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!

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.

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.