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22 Reviews
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive Review from Forsyth School
Our school has been using David Smith's "Mapping the World by Heart" curriculum for three years. My fourth grade class studies US History, and I have adapted the curriculum so that my class maps the United States by heart. Our sixth grade, for their last project before graduation, maps the world by heart. This is truly a wonderful project that challenges...
Published on June 22, 1999

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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs more help with implementation
First of all, the enclosed video with this product is really more of a promo; it helps very little with using the course.

Secondly, the written material is put together like a menu. The "appetizers" are some fun and easily implementable activities to help kids gain an overview of geographic concepts.

The "desserts" are different ways to output the...
Published on September 28, 2007 by Bubbles


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive Review from Forsyth School, June 22, 1999
By A Customer
Our school has been using David Smith's "Mapping the World by Heart" curriculum for three years. My fourth grade class studies US History, and I have adapted the curriculum so that my class maps the United States by heart. Our sixth grade, for their last project before graduation, maps the world by heart. This is truly a wonderful project that challenges even the most gifted students, yet also gives different students a chance to shine in the classroom. Every year students, faculty, and parents come to the final dispay of our maps and exclaim, "There is no way that I could do this!" Imagine the pride that a ten or twelve-year-old feels when they have acquired knowledge that their parents find astounding. Many parents have framed their children's USA and world maps and have put them up in the home as artwork! The curriculum is broken down into mini-lessons and is very easy to follow. Even if you did not want to use the entire curriculum, there are plenty of good geography resources and lessons included. In my opinion, every student in the United States should be required to use this curriculum. It is truly incredible what geography our students know when they leave our school!
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Results, May 15, 2003
By 
Joan Brancaleone (Nazareth, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
I used this curriculum with a homeschool co-op. I taught twelve children ranging from grades 4-12. Our "before" world maps from memory hardly contained any information and very unusual continent shapes and locations, even the one done by grades 9-12.
As we mapped and labeled each continent, we also did a study of the history and culture of the countries in each continent. Every week, each student researched a different area of each culture and gave oral presentations in class.(these ideas/activities are given in the curriculum.) Our end of year maps from memory are the best endorsement I could give. I wish you could see them. The continents were accurately drawn and 70 to 80 percent of the details like landforms, political divisions and capital cities were included. Our best map was completed by a 6th grader who was able to list every single item on the "mapping the world by heart list" given in the curriculum. There is some teacher preparation in doing extra activities recommended in the curriculum. My only complaint was that the map sheets were not available in smaller quantities so we had to come up with our own outline maps to label. I highly recommend that every student be required to complete this curriculum before reaching highschool. My history class no longer has to ask "Where is that?"
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive review from Latin School of Chicago teacher, February 25, 2003
By 
The "Mapping the World By Heart" curriculum is a must for any social studies teacher. It has easy-to-follow lesson plans, great projects and games, outline maps, and lots of useful geographical resources. The actual project of mapping a geographical area "by heart" is the best (and most amazing) project that I have ever done with students. Currently, my students IN 2ND GRADE can draw South American maps by memory. To my students' surprise, many of their parents can't even label the countries in South America on a blank outline map! I have also used the "Mapping the World By Heart" curriculum to have students map the USA and Canada by heart. I have also seen 6th grade world memory maps at another school that are TRULY amazing.
Even if you decide not to have your students map the world by heart, the lesson plans and information alone included in the curriculum are worth the cost.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs more help with implementation, September 28, 2007
First of all, the enclosed video with this product is really more of a promo; it helps very little with using the course.

Secondly, the written material is put together like a menu. The "appetizers" are some fun and easily implementable activities to help kids gain an overview of geographic concepts.

The "desserts" are different ways to output the learned material.

However the "main course" in which I expected to learn HOW to teach my kids to "map the world by heart" was nothing but a list of the continents and all the countries and landforms that need to be memorized. I was looking to this course to teach me HOW to teach my kids to "map the world by heart" but all it showed me was the WHAT. It, unfortunately, was a waste of money.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geography made fun!, November 24, 1998
By A Customer
I am very glad to now see that 'Mapping the World by Heart' is now available at Amazon. This wonderful geography program is just great for homeschool kids. Would you believe that at the end of the year your kids could draw a world map from memory? They could if you follow all the lessons in this book! I love the lessons and the way the whole book is put together. David has recently updated the book and I was lucky enough to review it. My kids really love the lessons and look forward to geography twice a week. You get all the maps that you will need for all the lessons, (you will need to copy or order more for all your children). I would even say that all the map drawing and coloring could be counted towards your art credits for the year. There are so many other projects that can stem from this as well...like for social studies fair with a homeschool group or just for grandma! This would be a great curriculum to start as a unit study where you would pause and research areas that you were studying on the map.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big disappointment and over priced., January 7, 2011
This review is from: Mapping the World by Heart (Ring-bound)
I have home schooled for 18 years and owned this program for about 10 of those years (thus I refer to the the 1996 edition). I have yet to have success with it, but because I love the idea of learning to map the world by heart, I keep hanging on to it. The video that shows all the kids working on their maps is truly inspiring. Once in a while I take the program off the shelf in hopes that I missed something before, and that will finally figure it out this time. Alas, it is not been the case.

It is a mystery me how the children featured in the video were able to draw their world maps by heart because this program pretty much consists of is a list of countries and their capitals, their physical features, some "reproducible" maps, and a few suggestions of how to "do" geography-nothing that I can't come up with myself or easily find in some other resource. In fact to make use of the suggestions, one usually needs other resources. One also has to "make a quick trip to a local photocopy center" to reproduce the maps because they are over sized...Well, that's neither quick, nor convenient.

Nor, to my thinking are the maps useful for teaching mapping as they are very detailed. It would be more useful and practical to have less detailed, printer-sized maps, along with clear detailed step by step instructions on how to memorize drawing them. That is after all the point!-- not to get suggestions on how to put together a "world fair booth"!

When I purchased this program 10 years ago at an overpriced $80, it was with the intention of teaching my children to do just as the title says. I was hoping for a clear step by step method of how to teach the children to MAP THE WORLD BY HEART-meaning to draw a world map from memory, not this "menu" and "buffet" of suggestions, with a few maps thrown in. The method that Mr. Smith very briefly outlines is to fill in blank maps. While it certainly familiarized a person to a map, it is nothing new or different, nor does it teach one to draw the map by heart.

Mr. Smith may have great success in teaching his own students to draw a map of the world by heart, but he did not succeed in passing it on to me with this program. I would still like teach my kids to map the world from memory but I will have to come up with my own method and maps--(and, yes I wil finally toss this program!) I suggest you do the same.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good program, but not complete, September 10, 2007
By 
L. Kaneshiki (Duncansville, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I bought this program because of rave reviews I had read. The intro video is very impressive, which features the teacher who created the program and his 7th grade class. It will motivate you to teach your student(s) geography.
However, when I started to use the program, it was not complete. It assumes you already have some idea of what you want to teach, and it gives you enrichment ideas to teach in creative ways. I am only starting the program, so I will get back to you when I have used it more. However, I did feel I had to purchase additional materials to teach concepts that were involved in certain introductory exercises in the book.
I think the program might be ideal for school teachers; for home educating parents, they may need supplemental materials to help them out.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good for our homeschool., October 16, 2007
By 
Rose (Southeast, MO USA) - See all my reviews
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The program comes with a set of large maps but they are too big for my home printer. I had to pay to make copies. I could have ordered them from the publisher but they come in sets of 30 (or so) of one particular map. It would be good if it was possible to order sets like the sample set.

The maps are very hard to use. We tried to outline and label the counties of Asia and found it almost impossible to locate countries because rivers are included on the maps and they muddle the borders. It's good to learn where the rivers are but not at the expense of learning where the country is.

In one of the lessons a grid is draw on a map and then (to scale) a grid is to be draw on the playground. The students are then to transfer the small map to the large one. We're rural and don't have any place that we could use to re-create this lesson. I'm sure if this was the only problem with mapping the world by heart I would find a solution but it's not.

I wish I had known the extent of extra maps that are needed for this program. Maps are not cheap and some are hard to find. We only have dial up available to us so using the internet is limited.

Although, we don't plan to compete in any geography bees we are using The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook to help guide us in learning geography. I also bought some map software so I can print all the maps we need. It's not perfect but it's much better than Mapping the World by Heart.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cure for America's Geographically Illiterate Youth, September 21, 2006
I am a 7th grade teacher from Madison Wisconsin. I have used this program for 12 years. I teach about 150 kids each school year and all of them, from the very brightest to the very lowest ability children, learn it in their own right. We practice one continent at a time and learn mnemonic devices to reinforce newly acquired knowledge. For example, the phrase "Cute James Hates Doing Puzzles" represents the Caribbean Islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in order from west to east. The word "BASMOQN" represents the lower Canadian provinces in order from west to east: British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland. I show the students how to draw each region and we practice, practice, practice. When I feel they're ready, I test them on each region by asking them to draw it "by heart" on their posters with nothing more available to them than a list of the correct spellings of the names of countries, provinces, and water bodies. The finished product-a big map of the world drawn by each student from memory, is truly breathtaking and every year parents and students who've had older siblings come through my class tell me that they "still have their map". I highly recommend this program.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive Review from Forsyth School, July 6, 1999
By A Customer
Our school has been using David Smith's "Mapping the World by Heart" curriculum for three years. My fourth grade classs studies US History, and I have adapted the curriculum so that my class maps the United States by heart. Our sixth grade, for their last project before graduation, maps the world by heart. This is truly a wonderful project that challenges even the most gifted students, yet also gives different students a chance to shine in the classroom. Every year students, faculty, and parents come to the final display of our maps and exclaim, "There is no way that I could do this!" Imagine the pride that a ten or twelve-year-old feels when they have acquired knowledge that their parents find astounding. Many parents have framed their children's USA and world maps and have put them up in the home as artwork! The curriculum is broken down into mini-lessons and is very easy to follow. Even if you did not want to use the entire curriculum, there are plenty of good geography resources and lessons included. In my opinion, every student in the United States should be required to use this curriculum. It is truly incredible what geography our students know when they leave our school!
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Mapping the World by Heart
Mapping the World by Heart by David J. Smith (Ring-bound - July 16, 2010)
$69.95 $47.81
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