According to a 2006 National Geographic poll, nine out of ten young adults couldn’t locate Afghanistan on a map. Half of the respondents couldn’t locate New York City!! Many people in our society are appallingly geographically illiterate. This is a problem because of the global nature of our economy and politics. Things that happen on the other side of the world impact our daily lives. We hear about them in the news, and it’s important to be able to think clearly about events and issues in other areas.
Sadly, very few schools teach geography as a separate subject any more. It’s rolled into social studies classes that cover geography, history, culture and government. While all of these aspects are vitally important, it seems that geography is getting short-changed.
This week, you can take steps to make geography a larger part of your children’s lives. Try these activities to build awareness, map reading skills, and more.
- Save your junk mail! Have children locate the company in the solicitation and use a push pin on a map to mark its home base.
- Use a globe and talk about the climate in each region. Choose a country, speculate about its climate, then use encyclopedia or other reference to read about the people.
- Find five newspaper articles that deal with other countries. Find those countries on a map. Choose one article and summarize the events or issues discussed in the article.
Helpful websites for all ages:
- USA Games and Activities
- National Geographic Kids Games
- Geometry Assessment and Standards
- State Standards for 38 States
- Five Themes of Geography
Hope you enjoyed this quick romp through Geography-land in honor of Geography Awareness Week (November 14-20). Want more fun and educational ideas to go with holidays, commemorations and crazy days? Sign up for the Holiday Mailing List! You’ll get some great ideas and a special bonus: be the first to get an invitation to the Holiday Learning for Kids members’ site. I’ll be giving away free memberships for the month of December 2010 and the list members will be the very first to get invitations! Sign up today!