Do any of your students have problems with Geography?

If the answer is yes, we may be able to help! Norwich University Online has published the Ultimate Guide to Online Geography Resources for Educators.

Geography is not only the study of where places are in the world but also the study of people and their social and physical surroundings. Acquiring the knowledge of the values, concepts and skills needed to understand our relationships to the earth and to other peoples in the world is imperative and starts from an early age in educational settings.

Geography is important for students to learn, starting at a young age, because it provides them with perspective on diversity—that nations and people differ yet have similarities.

It’s also one of the most engaging subjects for students, as there are many interactive lessons and resources for teachers to utilize and apply in their classrooms. From having students name and locate all of the state capital cities on a map to learning about a foreign nation’s political system, geography can be made fun and engaging for students by applying the lesson plans below.

Promising careers for students who pursue geography include the following options:

  • Cartographer
  • Commercial/residential surveyor
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geographical information systems officer
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • International aid/development worker
  • Landscape architect
  • Logistics and distribution manager
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Tourism officer

Teaching Geography in the High School Classroom

Lesson plans that relate to the daily life and interests of high school students are often more successful. They may understand and engage further with modern examples of geography, such as how manufacturing 1,000 iPhones affects the economy.

During this stage of their education, high schoolers respond well to taking the reins during lessons rather than being assigned a task to simply complete and return to their teachers.

The following lesson plans strengthen high schoolers’ geography skills and allow students to interact with the geography material in a tangible way:

  • Recording a Dying Language:This lesson delves into a Native American language that has been dwindling over time. Students watch a documentary about Marie Wilcox, the last Native American to fluently speak Wukchumni, who created a dictionary of her native language to avoid its dying out.
  • Presidential Decision-Making: Helsinki Accords:Students are asked to identify the stakeholders in President Gerald Ford’s decision to sign the Helsinki Accords. They are also encouraged to form their own opinions about President Ford’s decision and to identify the consequences of his actions. Students learn contextual problem-solving and decision-making skills in a geographical setting through this lesson plan.
  • Making a Decision About the Construction of an Oil Pipeline Through British Columbia:During this lesson, teachers demonstrate how many moving parts there are to making politically charged environmental decisions. Students must investigate both the benefits and the repercussions of building an oil pipeline through British Columbia, and also observe and identify the various roles stakeholders play in the decision-making and negotiation process.
  • Making a Decision About Building a Road in the Amazon: Students will assess the multilayered complexities in making an environmental decision in another country. Through analysis, asking questions, designing solutions, and obtaining and evaluating information, students can form their own conclusions about political and environmental decision-making.
  • Marine Protected Areas Management:There are both pros and cons to having a marine protected area. Students dive into the issues that arise with the management of these protected ecosystems in the ocean. They enact the role of stakeholders in the process and must form a plan to support and execute.
  • Fisheries: In this lesson, students are exposed to the issues of maintaining a fishery and how sustainability is critical to both sea life and people alike, especially when it comes to fish consumption.
  • Ecosystem Imbalance in the World:This lesson examines the relationship between humans and their impact on the ocean. Students build their knowledge of their individual impacts on the ocean in how sustainably they live, learn about how human action can disrupt ocean habitats and creatures, and get familiar with coral reef systems.
  • Human Impacts on Marine Species:Students explore the life cycles of sea life and how the actions of mankind can alter migration paths, water chemistry and more. They perform their own research and participate in discussions to better understand and engage with this subject.
  • Making Informed Environmental Decisions:This activity plan encompasses social context, such as current events and political knowledge, in addition to human geography and environmental studies. Students learn to make environmental decisions based on drawing conclusions and discussion.

High-Level Resources

Geography teachers and teachers looking to teach geography in their classrooms can reference the following renowned organizations to further enhance their teachings among students.

National Geographic

National Geographic has several lesson plans for all ages, from elementary school through high school. Each lesson focuses on a core topic and features various objectives for students to work toward accomplishing. Each one also details what type of learning students engage in and what teaching style is necessary to execute the lesson in the classroom.

You can read more here:

National Council for Geographic Education

First published in 1994, the National Council for Geographic Education’s Geography for Life outlines geographical knowledge, perspectives, skills and standards of excellence. It defines five skills that describe how students ought to construct geographic investigations:

  1. 1. Asking geographic questions
  2. 2. Acquiring geographic information
  3. 3. Organizing geographic information
  4. 4. Analyzing geographic information
  5. 5. Answering geographic questions

The National Council for Geographic Education offers many resources for teachers here:

It is imperative that students build a solid foundation of geography throughout their education. This shapes the way foreign nations interact and perceive one another in the future. By being exposed to and intrigued by geography from an early age, students will grow to embrace differences among one another and not be ignorant of them.

The future of geographers will determine the international economy, the environment and governmental systems.

Here is a link to the complete online guide: