Had my second lesson of the year with my Year 11 Geography class today so decided to introduce them to the idea of geographic significance at the same time as doing some basic world mapping.
I gave the class a blank world map and brought up the World page of the New Zealand Herald website on the screen. First of all we read the introductions to each story locating and labelling the countries involved on a map for a bit of basic world geography (amazing how many students know the names of countries in the news but have no idea where these are e.g. Syria, North Korea).
Next we discussed the criteria for geographic significance that we would use to differentiate between the stories:
These criteria were obtained from Teaching about Geographical Thinking by Kamilla Bahbahani and Niem Tu Huynh.
We then read back over some of the stories collaboraitively sourcing examples of stories that demonstrate each of the criteria well. Students then had to choose two news stories that they felt are geographically significant and justify their decision.
Will pick this up over the rest of the year with getting the students to source information about geographically significant events as I feel this is incredibly important in helping them to develop the ability to think geographically. We will also use this to help decide which case studies we will focus on in our various topics this year.