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Geography

Six Essential Literacy Skills that Only an Atlas Can Provide

January 16, 2020 By Dr. Aaron Willis

Ask any teacher in any discipline at any grade level and they will tell you that literacy is one of their biggest concerns and challenges. What they mean by “literacy” can vary considerably, but generally we can take it to mean successful interpretation of the signs, symbols, and meanings someone else is trying to communicate. Literacy is often used to describe deciphering texts. In a child’s early years, basic phonics is the most common form of literacy, and as students get older, literacy comes to mean understanding the written word in all its variations.

4 Steps to Integrating a Geographic Lens in World History

November 19, 2019 By Dr. Aaron Willis

Many students have trouble understanding the geographic context of United States history even though they can often relate the themes to their lives. When teachers move to world geography, the problem of relating to the content is compounded many times over. Students rarely have the background knowledge or geographic literacy to understand where things happened in the past. Thus, making the connection between distant places and history to modern society and their own lives can be very difficult.

Globalization Isn’t a New Thing: Teaching the Concept with Historical Examples

November 16, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

While globalization has been a relevant topic for years now, it's not actually a new concept!  Globalization occurred in the ancient, medieval, early modern, and industrial ages. Providing students with a solid understanding of modern globalization in comparison to historical examples makes the past relevant and clarifies current events.

Applying Learned Concepts: Fostering Inquiry in History, Geography, Economics, and Civics

November 7, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

Think back to a moment when you as a student sat in a social studies class and struggled to spit out a memorized date of an important event your teacher said would be integral to remember. Were those moments as dreadful for you as they were for me?

The Importance of Geography — Applications Beyond K-12 Classrooms

April 25, 2019 By Ken Klieman
“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map.  It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents.  And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” – Barack Obama

5 Ways to Effectively Utilize Mental Maps in the Classroom

April 19, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Mental maps are representations of what a person “knows” about a place. This knowledge comes from first-hand experience and impressions of places from family, friends, school, the wider culture, and various forms of media. Mental maps blend objective information, subjective impressions and opinions. In the classroom, mental mapping helps students understand how individuals visualize the world in both similar and different ways.

Long-Lasting Benefits of Teaching Geography and Social Studies Together

March 28, 2019 By Ken Klieman
“History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again.”  - Maya Angelou

Make Your Social Studies Lessons Place-Based with Primary Sources

March 13, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Are you searching for ways to make your social studies lessons relate to the lives of your students? Make memorable connections between national trends in history, economics, culture, politics, and geography with these place-based primary sources.

3 Books to Support Geography and/or Civics in the Classroom

January 16, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

 My last post was about quality novels to teach in the American history classroom. I would like to follow it up with some books teachers can include in their geography and civics class. In Alabama, we devote a semester each to geography and civics during the seventh grade. Often, it can seem that there is not enough time to fit in everything that we need to cover during that time frame. However, the following books are short enough to read in these classes, but “pack a punch” of information.

Use Mapping Activities to Help Students Remember Historical Concepts

April 16, 2018 By Ken Klieman

 “It is no coincidence that, on all four sides, in all four corners, the borders of the Roman Empire stopped where wine could no longer be made.”  ― Neel Burton, psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and wine-lover