How to Introduce Basic Geography Skills in Your Social Studies Classroom


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers

Introducing Basic Geography skills in your Social Studies classroom doesn't have to be difficult or boring. In fact, by introducing basic mapping skills, using different types of maps to improve comprehension, teaching with charts and graphs, and then utilizing text to reinforce geographic skills, you're sure to help students develop a strong geography foundation that will prepare them not only for their year in geography, but for US history and World History classes as well.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 1. Introduce Basic Mapping Skills

Begin with simple maps with familiar landmarks to help students understand map terminology, such as coordinates, latitude, longitude, legend, and scale. Discuss the compass rose and practice with directions to deepen understanding.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 2. Use Different Types of Maps

Once students have mastered basic "clutter-free" maps, add more components to test student comprehension and mastery. Use political maps, physical maps, topographic maps, climate maps, road maps, small-scale maps, large-scale maps, and a globe to ensure students can translate use of basic mapping skills to all forms.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 3. Teach with Charts & Graphs

Move beyond the mapping context with charts and graphs, showing information also available on maps, to ensure students can transfer mastery and comprehension from one form to the other. Use charts and graphs to deepen understanding by providing easily visible information that students can reference.

Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachers 

4. Utilize Text to Reinforce Geographic Skills

Finally, use text passages and historical documents to further student understanding by tying their geography/mapping skills to concrete information. Test student comprehension with text and mapping practice.


Ready-to-use products, like this Complete Geography Introduction Unit and Five Themes of Geography Centers Investigation Activity, make it easy to incorporate these strategies for introducing Basic Geography Skills in Your Social Studies Classroom!


Basic geography skills are the primer for all Social Studies lesson plans, because without a general understanding of geography, your students would lack the comprehension to digest regional norms, continental differences, and other cultural concepts. Though geography is taught in elementary school, middle school, and high school, many students lack the basic understanding of common geographic topics. By introducing geography skills early in the year, you can circumvent much confusion and help your students to begin the year with a solid foundation in basic geography. #geography #mapping #mapskills #geographyskills #middleschool #highschool #socialstudies #lessonplans #teaching #teachersThough there are multiple components of mapping and geography that can be intimidating to students, mapping can be a fun and educational practice. Mapping doesn't have to be tedious, boring, or confusing. Instead, by developing core geography skills, using different types of maps to further understanding, teaching with charts and graphs, and utilizing related text, students will cultivate a solid foundation in geography that will benefit them in all future Social Studies courses and throughout their adult lives.



Happy Teaching!



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Brittany Cloyd
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