Teaching Geography
TCH 347 Social Studies in the Elementary School
Department of Education
Shippensburg University
Han Liu, Ph. D.
Teaching Geography
What is Geography
• Geography is the study of the
Earth, how it shapes people’s
lives and how it is shaped in turn
by people’s activities
Subfields of Geography
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Physical geography
Agricultural geography
Biogeography
Resources geography
Human geography
Political geography
Economic geography
Historical geography
Cultural geography
Urban geography
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Five Themes
• Location
• Absolute Location
• Relative Location
• Place
• Human Characteristics
• Physical Characteristics
• Human-environment Interaction
• Humans adapt to the environment
• Humans modify the environment
• Humans depend on the environment
• Movement
• People
• Goods
• Ideas
• Region
• Formal
• Functional
• Vernacular (perceptual)
Geography Standards
• Spatial elements
• Globe and maps
• Places and region
• Physical & human characteristics
• Physical systems
• Landform, biomes, & ecosystems
• Human systems
• Culture, settlement, interdependence, cooperation & conflict
• Environment and society
• Impact of human actions on physical systems and vice versa
• Applying geography
• Using geography to interpret the present and plan the future
The Universe
• The Sun and Planets
1. Mercury
2. Venus
3. Earth
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Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto
Our Galactic Address
•U.S.A
•North America
•Northern & Western Hemisphere
• Earth
• Solar System
• Milky Way Galaxy
• Universe
Globe
• Globe (horizontal)
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Parallels
Latitude
Equator
Northern & Southern
Hemispheres
Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of cancer
The Arctic Circle
The Antarctic Circle
• Globe (vertical)
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Meridians
Prime Meridian
Longitude
Time Zones
International Date Line
Eastern & Western
Hemispheres
• North Pole & South Pole
Map
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Campus Rose
Cardinal directions
Symbols or Icons
Keys or Legends
Coordinates
Map Scale
Map Grid
Map Index
Map Title
Altitude or Elevation
Map Projections
• Conic: Accurate distance, direction, and shape for the
limited area mapped.
• Interrupted: Accurate area and shape
• Mercator (Cylindrical): Accurate direction, but
land and water are greatly distorted towards the two
poles.
• Polar: Mapping hemispheres instead of the whole
earth. Accurate direction and distance. Shapes and size
are distorted towards the edges.
• Robison (Oval): Accurate shape and size of
continents, water areas are distorted
Kinds of Maps
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Political map
Physical map
Cultural map
Water map (charts)
Relief map
Distribution map
Relative location map
Topographic map
Climate and weather map
Outline map
Time zone map
Land Form Concept Cluster
•Continents
•Plains
•Plateaus
•Mountains
•Mountain Range
•Peak
•Hills
•Mesa
•Dune
•Deserts
•Oasis
•Jungle
•River Valley
•Basin
•Delta
•Prairie
•Marsh/Swamp
•Harbor
•Beach
•Coast/Shore
•Islands
•Archipelago
•Peninsula
•Strait
•Isthmus
•Cape
•Reef
•Atoll
Water Body Concept Cluster
•Ocean
•Pacific Ocean
•Atlantic Ocean
•Indian Ocean
•Arctic Ocean
•Sea
•Gulf
•Bay
•River
•Source
•Course
•Mouth
•Estuary
•Tributary
•Lake
•Salt water lake
•Fresh water lake
•Pond
•Channel/Strait
The Biome Concept Cluster
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Tropical rain forests
Tropical grasslands
Mediterranean regions
Temperate forests
Cool forests
Cool grasslands
Deserts
Tundra
Polar regions
Sample Topics
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Landform and agriculture
Rivers and transportation
Population distribution
Petroleum reserves
Local industry
Regional resources
Forest fire
Hurricane
Settlement patterns
Urbanization
Air pollution
Global warming
Sample Inquiry Questions -1
• What causes an earthquake?
• What is the ranking order of the drinking water
qualities in the 10 largest cities in U.S.?
• Which city is closer to New York, Johannesburg
or Helsinki?
• Which state has the most coal reserves in the
United States?
• Please name five cities in the world where you
can live comfortably across the four seasons
with shirts and shorts on you.
• What do you find when comparing the
population of China and that of Europe?
Sample Inquiry Questions -2
• What are major factors that define a land
biome?
• What are the five major religions in the
world?
• How many languages are spoken in the
world? How are they distributed globally?
• Why Kyoto treaty is so controversial?
• Why do people move from region to
region, and from country to country?
• What are the major industries in your
State?
Concept Organizers
• Pairs
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Gulf – Bay
Location – Place
Metropolis – Megalopolis
Longitude – Latitude
Territory – Border
Seaport - Airport
• Triad
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Village – Town - City
Urban – Suburban – Rural
Climate – Weather – Temperature
Street – Neighborhood – Community
Regional – National - International
Concept Organizers:
Clustering
Concept Organizers:
Fishbone
Concept Organizers:
Spider Map
Concept Organizers:
Venn Diagram -2
Concept Organizers:
Venn Diagram -3
Suggested Activities
• Playing with prepositions to learn orientation,
direction, and relative locations
• Conducting concept cluster relay contest
• Searching for driving directions using search
engines
• Collecting concepts of climate, weather, and
temperature from watching TV
• Checking each others’ clothes/foot ware tags to
see where the product was made
• Presenting “This is My Country” with PPT by
assigning each student with a country to
investigate
• Using Venn Diagram to compare and contrast
concepts
Learning Skills – Mnemonics
• NEWS - North, East, West, south
• I Am A Person - The 4 Oceans (Indian, Arctic,
Atlantic, Pacific)
• Pandas Are Interesting Animals - Four
oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic
• HOMES - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie,
Superior
• My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us
Nine Pickles! -The Nine Planets: Planets from
the sun in our solar system: Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
and Pluto.
Online Resources
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NCGE
• http://www.ncge.org/
Five Themes
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The official US time
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http://www.gisnet.com/notebook/comprose.html#32points
Graphic Organizer
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http://users.frii.com/geomanda/mnemonics.html
http://www.happychild.org.uk/acc/tpr/mne/
Origins of the Compass Rose
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http://www.mapping.com/Questions.html
Mnemonics
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http://www.factmonster.com/p/brainpop/latitudeandlongitude.html
Comprehensive Questions
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http://unknownprogrammer.home.comcast.net/states/sindex.htm
Longitude & Latitude
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http://www.apples4theteacher.com/map-of-usa.html
Mnemonics of State & Capitals
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http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/
Stats & State Capitals Quiz
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http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java
Geography Knowledge Quiz
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http://www2.una.edu/geography/statedepted/themes.html
http://www.sdcoe.net/SCORE/actbank/torganiz.htm
Interactive Venn Diagram
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http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/vdiagram/index.html
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