Teaching Geography: Teacher Talk
[Channel-talkgeography] workshop #6 - russia
From: Allyn Dokus <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun Apr 20 2008 - 15:52:47 EDT
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This workshop showed some nice examples of good geography in the classroom. I particularly liked the section of the lesson where students picked out a place on a map for 'their' city, and had to give the reasons why they chose to place it there. They all were consistent on wanting to be near water and natural resources, which of course is the main reason why most cities in the world are where they are. It's good to get students thinking in real life situations like this. While it may be a simple classroom excercise, who knows, it could be memorable and enjoyable enough for some students to pursue careers as city planners or mapping experts. One never can tell just what will light a fire under a young mind, so giving interesting lessons like this on a regular basis can only do good.
I think the students learned a lot in this lesson. Cities come about for a specific set of reasons, they aren't random. The students seemed to understand that a deep water port, or location on a river system is optimal. As for myself, I learned a bit about St. Petersburg. I always did wonder why it was established so far north. Now I know that it's location on the Baltic was a key factor, as was the drive and ingenuity of Peter the Great himself.
That brings me to another point. This workshop showed how geography can be an excellent accompanyment for a history lesson. To me, history and geography are practically inseparable. How interesting is an historical event without the reference of place? Not nearly as interesting once we know the where of it all. I think using maps and landscapes to teach history gets through to a lot more students than without them.