Hi I’m Jess Winkelaar are from the Minnesota Center for Social Studies Education.
Welcome to the elementary geography resource video.
The purpose of this video is to share powerful resources with classroom teachers. I will walk you through three websites to highlight resources for teaching geography.
Please pause the video as needed to write down a website address or discuss an idea with your teaching team.
[A woman, Jess, stands in front of a screen titled Elementary Geography resources in yellow]
We will begin on the CSSE website MNCSSE.org
The first resource to highlight is under the “curriculum” tab at the top or if you scroll down to “popular resources” it is the first item featured.
[Jess steps out of the way to show screen changing to read mncsse.org. She then steps back into frame.]
[The screen changes to the mncsse web page. The mouse scrolls the screen up and down.]
These curriculum guides were developed by classroom teachers and they provide a grade level by benchmark by benchmark overview of the what students are asked to do, and also it has an accompanying resource list of how you can bring each benchmark to life.
[Mouse clicks on the tab called curriculum guides. Scrolls up and down the page. Then clicks back to home page.]
The next thing is below it on the homepage. It's the Doing Social Studies Video Series. This is a new series to help the elementary classroom teachers get an overview of each benchmark along with some teaching strategies of how you can bring those to life.
There’s a teacher guide to help you view these videos.
[Mouse clicks on video series tab. Scrolls up and down on the web page.]
Next, we’re going to go to a set of inquiry visuals. Geographic inquiry is a really important way of thinking and if you go to the inquiries page, and scroll to the bottom, you will find the next two resources.
[Inquiry tab at the top of the screen is clicked on. Click on a link to a visual, and then clicks on a link for a powtoons video.]
The first one is the geography visual which walks you through the geographic inquiry process from a spatial question through using geographic sources of information coming to conclusions and then sharing and communicating findings.
To support this process there’s also a Powtoon video located right next to it. This Powtoon video features to students going through the geographic inquiry process. There’s a teacher guide for you to bring this video to life for your students.
The next website that we’re going to go through two is the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education or MAGE. This website has a wealth of resources and also opportunities for both teachers and students so we’re going to start by highlighting a student program. So if you get to the MAGE website and go up to “student enrichment” you will find under here some really great opportunities for elementary students.
[MAGE symbol at the top, website listed below it, http://lt.umn.edu/mage/. Mouse moves around MAGE homepage and clicks on student enrichment tab at the top.]
The first one the Geographer’s Fair is an annual event that features student geography projects. And then the Minnesota State Geographic Bee is also an annual event for those students who really like to learn about the earth and its people. they can be a part of this student program.
Also on the MAGE website is you can go under “curriculum”, and we’re going to look at one specific thing called a ‘podcast’. So if you click on “podcasts” you will see this warehouse it’s an extensive list of about 100 podcasts to help bring geography to life.
It’s searchable so for example you could type sketch maps in here sketch maps are a great spatial thinking strategy starting in first grade, but to continue through all elementary years. You can listen to an elementary classroom teacher walk you through the steps sketch map process.
The final thing on this site is under the “curriculum” tab and it’s a great curriculum developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture called ‘Food for Thought’ so please check these amazing resources out and bring them to your classroom to get kids to be geographers.
The final website we’re going to go to is National Geographic Education. education.nationalgeographic.org is the teacher site to bring geography to life for all students.
So when you go to this home page there’s a wealth of information, but we what we are going to do is go to one item on the tab on the menu bar one tab called “mapping”.
So if you go to the “mapping” and you pull down to the second choice it’s called ‘Mapmaker Interactive’.
This is an amazing tool to help your students think spatially so it’s just really a palette. You can zoom in and out, you can mark points and you can add layers to really answer a geographic question or analyze data with a spatial component.
The final resource for you to bring geography to life are called the ‘State Tabletop Maps’. These maps are printable and they are available for not only the 50 states, they are also available for the world for the oceans. Basically you can print these out one 8 ½X11 sheet of paper at a time and tape them together, laminate them. You can bring spatial thinking and location and places across the world to life for elementary students.
So you can see there are wealth of geography resources all across these websites so please start with the Center for Social Studies Education to get your students doing some Geographic inquiry and spatial thinking to be geographers.