Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Physical & human geography

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove

I have always loved looking at maps and studying about other countries and cultures my whole life. Could it be because my last name was Atlas? While I didn’t become a geographer, I still thinks it’s fascinating!

Geography has two main branches: 

  • Physical geography studies the Earth itself: landforms, oceans, climate, atmosphere, and other physical properties.
  • Human geography looks at how networks of people and cultures are distributed around the world and why. 

So, it’s not just places, but also how people interact with their physical world. Since our lives and our relationships with the Earth keep changing, there’s always more to learn.

Below you’ll find books, online resources, and more to help you discover more about geography and the world around us!

Check out this kit, these books

National Geographic Kids World Atlas

Geography kit

Get out and explore, young geographer! This kit has an atlas, a handheld GPS to pinpoint exactly where you are on the planet, and The World Game, to help you learn fun facts about physical and human geography.



We could pour over this book for days! This collection of 52 highly illustrated maps details not only geographical features and political borders, but also places of interest, iconic personalities, native animals and plants, local peoples, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with each region.

Carmen Sandiego: The Fishy Treasure Caper

Carmen Sandiego

Lots of today’s adults grew up learning about geography and culture through the exploits of Carmen Sandiego. Now she’s back on TV and our bookshelves. You won’t need your trusty World Almanac to play along, but it couldn’t hurt to keep it nearby!

Flying Colours

Flying Colours: A Guide to Flags from Around the World

The study of flags is not part of geography (it’s vexillology!), but ties powerfully into humans and our places on Earth. By exploring the patterns, colors and crests of flags, we can learn all about the histories and aspirations of the countries they represent. Did you know that the flag of Nepal is the only one with more than four sides? 

Explore these resources

Family in woods


Geocaching is a fun way to get outside and use your navigational skills to look for “treasure.” There are millions of spots hidden around the world!

Image credit: Starva/Chelmsford Central Parkrun

Route art

Another fun way to play with maps and geography is to create route art. Which words or pictures will you create?

National Geographic Kids Website

NatGeo Kids

Your library card takes you around the world, too! Go on amazing adventures in science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space. NatGeo Kids offers a complete run of the magazine from 2009 to the present, as well as books, videos, and images.

About Discovery Kits

More than 50 Discovery Kits with play-and-learn activities that encourage kids to explore nature, make art, practice coding, and even learn to play the ukulele are available for checkout at the Main Library.

To check out

  1. Place a hold on a Discovery Kit in the library’s catalog or browse the available kits at the Main Library in the Children’s Services Area.
  2. If you’ve placed a hold, wait until you receive notification that your hold is ready for pickup at the Main Library.
  3. Use the self-checkouts available on all three floors of the Main Library (but not in the lobby) to check out your kit.
  4. Enjoy the kit for up to three weeks!

To return

  1. When you are done with the kit or the due date has arrived, return your kit to the Main Library.
  2. Kits can be returned inside the Main Library vestibule and lobby.
Genevieve Grove

About Genevieve

Genevieve is a Children’s Librarian who’s constantly on the hunt for great graphic novels, innovative ways to get books into kids’ homes, and the perfect cookie recipe. She’s pretty sure that none of those missions will ever feel “finished,” and that’s just fine by her.

Stay current on news and new arrivals.