Geography Learning should be Integrated with Many Other Sciences
Multidisciplinary world geography brings new dimensions and possibilities to geography teachers and students. Here are ideas useful for thinking well in geography.
Geography Is Connected to Geology, Climatology, Oceanography, Zoology, Botany, Populations, Life
Geography relates to many sciences: biology, climatology, geology, oceanography. The planet is alive with animate and inanimate interactions. Geography provides unique opportunities for integrated, imaginative, and memorable learning. Seeing connection possibilities and using them is critical.
Geography Lesson Plans with Strong Interconnections Are Useful, Important
Remember the big picture comes first, fill in the details along the way. Because the sciences are fact-laden, it is easy to overburden new learners with lethal overdoses of information. However, clear, good cues and interconnections, promote interesting, creative, teaching, thinking, and learning. Consider these inquiries for world geography.
Compare and contrast the Artic and Antartica. Indicate similarities and differences.
How does the animal and plant life compare?
Compare Greenland and Alaska – area, human populations, natural resources and occupations.
Starting at Africa, trace the equator of the globe counter-clockwise, name and list important countries along the way. Determine for these places, large and small, the climate and characteristic vegetation and animal life.
Indicate where large coral beds and reefs are found. Explain what coral is, why it is not everywhere, and what foods sustain corals.
Explain how mountains, throughout the world, influence water distribution and climate conditions, and describe mountain animal and plant life.
What are tropical storms? Where do they originate and how they migrate? Define, compare and contrast: monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis.
Explain the how and why of discovery of North America. Consider the origins of maritime commerce and current sea commerce.
Find the Panama Canal. Indicate Panama’s geography, fauna, flora, and commerce.
Find and compare and contrast: deserts, tropical rainforests, and savannahs or plains.
The Galapagos Islands are famous in history, geology, and biology. Locate the Galapagos and explain the ecology and significance of these islands.
Find the largest nation island chain on the planet and describe its peoples, their lives, and trade.
How does “Kon-Tiki” relate to geography and history?
Novel, Interesting, Imaginative Approaches to Geography
Show and tell, think and learn, are important activities for geography classrooms. Selected items can provide many hours of active classroom geography inquiry.
Consider these items and possible presentations.
- bananas, apples, pomegranates, mangos.
- cactus, succulents, ferns, coconut, canned sardines, salmon, tuna.
- gerbil, hermit crab, leg of King Crab, cashews, Brazil nuts.
- coral, sand (for desert discussion), lizard.
- slides, pictures, video cuts.
Think of the following possibilities:
- Study the items and write down where in the world they possibly could come from specifically. Students can visit a map or globe to find and name places that are appropriate.
- If mulitple possibilities exist for the same item, those places are indicated.
- A World Almanac or reference is used to check to the validity of the choices.
Exciting Concluding Ideas for Multi-Disciplinary Science Geography
Other interesting possibilities include:
- short prescreened segment of “The Greatest Catch” — Bering Sea, Alaska King Crab.
- competitive game of geography charades.
Student teams act out geography while others try to guess where it is. From a box with names like Atlantic Ocean, Bering Sea, Madagascar, North America, etc., students blindly draw a name to present to their team, with a 2-minute time limit to determine the place. If that team cannot, the other team has one guess for that point.
Finally, also consider globe and map combos, queries and blind geography. Geography is a great trip!