Q: What lessons does geography provide?
A: Geography provides lessons that include environmental features, location, and safety.
Let me start with a disclaimer: I am directionally challenged. This means that on a regular basis I find myself wandering around lost, both on foot and while driving a car. Yes, even with today’s GPS technology. Therefore, I appreciate those who prioritize geography and can navigate it with ease.
According to National Geographic, “Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments.” This is significant to how young learners experience the world around them. Examining and appreciating mid-Michigan geography may include a visit to the Red Cedar River, Woldumar Nature Center, or the Brenke Fish Ladder. Learning about the features and location of each new environment can help children feel safe and more connected to the region.
Geography also helps to examine how we as humans impact the Earth in both positive and negative ways. The issue of climate change is largely due to how we care for the environment. Children often are champions for activities that create positive change and better stewardship of the Earth, like recycling.
The Let’s Make a Map activity in this week’s newsletter is a great start for young learners to understand geography and feel safe knowing where they are in their community.