Practical skills in Geography
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Practical skills in Geography
Useful resources for pre-service and current geography teachers in Australia, particularly NSW. Resources aimed at helping develop a deeper understanding of geographic tools and skills as there is a heavy focus on them in the National Curriculum and NSW BOS. Set up specifically for students studying EDCZ25800 at Avondale College, but available for all geography educators.
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What is the Difference between a Podcast and Radio?

What is the Difference between a Podcast and Radio? | Practical skills in Geography |
Rob Greenly from the New Media Show stops by the show to discuss the differences between Radio and Podcasting.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Tiani Page's insight:

EDCZ25800 Geography Curriculum students. One of your assignment requires you to create a video podcast. This article may prove highly beneficial for you.

Jennifer Scott's comment, October 27, 2015 11:49 PM
I found this an interesting clip. I didn’t find the technology recommended that helpful because it was quite expensive. I did find the information about the importance of structure of a topic and the value of the information with the podcast helpful with how to create a podcast.
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▶ Latitude and Longitude is Useful One Direction Remix HD - YouTube

Mr M and Mr. Parker explain the importance of Latitude and Longitude to the tune of "You don't know you're beautiful" by One Direction

Via Lorraine Chaffer
Tiani Page's insight:

Concepts of latitude and longitude are often hard for some students to grasp. This is a fresh explanation that may just connect and 'get through' with some of your students.

Karina Parker's comment, September 9, 2015 8:09 AM
A little bit corny, but a good idea of things to do to engage students and help them to remember geographical concepts. Videos like this help to engage a range of multiple intelligence styles, ensuring that all students are catered for. This links in pop-culture with geography which may excite some students.
Nathaniel Amuimuia's comment, November 9, 2015 10:08 PM
WOW! don't know what to think about this haha but hey its catchy and students will probably remember the lyrics and it could be a way for students remember. Use what students like (im not sure everyone likes one direction but they do know the original song) Its just like the song about the syllabus we had sung in class. Definitely a possible way to teach a class.
Madeleine Carr's comment, November 17, 2015 10:51 PM
haha i really love these sorts of raps. the students know the songs they make over really well so they are drawn in by the background music. i have used a similar type of video for cells in science and i have heard students sing it in at recess or lunch. Some years may find it a bit lame, but for the younger years like 7 and 8 the students gain from this and these clips can make for great and fun hooks in the lesson. You could also encourage students to make their own to their favourite songs
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Scale taught in Comics

Scale taught in Comics | Practical skills in Geography |

Such as a simple, powerful comic strip to teach the importance of scale.   If you prefer an image with a 'paper' look to it, try this image of the April 19, 2015 post of Mutts. 


Tags: scale, K12, location, fun.

Via Seth Dixon, Lorraine Chaffer
Karen Breznikar's comment, October 13, 2015 2:36 AM
Simple but effective method of teaching scale to students. Great resource.
Madeleine Carr's comment, October 23, 2015 1:32 AM
I would love to let my students create one of these using the website or by drawing their own. It is a personal way of thinking and I believe that students will be able to retain/grasp the concept of scale through this simple method. It would also be really enjoyable and would allow for creative students to express themselves in geography. Students could then compare their scales with others in the class and you could ask students who have had different yards/towns/country in their lives to share and enhance the enjoyment and importance of multiculturalism.
Matt Bond's comment, November 27, 2015 6:10 PM
Students today are interacting with cartoons through all different mediums from The Simpsons, Family Guy or even those in the newspaper. Cartoons can provide short but affective content transfer in an interesting way. They can be highly emotional and effective in all mediums which is why they are so prone into today's society, which is why as teachers it is important to use cartoons in our classroom to change up the sources in which we use.
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From the Field to the Geography Classroom | SingTeach | Education Research for Teachers

From the Field to the Geography Classroom | SingTeach | Education Research for Teachers | Practical skills in Geography |
Tiani Page's insight:

A good overview of meaningful and purposeful fieldwork.

Madeleine Carr's comment, October 22, 2015 11:42 PM
In my opinion formed from previous geography field trips, field trips are invaluable. For myself, it was the most stimulating method for change. I remember reading textbooks and statistics and having some amount of motivation to make a difference, however, when i actually went to the places where the issues were, i had a great realisation and could actually feel the weight of the issues. It formed a lot more motivation for change than just reading about the issues. I love in the article how they suggest the importance of knowing the skills for fieldwork. I believe if we teach our students that physical side and also the actions that an individual can take, hopefully our students act upon the issues in a positive way. When reflecting on geography on high school, I literally only remember 2 lessons of textbook/ in class work. the rest i remember was getting amongst the issues in fieldwork and learning how I can help as an individual, from school or at home.
Nathaniel Amuimuia's comment, November 9, 2015 9:57 PM
I use to love going on field trips in Geography lessons. They are a great way to get students to understand what was really being taught in the classroom. It is true that it just cant be another excursion. these field trips need to be planned well and really thought out so students can get the most out of it and also use skills that they may not be able to use in the classroom. Good field trips gives motivation and engages students.
Josh Waring's comment, November 22, 2015 4:53 PM
Fieldwork and field trips are so important for students and the idea that people want to cut back or completely cut out experiences like these is horrendous! Some of the best experiences of my schooling life were field trips! As teachers we need to be able to show the link between the field trip and content learned to keep field trips as a viable option. Allowing or creating the opportunity for students to be out in the world and experiencing what they are studying offers a different level of learning. By interacting and being involved physically in areas of content allows for a greater depth of understanding. They create emotions which in turn produces understanding and learning.
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Environmental Site Assessments - Atma Environmental

Environmental Site Assessments - Atma Environmental | Practical skills in Geography |
Environmental consultants specialising in Environmental Site Assessments and all associated consulting services such as soil contaminant testing and disposal, groundwater testing and remediation, and more.
Tiani Page's insight:

The video on this page provides a good understanding of one way (why and how) geographic tools and skills can be used / applied in the 'real world' 

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Engaging students through Fieldwork.pdf

Tiani Page's insight:

Stage 4/5 NSW syllabus ideas and examples on utilising skills to teach content.

Zoe Wright's comment, May 6, 2014 4:56 AM
Full of good ideas in how to use fieldwork that integrate the content of stage 4 & 5 NSW syllabus and gives you good ideas for lesson.
Karen Breznikar's comment, May 28, 2014 1:15 AM
This is an excellent resource for preservice teachers teaching Stage 4/5. Giving ideas and examples of how to incorporate skills and learning activities into lessons.
Ben Woodham's comment, October 19, 2015 11:11 PM
This resource shows how Fieldwork can be implemented in the stage 4/5 Geography syllabus. As Geography is an investigatory subject my nature it allows student fieldwork to take place. In order to make Fieldwork effective it is important to plan it and make sure it is building on what students are learning in class. The article is useful as it goes on to outline ways in which teachers can implement fieldwork activities into their classroom such as creating surveys and developing mapping skills.
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Fieldwork in Geography Teaching.pdf

Tiani Page's insight:

A useful review of field work in geography including; types of fieldwork activities, pro's and con's of fieldwork etc.

Zac Redman's comment, October 27, 2013 12:28 AM
a great resource to have a read of while planning any fieldwork for your class. Provides some great ideas and explains the importance of preparation.
Leigha Tew's comment, November 6, 2013 11:00 PM
Fieldwork is a key component to any well rounded geography learning experience. The increasing use of ICT and its possibilities create positive hopes for the ease in planning future field work activities.(eg. Virtual Field studies, OR Mobile devices with touch or draw screens have the capacity to take photos, sketch/draw, take notes, input data into tables and create graphs, all relatively easily and in a short period of time). The concepts of fieldwork and skills are almost inseperable. Engaging students in the learning experience requires participation. Debriefing and feedback should be a part of any fieldwork experiences. In this article, one can read a discussion of the concept and integration of field work into teaching pedagogies, including reasoning for and against over different time periods.
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Grid and Area referencing worksheets.pdf

Tiani Page's insight:
Useful worksheets with clear explanations and links to new national curriculum and cross-curricular activities. This is a sample from new books being developed for the denationalise curriculum. 
Karen Breznikar's comment, May 6, 2014 8:52 PM

Excellent Resource!!! Grid referencing and mapping is an essential skill in geography and these worksheets are easy to follow and practical assisting students to really grasp the concept.
Ben Woodham's comment, September 10, 2015 9:08 AM
The best way to teach grid and area referencing is to get students directly involved with doing it. Not only should they learn about what the concept is but they should also have an idea of how to do it. This links the things learnt in class to the outside world where students can see the benefit of learning referencing skills. These worksheets would form the basis of some great class work. It would also be great to get students involved with some online grid referencing so they can see how it can be used in ICT. A site like provides a great foundation for students to explore how places are related to each other in terms of grid referencing, giving them a greater understanding of how connected our world is.
Adelaide Parkin's comment, September 7, 8:55 PM
some teachers use worksheets as there 'way out' of teaching that lesson. It's a small task you set students when you can't be bothered or a student finishes early. But worksheets can be some much more, these are some really informative worksheets that will be very useful when teaching about grid references and weather recording. These are a great resource for me to have when i actually start teaching!
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Getting Geographic - Understanding Time Zones - National Geographic Bee

Getting Geographic - Understanding Time Zones  - National Geographic Bee | Practical skills in Geography |
Activity from the National Geographic Bee shows students how to understand time zones.
Tiani Page's insight:

A resource to aid in teaching timezones to students. 

Jordan Maua's comment, September 2, 2013 7:11 PM
This activity is a good resource for students to understand timezones around the world. I think for the first bit the information would be a tad hard for the younger years in high school to understand so the teacher would have to summarise it for the students but the activity is a real fun one that will defiantly get the students involved. Good resource right here
Zac Redman's comment, October 27, 2013 12:41 AM
A great activity to help students understand the different time zones. These fun yet educational activities are perfect for the classroom, as the students don't find them boring and they stay interested.
Michelle Waters's comment, September 22, 2015 4:54 AM
Some students often find it difficult to understand particular topics in Geography. Using an activity such as this one enables students to look at time zones in a different way. Completing this kind of activity helps learners who are visual as well as enable those who are creative to excel in their sphere. For those students who complete the task early and/or particularly inquisitive, there is an extension for the activity. This is a great resource to include in a unit plan. Students would benefit from this activity greatly.
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The Importance of Classroom Research in Geography PDF

Karina Parker's comment, May 4, 2015 6:20 AM
This article highlights the importance of educators undertaking regular research. Not only does this continue to sharpen the teacher's awareness of how learning occurs in the classroom and refines teaching skills, it also helps the students to be research minded as the teacher should be sharing their knowledge. This can aid in the development process of students' skill of geographical inquiry.
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Collecting

BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Collecting | Practical skills in Geography |
A secondary school revision resource for OCR Gateway GCSE Science about net and pooters, pitfall traps and quadrats. Ecosystems and biodiversity.
Tiani Page's insight:

Skills, quadrats, transepts, sampling, kite diagrams

Ryan Montgomery's comment, April 1, 2013 9:53 PM
This article has some very good and relevant pracs.Also showed different ways that ecological environment can be assesd.these practical ideas have given a great starting formatting what I need to reach to be a successful geography teacher
Zac Redman's comment, April 24, 2013 7:04 AM
This page has some really good pracs that students would have a lot of fun doing. It has clear easy to follow instructions with pictures to go with. This will be a great resource for a future class.
Jordan Maua's comment, August 22, 2013 6:26 PM
I have no idea what I just read but it was interesting to me. It was short sweet and to the point. These pracs bring out a fun side of geography and I am sure ecology could be learnt from the students doing these practicals.
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Why Map Projections Matter

Via Seth Dixon, Lorraine Chaffer
Tiani Page's insight:

As part of geography education we are required to teach students about different map projections and the rationale for these. This little video puts it quite well. 

Bharat Employment's curator insight, January 22, 2015 11:15 PM

Rich Schultz's curator insight, February 11, 2015 11:27 AM

Would an inverted Peters projection "freak you out"?

Adelaide Parkin's comment, September 7, 8:52 PM
This is an engaging and funny clip! It is a great resource that could be used in a lessons introduction! for myself i love finding funny little clips that relate to a topic to play at the start of a lesson and then explain to the students what the topic is! Great resource i will be saving for later
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A Step by Step Guide to Creating A Virtual Field Trip Using Google Earth

A Step by Step Guide to Creating A Virtual Field Trip Using Google Earth | Practical skills in Geography |

Via Lorraine Chaffer
Tiani Page's insight:

Virtual field studies do not replace the need for physical interaction with our environments, however, they are an excellent tool for allowing students to explore the further world around them. As an educator it is your job to help facilitate these opportunities - so check this out.


Lorraine Chaffer's comment, June 2, 2015 3:20 AM
There is no substitute for genuine fieldwork - however in some cases virtual fieldwork may be essential and can also be used to give students extra opportunities to investigate places - supplementing other fieldwork activities.
Adelaide Parkin's comment, October 5, 2015 6:36 PM
This is a really great idea! Yes there is no substitute for genuine fieldwork,, but in some cases this genuine fieldwork is not an option so this is a great alternative! I would love to try this out with my class one day.
Karen Breznikar's comment, October 13, 2015 2:06 AM
I really love this!!! The step by step instructions are great for those of us who are ICT challenged. I will be able to make use of this in my own classroom.
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Map Skills

Map Skills | Practical skills in Geography |
Objective: To be able to use and recognise a variety of map symbols and to understand why they are used. IST Learner Profile Link - Knowledgeable & Inquirer Task 1 - Study this presentation and...
Tiani Page's insight:

Great lesson ideas and resources for mapping skills. 

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101 ideas for teaching geography

101 ideas for teaching geography | Practical skills in Geography |
Many thanks to Tony Cassidy for initiating a Google Docs collaboration for geography teaching ideas in the style of Tom Barrett's "Interesting ways to"
Tiani Page's insight:

An interesting list of ideas that could be carefully and cleaverly incorporated into Geography lessons to enhance them for meeting educational objectives, outcomes and ICT usage.   Pre-Service teacher, please be reminded that the careful and thoughtful planning of lessons is essential to creating outstanding learning opportunities for your students that also foster a love and appreciation for Geography.  


This is a good list of ideas from which you can bounce off to develop your own lessons. 

Karen Breznikar's comment, October 13, 2015 2:21 AM
This is a great list of ideas, I will use these in planning my unit plan.
Madeleine Carr's comment, November 17, 2015 11:00 PM
this is excellent. I love having lists (in this case a slideshow) of ideas and resources and sites etc that i can use in the classroom. Its enough to have an ICT idea, however choosing good site and apps can be difficult. I love some of the ideas too some i had never even heard of. I would recommended teachers read this if they need some direction/ideas for ICT and activities
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Tiani Page's insight:

A useful resource to aid in developing your own skills knowledge.

Zac Redman's comment, August 20, 2013 8:47 AM
National Geographic is a great resource for any geography class. In this article it world maps, reading maps and reading map features are all discussed and explained in some detail. This allows for teachers or students who aren't entirely sure on what they need to do to understand a map a clear idea of what is required.
The pictures throughout this article also make it a lot more interesting and easier to understand for visual learners. Very good article, I would use this in the classroom or in prep for a class.
Jordan Maua's comment, August 22, 2013 6:05 PM
This article is very good with the way it portrays learning. National Geographic is a really good source to use for students that are struggling with certain topics because they break it down for you in a real simple way. This article would defiantly be used in my classroom for future use because it breaks down maps and how to learn about the different aspects of maps and what a map is. Very good resource.
Gina Al-Ali's comment, August 24, 2013 7:34 PM
This is a good resource because it is a little crash course in geography skills. It looks at geographic skills that are used everyday such as reading maps, identifying different types of maps and how to differentiate longitude, latitude and location. It looks at the different skills used and gives examples of where those skills can be applied. This article relates the skills into everyday life and clearly describes the skills so that the reader can easily understand. I like how the article included a dictionary at the end with a picture to help anyone who was unsure of the meaning or what the word was.
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Geography fieldwork

Geography fieldwork | Practical skills in Geography |
The FSC (Field Studies Council) is an educational charity bringing environmental understanding to all.
Zac Redman's comment, October 27, 2013 12:58 AM
This is a great article and would be very useful for any teacher in the geography field. It categorises different topic and breaks them down into smaller easier to understand sections. A great resource for all to use.
Madeleine Carr's comment, November 17, 2015 10:14 PM
I would find this very useful for developing a field trip and study. This has many example of all different types of field trips. These are so relevant also to the content the students need to develop before the field trip. Great resource and would definitely use this.
Josh Waring's comment, November 22, 2015 4:58 PM
The way this article breaks down the areas of geography into smaller content areas and then provides information for each area in regard to developing an effective field trip is highly useful. This is a fantastic article for anyone wishing to develop or plan a field trip. The content in this article is highly relevant for students and teachers alike. I would definitely use this when looking to plan lessons or field trips for my students.
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Jordan Maua's comment, August 22, 2013 6:16 PM
I don't think this would work when using it for the younger years in high school. Year 7 8 and 9 wouldn't seem to find surveys very interesting because they cannot handle constructive criticism when given it, they think it is criticism. I do believe however that the older years would benefit from surveys a great amount. Having that constructive criticism their to help you go to the next level in some things and wanting the students to learn where they went wrong it a really good thing to do. Not a fan of this
Zac Redman's comment, September 11, 2013 11:52 AM
This would be a great way for students to design their own survey and find out what they want to know. It involves ICT and other skills. As I have never used the program I would have to become familiar with it before expecting the students to perform this task.
Jared's comment, September 1, 2015 12:42 AM
Using survey can be a great tool in the classroom if you want to receive a quick feedback from the students. This can help you with you improve your teaching program. By using surveys you are able to get answers, see problems and different opinions. At the same time, the students can also use this to make their own surveys. They will be exposed to ICT and other skills. As long as it aids the student's learning then I would definitely use this in a classroom.
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Topographic maps - Map skills and higher-order thinking

Topographic maps - Map skills and higher-order thinking | Practical skills in Geography |
Karina Parker's comment, October 12, 2015 9:15 PM
Topographic maps are taught in geography all throughout high school. It is a skill that some students grasp, while others struggle with. This resource provides different methods in teaching the mapping skills, ways that I haven't thought of before. Very useful.
Nathaniel Amuimuia's comment, November 12, 2015 5:18 AM
Maps are something we will be using throughout taching geography and this article shows some great and fun ways we could teach how to read maps. Students will be able to understand how these maps work and they could probably use this skill in their own lives if they ever decide to go on a hike.
Josh Waring's comment, November 22, 2015 5:02 PM
This resource is fantastic when looking at using maps. For some it is easy and others a difficult concept to grasp. This article provides interesting and fun ways to teach maps. This resource will hopefully help students that struggle to walk through and learn to understand how topographic maps work and how to utilise them.
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The Role and Value of Fieldwork.pdf

Michelle Waters's comment, August 15, 2015 10:40 PM
Fieldwork is such an integral part of the geography curriculum. As the article says, geography “supports the curriculum by promoting geographical knowledge and understanding.” It is so important to allow students to see the world that they live in by actually looking at it, rather than seeing it from inside the classroom. Fieldwork also provides students with different skills that can be used later in life. Students can develop their appreciation for the world that they live in and see the value of taking care of their environment, whether that be on a local or global scale. I really like how the article sums up the concept of fieldwork. It says “I think it’s a completely integral part of geography. I don’t see how you can teach geography without doing it.”
Jared's comment, September 1, 2015 8:56 PM
I very much agree to what this article is saying. Fieldwork is an essential part of Geography. It is our job to bring the world into the classroom, however in reality, the students gain a deeper understanding when they experience it for themselves. The article highlights 5 categories to how fieldwork improves learning. Field work not only gives deeper learning but also improves important geographical skills.
Karen Breznikar's comment, October 13, 2015 2:18 AM
Fieldwork is vital for learning geography skills. This article really demonstrates the integral part fieldwork plays in student engagement and learning.
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Sand dune fieldwork

Sand dune fieldwork | Practical skills in Geography |
Tiani Page's insight:
Geography fieldwork, sampling techniques, research, quadrat, transect
Jordan Maua's comment, September 2, 2013 7:14 PM
Being a teacher that has no clue about field trips and how to undergo one with my class this resource has helped me to understand some little things to do before a field trip to get the students into the feeling, ready for the field trip. good resource.
Zac Redman's comment, September 11, 2013 11:49 AM
This article is great for teachers planning a field trip. The activities in the article would be great for field trips or some could be done prior to the field trip. Overall a great article which has provided some great examples/ideas for field study.
Karen Breznikar's comment, May 28, 2014 1:33 AM
A great article for explaining the types of sampling and use of quadrates for geography field research.