By Justine Kendall
Thursday, July 18, 2013
As a caregiver, it’s in your power to make sure your kids are learning geography to get the most out of our amazing world and their bright future. Here are some tools to get started, including things you can do at home, at school, and in your community. Get started with the 10 tips below, and then check out the GeoWeek Toolkit page and the following additional resources for great links to help you and your family kick-off your celebrations!
1. Geography is more than you think.
It’s more than maps. Geography is about cultures and environments. It’s about people shaping places and places shaping people. Geography is the framework that helps you understand the world.
2. Bring the world into your home.
Do you own a globe, maps, or a world atlas? Do you use them to look up places in the news? Use our interactive map with customizable data-layers, markers, and stickers to explore your world! Another great way to do do this is by celebrating Geography Awareness Week every third week of November!
3. Check your family’s knowledge.
Do you and your children know the fundamentals of geography from the local to the global? Read the NG Education Blog for fun ideas and articles from NGS staff that teach about the world.
4. Know what’s going on.
Do you and the kids watch news programs, listen to news radio, read the newspaper? Don’t forget to check kid-friendly Web news sites such as BBC Newsround, Time for Kids, and National Geographic Kids News. Talk about what’s going on—not just in your community but also in your state, your country, and all around the world.
5. Get out there.
Go on adventures! Go on “missions” and see how other kids are exploring their world. Visit new places—nearby towns, different neighborhoods, local museums and parks, even other countries—on day trips, weekends, or vacations.
6. Know where you are and where things come from.
Everything’s connected. Make it a family mission to know your community—why it’s where it is, how it was settled, who lives there now, and its connections to the world through business, arts, music, technology, and sports. What are the global connections in the food your family eats, the clothes you wear, the games you play, and the music you listen to?
7. Broaden your children’s horizons.
Courses, educational activities, and extracurricular activities expand kids’ understanding of their world—as do books, magazines, videos, and games that feed their natural curiosity.
8. Support your schools.
Does your child’s school have what it needs to teach about the world? Does it offer geography courses? Does it have up-to-date maps, globes, atlases, and software? Find your local parent-teacher organization and get involved. Start a geography club.
9. Spread the word.
Contact your legislators and your school-district leadership. Let them know you support increased emphasis on and funding for geography and geography-related courses. And tell others about Geography Awareness Week.
10. Sign up for the NGS Education e-newsletter.
You’ll get helpful tips, the latest news, links to great resources and fun games, information about contests and offers, and much more. Sign up now—and help give kids the power of global knowledge.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry cultural geography Noun
study of the impact of human culture on the landscape.
economic geography Noun
study of the location, distribution, and spatial organization of financial activities.
geographic information system (GIS) Noun
any system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface.
Encyclopedic Entry: GIS (geographic information system) geography Noun
study of places and the relationships between people and their environments.
Encyclopedic Entry: geography Global Positioning System (GPS) Noun
system of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of something on Earth.
human geography Noun
the study of the way human communities and systems interact with their environment.
physical geography Noun
study of the natural features and processes of the Earth.
political geography Noun
study of the spatial relationships that influence government or social policies.