What items can your students use to think spatially?
Spatial thinking is thinking about the position of objects/places and their relationships to one another. Elementary students needs multiple opportunities to practice this type of thinking. One way to foster spatial thinking with children is by developing spatial concepts and skills using hands-on activities.
The Geography in a Box Project offers a ‘toolkit’ of items that students can use to think like geographers. While each ‘box’ has the same items, grade-specific examples are provided that are based on developmental growth and learning progressions in the Minnesota Standards.
Your school could create a Geography Box for each grade level or classroom to engage students with spatial thinking, conceptual knowledge, and decision-making skills necessary for geographic inquiry to solve problems today and in the future.
Research-based support for spatial thinking:
Spatial Thinking About Maps – Executive Summary (National Geographic)
4th Edition of Food for Thought Now Available!
Attention Teachers of Geography!! If you have not ordered the newest 4th Edition Food for Thought curriculum then GET WITH IT. It’s free and full of great lessons and maps connecting agriculture with geography. According to MN Agriculture in the Classroom Program Director, Al Withers, it’s the best thing since sliced bread! Food for Thought: Connecting Minnesota Geography with Agriculture contains 18 Standards-Based K-12 Lessons & Maps.
Grade 8 Global Studies Teacher’s Guide
Teacher’s Guide to Restructuring and 8th Grade Global Studies Course: The 2011 Minnesota Standards in Social Studies require that 8th grade will be a Global Studies course, including 29 Geography, 12 History, 4 Economics, and 3 Government and Citizenship benchmarks. This document provides effective ways to teach an 8th grade Global Studies course with MAGE recommended units and resources. Click this link to get started: LiveBinders. The guide is organized by region and appropriate benchmarks. The other recommended resource is a Live Binder created for this course. Powerpoints and other resources are available, as are lessons and units for world regions.
Monitoring student progress and growth is an essential part of teaching and learning! The MAGE Geoliteracy team has developed assessment models and supporting curriculum in the areas of: Cultural, Economic, Environmental, Political, Population, Urban and General Geography to help students achieve Geoliteracy.
How should a K-12 teacher use a geospatial technology such as Google Earth in the classroom? Should they have students pinpoint a series of locations and measure the connecting distances, essentially using the technology as a mere digital representation of the traditional globe? Or, should they encourage learners to harness the powerful data-driven affordances of the technology to make and justify decisions on contemporary issues? We believe it is the latter scenario; this is the foundation of GeoThentic!
MAPPING Minnesota, a collection of nine geography lessons developed to incorporate selected maps from the Minnesota Historical Society’s (MHS) exhibit, ‘Minnesota on the Map:’ Four Centuries of Maps from the MHS Collection.
An educational website to accompany the MAGE film project about Minnesota history and the science and politics involved in exploring and defining the “True Source” of the Mississippi River Headwaters.Interviews with regional experts on the history, geography, culture, and settlement of the region, and how these played a part in the definition and preservation of the headwaters, are also an important part of the story.
K-12 curriculum designed to enable educators to teach the Minnesota State graduation requirements in geography.
Earthducation is a series of 7 expeditions to every continent over the course of 4 years (2011-2014) designed to create a world narrative of the dynamic intersections between education and sustainability. Teachers, students, and our online community expand upon this narrative to explore how education influences the future of our planet. Join the team on their next adventure at earthducation.com.
National Geographic Society’s endowed funds for geographic education. The foundation support National Geographic Education’s programs for educators and learners.
(February 2012 release)
The document can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education website. Scroll down to “Social Studies”; the PDF document is linked under “Document Download.”
MAGE offers a searchable set of lessons designed by teachers, for teachers. We are continually updating this set of lessons, which are tied to the most recent state social studies standards. Access and search the Lesson Warehouse here.
Thanks to Fred Kunze for this growing set of MAGE educational podcasts. The list is searchable by keywords, standards, and grade level. Access and search Podcasts here.