The study of the world is nearly complete for World Geography students as they finish their studies of physical and political maps.
“We started the year with a more thematic approach, teaching the content of world geography through themes like economics and language instead of studying region by region,” teacher Haley Brown said. “We quickly realized students were struggling with this and reoriented our lesson plans to look at geography region by region instead. This is when we introduced the maps and saw greater student understanding and retention of knowledge.”
Since changing the original lesson plans, World Geography has covered physical and political maps of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, Middle Asia, Russia and Southeast Asia, and Europe with each area studied individually.
“Separating the maps helps provide students more room to write and draw on them, helps with the studying process, and reinforces the difference between physical and political geography,” Brown said. “Physical geography includes geographic features and landforms like rivers and oceans. On the other hand, political geography is what you would typically see on a map, such as cities and countries.”
Practicing these maps, students are required to identify certain features using colors and symbols depending on the map to help better understand the geography of certain areas.
“I feel that the maps help me a lot, because I feel like if you want to explore when you are older, which you most likely will, it’s good to know where you want to go in what continent and what city, because it will make things less stressful and more fun,” freshman Victoria Grace Essien said. “Another reason is because it’s better in general to know about other countries instead of just yours alone.”
This technique of maps has allowed students to experiment more with World Geography while also adding some collaboration with art, creating a fun and beneficial experience.
“I believe we absolutely will continue using these maps,” Brown said. “We’ve seen a lot of success using the maps and I believe it’s an excellent tool for students to learn geography! Plus— how many classes in high school do you get to color in as part of your classwork?”