Cartography, topography, geopolitics, earth science, social studies.... just a few of the many topics that fall under the catch-all "geography". Part of the reason why "Geography" has a nuanced identity that is so hard to categorize.
Even if they don't always call it geography class, teachers at all levels of education are preparing to teach their students geographic concepts this year. And true to the multi-faceted nature of geography, they are getting help from many directions.
Here's a sampling of resources we think are especially useful to teachers.
National Geographic Is Not Just About the Atlas
Always a leader in the field of mapping, National Geographic offers a wide variety of fantastic ideas for teaching all aspects of geography, to students of all levels. Activities range from nuts and bolts techniques like using a scale bar, to creative projects for drawing maps and puzzles, and science based research on weather, climate and more.
One interesting activity starts on Back-to-School night. Parents are asked to identify on a world map where the family ancestors came from, thus setting up a geographic conversation that can extend throughout the academic year.
Geographic Curriculum Is Real!
For geography-based lesson plans that are linked to actual curriculum, go to the NEA. You'll find detailed plans for mapping, science data interpretation, visualizing cyberspace, plus loads more.
As we know, elementary teachers love the copy machine, so Teacher Vision provides a wealth of mapping materials for copying. Lots of free printables, some premium, but all completely legal for copying.
Expand Mapping Into a New Direction
Finally, here's an expansive take on the concept of mapping that goes beyond the well trodden realm of earth mapping.
Mindmapping offers ideas for students to using mapping to set goals for the year. Perfect for the start of a new school year when goals and aspirations are in sharp focus!
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