this is also a historical film, you could easily incorporate geography of the Sahara desert into your studies. If you’re unsure about the movie, check out the Parents Guide.
Sahara (PG-13) – Another movie set in the Sahara desert, this one is not based on a true story. However, it is a fun, action-filled movie that older kids will enjoy as Dirk travels across the vast desert with his friend in search of a lost ship with hidden treasure. But they encounter some unexpected people and problems that complicate their search. Check out the Parents Guide here.