A special thanks to Rhonda Florence, media coordinator at Hasty Elementary, for this post on GAW.
November 13-19, 2017, has been designated Geography Awareness Week by The National Geographic Society. Interestingly, the dates overlap with American Education Week. The week is a prime opportunity to emphasize geography with our students and their families.
So, what is geography? NGS explains it this way: “Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.”
Geography and science go hand in hand. The same is true for geography and history, geography and nutrition, geography and agriculture. What region is your favorite coffee from (Sumatra, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic?) There is a reason why you like it, and it has to do with the geography of the area. Why does North Carolina have a thriving fishing industry while Kansas does not? (simple geography!) Why does burley tobacco get raised in Kentucky where it is cut on the stalk, speared and hung in the barn, to be stripped and tied after it cures? And why does North Carolina has an entirely different process?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are important tools that can greatly improve geo-literacy. GIS brings to mind interconnectedness, and it can be used to solve many of the problems GeoWeek addresses. GIS Day is the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week. For more information, go to GISday.org.
For ideas for Geography Awareness Week, visit GeographyAwarenessWeek.org. Other ideas include:
The North Carolina Giant Traveling Map will be debuted at the Social Studies Conference in March. After that conference, guidelines for reserving and borrowing the map for your school/LEA will be discussed.
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