Teaching Geography is one of the best Social Studies gigs to get!
There are so many amazing resources for teaching the course,
and fun strategies for teaching Geography are also unlimited.
Follow this Quick Tips for Teaching Geography Series
to learn those strategies for your classroom!
Quick Tips #4: Introducing ContentUnlike teaching chronologically in a History course, teaching Geography requires introducing varied content in a more thematic manner which can often be more challenging for students and teachers alike. Finding the right strategies for introducing content in the Geography classroom can make all the difference. Here are a few of my favorites!
When attempting to introduce large amounts of content for comparison or general understanding, the Walking Tour is the greatest strategy to encourage student participation and content retention. Walking Tours can help students view multiple topics (or locations) at the same time and concisely record pertinent data for each for later comparison. Follow the link above for greater detail in creating or implementing a walking tour and take a look at ready-to-go Walking Tour Resources that will benefit both you and your students. For a very comprehensive overview of Asian Nations, take a look at this Walking Tour of Asia!
If your goal is to introduce focused content on a specific topic, Case Studies are the way to go. Whether you use a provided reading, or allow students to search for their own reliable resources, case studies can help students to take an in-depth look for consideration or debate. They can be adapted to any time allotment and can guide students into thorough investigation on content topics of study.
With so much content in the Geography classroom balancing on controversial topics, one strategy that works very well in the Response Group. In a Response Group activity, students will thoroughly investigate a subtopic to discuss in a small group before reporting out to the larger class population. These may include debatable topics or simply various categories on a larger topic. See this archived Response Group post for greater detail.
No matter how you choose to use a scavenger hunt, it will be fun and engaging for students, helping them to better learn and retain the content. Set them up with the content provided for reading practice or allow students to research online. Either way, reading and analysis skills will be practiced while the content is collected!
Centers and Stations
Similar to a Walking Tour, centers or stations can provide an effective way to disperse large amounts of content in a small period of time. Students can move from location to location, or the materials can be moved from student group to student group. In addition to providing reading material, additional resources, such as music, video, artifacts, primary sources, etc. can be added to help engage students and keep them interested in the learning process. In addition to serving the purpose of introducing content, centers and stations also serve as a wonderful strategy for skills practice and review.
No matter which strategies you choose to use, be sure to mix it up. Change in the classroom is a good thing, and varied strategies, like varied resources are the key to keeping students engaged and excited about learning!