Get set to celebrate Geography Awareness Week. Held every year during the third week of November, the event was created by National Geographic. The purpose? To raise geographical awareness and to excite people about geography, the study of the Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and features!
Make Maps the Focus
Geographers use all kinds of tools in their work. These include maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs, satellite photographs, information graphics, and even a computer program called GIS (for Geographic Information Systems). Want to make maps the focus? You can find loads of resources for teaching about maps and map skills.
First, introduce your students to maps with an array of activities or a lesson plan from PBS Learning Media. Follow up with a listen to The Walking Classroom’s Physical and Political Maps (4-#29, STEM-#25, Complete-#140). Then, discover what your students have learned by having them solve a word search full of terms from the podcast!
Your students can find out more about maps and how they function by creating a map by hand. Have them make map of the classroom (or a room in their home) as seen from above. Or, incorporate technology by having them use an app like Pixie (or Wixie) to engage in some map creation of their own! For even more practice, free map printables abound!
Meet William Morris Davis
Want to meet the man known as the “Father of American Geography”? Have your students listen to The Walking Classroom’s William Morris Davis (4-#26, STEM-#24, Complete-#60). In the late 1800s, William Morris Davis, a geographer and Harvard professor, developed his “cycle of erosion” theory. This theory proposed that features like valleys and plains were shaped by physical forces such as water.
If your students want to learn more about erosion, introduce various types of weathering and erosion with a hands-on activity. Then, follow-up with a quick online quiz. Afterward, check out a kid-friendly video on the topic, complete with lesson plan and teacher guide!
Learn about other timely topics (and get more ideas for incorporating The Walking Classroom’s podcasts in your classroom) in future posts.