As I work through my dissertation research and speak with social studies educators from all over the U.S, I’m learning that lots of people want to incorporate more geographic and spatial thinking into their lessons, but are not confident in their own content knowledge or ability to connect standards/lesson ideas to geography. Most, if not all of the teachers I’ve spoken with, have in some way articulated how they think learning about spaces and places in the world is essential to the lives of their students. Yet, many of these teachers are unsure of how to bring more geography into their classrooms in provocative ways that connect to the required content at hand.
At the request of several of the teachers I interviewed, I have started posting lesson prompts and ideas related to geography on my Twitter account @staceykerrphd. I think that most of these ideas would be great as openers or closers, or could be expanded to full lessons. While the lesson ideas in these posts aim to engage students with geographic thought, they can be implemented in a variety of classroom contexts. This is inline with my own personal philosophy that you don’t have to be an official geography educator to teach students about the world – Geography has its place in all educational contexts.