Revised & Re-posted….

The first Geography adventure for Challenge A is to learn the geography of Canada.  You would think that we Americans would know about our neighbors to the north, but I was surprised at how much I had never heard of!


I challenged myself to learn the geography along with my son this year, so I have been busy drawing out Canada by hand and labeling it’s places.  I am still having a hard time drawing without looking at anything, but it’s starting to take shape!

mapping canada graphic

Last week (week 1) we were just focusing on the provinces and territories and their capitals.  This week we’ve added the major bodies of water, rivers, lakes, bays, etc… as well as other physical features. Whew!  It’s quite a bit of information.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how my son (or I) could learn it all.

I’m happy to report that on our 2nd day at home on our 2nd week, my son knew 90% of the places, and I knew about 60%!  (why do they learn faster??) I don’t know why I am amazed that this process actually works.  I mean, Leigh Bortins put her name on it and it’s worked all these years (almost 2 decades), yet I still questioned if it would actually work.  So far so good.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

I am trying not to look ahead and get overwhelmed.  I think the key is to just focus on what is at hand and NOT worry about tomorrow.

Here is a great verse to keep in mind:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34 NIV

I love this verse!  Why sit here and fret over how much work there is yet to be done when we haven’t even done what is required of us today?

So with that in mind, I am NOT looking ahead to the huge list of other places and features we need to still learn.  I am only looking at Canada!  And how proud we are of our accomplishments so far!

Tips and Helpful Info

In case you were looking for the map with the “key” labeled, it is NOT in your Challenge A Guide.  There are lots of maps, but none of them have all the places labeled.  That’s up to you to find.  Your child can use their Atlas to search, but most likely it will not have all the places listed.

Our favorite atlas was one from Rand McNally.  There are tons of atlases out there to choose from.  Just look for ones that seem easy to read and easy to see the boundaries and features. Also make sure it has a good index!

Here are a few resources that I found (click to see link):

canada map freebie


canada map freebie2




Hopefully these resources can offer you some help or at least help you enjoy learning about the geography of Canada.

I found tons of helpful stuff on  It’s free to sign up and there are TONS of FREE resources there.  Even the ones you have to pay for are very inexpensive!

Keys to success:

  1. DRAW every day
  2. Trace, but don’t spend too much time tracing!  Move into free-hand drawing
  3. Practice just labeling a map that is already drawn (either your own drawing or the maps from the Challenge Guide)
  4. Quiz your child together.  Make it fun.  They love seeing us moms/dads learn this stuff too.  And we often struggle longer than they do.

UPDATE 2016:

My son is now in Challenge 2 and let me say that our year in Challenge A was amazing!  We made it through all those weeks of drawing maps and in the end, he could map the world! WOW.  So don’t give up.  These weekly assignments will build up fast.  Purpose not to get behind.  If you need to scale the number of locations that you are learning, that’s okay.  I think it’s much better to decide to leave out some of the places and features, than to get overwhelmed and not do it at all!

Get more Challenge A ideas on my Pinterest Boards:

Other Items of Interest:

Student Planners
Student Planners
States & Capitals Flashcards
States & Capitals Flashcards

3 Thoughts on “Challenge A – Canada Maps”

I'd love to hear from you...tell me what you think!