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    #1306 11/21/06 01:28 PM
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    Ania Offline OP
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    Looking for geography resources and ideas....
    A group of moms at my kid's school got together and brainstormed for ideas about integrating geograpy into K-8 curriculum. We plan to have Asian week, with each day being devoted to a different Asian region. We will look up lesson plans and activities so the teachers don't get all frustrated with extra things they would have to do. Geography bulletin board is in the works, maps will be posted all over school. We also hope to have an Asian lunch.
    If it works and kids/techers like the idea, we would like to devote each semester to a different continent and build some lessons around geography. The school is bilingual (teaches Spanish to all grades one hour a day and lots of teachers are from spanish speaking countries so they integrate Spanish into curriculum, there is always someone speaking Spanish in the hallways) so we thing that teachers would love the idea (we think :-)We have a green light from the principal, the school participates in Geography Bee.
    Has anyone ever attempted something like that? Any ideas, suggestions you can share? We think it will be quite easy for younger grades, but how do you gate middle schoolers invloved/interested in something they won't be graded on?
    Ania

    Ania #1309 11/22/06 05:08 AM
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    cym Offline
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    I love your ideas and wish my kids were going to that school! It sounds great. Middle schoolers seem to respond to food (we give out vending machine coupons--our vending machine only has healthy foods and drinks like milk, yogurt, etc.) but kids LOVE it.

    cym #1411 12/07/06 12:48 PM
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    A great way to learn geography is through participating in Geo Bee. If your school already has the program, great! If it does not, parents can lobby for one. All you need is to have a teacher to sponsor the event and to raise some fund if the school does not have money. Geo Bee is for 4th to 8th grade students.

    They can start with competitions in class room, then have another one at school level. The school winner will get a chance to participate in a written test (at least that is the way in California). 100 students with highest scores of the written test will advance to State final (again, different sate may have different rules). The winner of the state will advance to National final which is nationally televised and hosted by Alex Trebek. My younger daughter was three-time California state finalist and her best result was 8th place in State when she was 5th grader. She is now a high school student. But her experiences in Geo Bee were some of the best moments in her life.

    for more info. Check out following URL
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographybee/index.html


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    Ania Offline OP
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    The school does have Geo Bee. We are already in the process of classroom competitions. But we are looking for resources/ ideas to incorporate geography into every day curriculum. How was your daughter learning geography? What litte extra things did she do/ her school did ?
    Ania

    Ania #1419 12/07/06 03:20 PM
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    You should start with this book.

    http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/995/169/993.html

    It is nice that you guys are trying to incorporate geography into every day curriculum. For most schools though geography is not part of core curriculum which is a real shame.

    Geobee is mostly an individual endeavor. Kids study maps, globes, read national geographic magazine, study random facts about different countries (culture, politics, history, and of course, geography). They really have to love these things in order to do well.

    GeoBee website gives 5 questions every day. The teacher can use that to give kids daily quiz. It is a good way to build an interest in geography.

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/ax/newquizstart.html

    Another thing that you can do is to teach your kid map reading. Ask him to give you directions by reading map while you are driving. Map reading skill is critical in winning Geobee as well as useful in daily life.

    Boys are naturally better at directions and maps. This may have something to do with our history as hunter-gathers. Girls may need some encouragements to participate or continue to participate in Geobee. But it should be very positive experiences for all kids.

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    Ania Offline OP
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    Thanks Chenchuan. Kids are doing questions from the quide during their Geo Club which meets weekly. I am aware of the five questions posted daily - for the most part I find them very difficult but what they are doing for us is taking us to the map and investigating.
    I fully agree that learning geography is , for the most part, a personal quest. By trying to incorporate it more into curriculum we are trying to raise geographical awareness among students:-)
    As I have mentioned in another post, I was raised in Europe. Starting in 4 th grade we had to take geography )separate subject) till done with High School.
    Ania


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