Primary geography
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Scooped by Catherine Smyth!

Project Planet

Project Planet | Primary geography |
Project Planet showcases a group of dynamic young people from three diverse classrooms across the country who are ready to shake things up. Over 8 weeks, these Waste Warriors take on a huge mission to transform their schools from being eco wastelands to waste-wise wonderlands.
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Our Focus: War on Waste - ABC

Our Focus: War on Waste - ABC | Primary geography |
Join Craig Reucassel in this three-part series, on a mission to see if we, as a nation, can reduce our waste. #WarOnWasteAU
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You decide Australia's population, we'll show you how it looks - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

You decide Australia's population, we'll show you how it looks - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Primary geography |
We're putting you in charge of the levers of population growth to shape what Australia will look like in 2101. A word of warning before you begin: your decisions could shape the future for millions of Australians.
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Primary geography- Field of Mars

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Activate geographical knowledge through geographic inquiry. Explore the hands-on teaching resources developed by 'The Field of Mars' Education Centre.

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How Access to Nature During The School Year Can Help Students Thrive | MindShift | KQED News

How Access to Nature During The School Year Can Help Students Thrive | MindShift | KQED News | Primary geography |
Getting kids out in nature on a regular basis helps kids' development. Some schools have partnerships with local parks but students in the Ferguson-Floriss
Catherine Smyth's insight:

Learning outside the classroom...

"Research into the cognitive benefits of green space is still in its infancy, but one of the stronger studies on the subject found a connection between increased green space and increased attentiveness and working memory over a 12-month period among some 2,500 elementary school children." (Shaffer, 2017).

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4 apps for digital storytelling in the great outdoors

4 apps for digital storytelling in the great outdoors | Primary geography |
Get students outside making videos to demonstrate their understanding of different subject areas. These four apps make digital storytelling easy and fun.
Lee Hall's curator insight, September 13, 2016 11:09 AM
Getting students outside is important for their health. Here are 4 ways to do that and combine your curriculum with it. 
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Digital Library - Cool Australia

Digital Library - Cool Australia | Primary geography |
You will find video clips, documentaries, images, articles, stories and news for each major topic. These are all designed to entertain and inform at every
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1. How far has my food travelled? Research + Mapping

1. How far has my food travelled? Research + Mapping | Primary geography |

This project asks students to research food labels and record distances on a world map. It introduces the concept of food miles with various forms of representation and includes the geographic skills of maps and scale. Students are encouraged to question the transportation of food and how this impacts our environment.

Via Elizabeth Walker
Elizabeth Walker's curator insight, March 28, 2016 11:59 PM
GE2-1: A student examines features and characteristics of places and environments by investigating the origin of the food they eat. Students will investigate the climates of different places, for example how weather contributes to climate and the production of different foods and different times of the year, and the definition of 'in season'.

GE2-4: A student acquires and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry.

This inquiry-based activity provides a valuable context for Stage 2 students to acquire, clarify, and apply an understanding relating back to personal reference points (Edelson, 1999). Students investigate familiar food from their own home or canteen, and research the food origin that may be within or outside Australia. 

The New Children's Museum (California) has a great series of lesson plans that can be easily adapted for the NSW curriculum.
1. Use mapping skills to identify countries on a world map and trace them back to Australia. 
2. Learn about the concept of food miles
3. Use map key to calculate distances (scale)
4. Use ICT to research additional distances 

To localise the content, seasonal produce tables are available from An additional mapping exercise is available at whereby students can enter their postcodes to see what local producers/suppliers are in their area. 

An extension activity could be the Pantry Audit from Eco Friendly Food - ;

Board of Studies Syllabus, NSW (2006). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: B.O.S. Retrieved from

Edelson, D. C., Gordin, D. N., & Pea, R. D. (1999). Addressing the challenges of inquiry-based learning through technology and curriculum design. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 8(3/4), 391-450. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls0803&4_3
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Australia's biodiversity: Indigenous perspectives

Aboriginal concepts connecting people to 'Country' and living things through a web of relationships have a lot in common with the English ter

Via India Evans
India Evans's curator insight, March 22, 2016 9:16 PM

This video, made by the CSIRO, is slightly advanced video for Stage 3, however it is an excellent resource in demonstrating the close connection Indigenous Australians have to the land and to protecting the biodiversity. It is therefore necessary to crop the video into easily understandable sections, or to stop and start the video, with useful discussion of unknown definitions or concepts or context.

The video shows a strong contrast between mainstream Non-Indigenous Australian attitudes waste and a low focus on reuse, to the strongly cemented ideals of reuse and the importance of a reciprocal relationship with the environment held by Indigenous Australian groups. 

Section 3:09 to 4:05 highlights this deeply ingrained Indigenous Australian belief in reuse, and that one item or plant may have a wide range of uses. The example given here are the many uses of one of the local tree species that has over 5 different uses within the community.

This video is an appropriate Indigenous Australian resource as it has been made with input from multiple Indigenous Australian cultural groups, many Indigenous Australian ecological groups and the AIATSIS. The video also includes a disclaimer at the conclusion of the video for the maps used within the video. The information is balanced in nature and respectful of Indigenous Aboriginal culture. Dr Fiona Walsh, who is the speaker in this video, works closely with Indigenous Australian groups, rangers and organisations to improve the biodiversity and trends in ecological condition (CSIRO, 2015).

CSIRO, (2015) Staff Directory - Dr Fiona Walsh, Accessed from

Rescooped by Catherine Smyth from Resources for primary education!

Interactive Maps

Interactive Maps | Primary geography |
An interactive map that shows all the states and territories of Australia. It also details rivers, rainforests, deserts, lakes, etc. Great for engaging a stage 2 class. 

Via Anushka Vannitamby
Anushka Vannitamby's curator insight, March 29, 2016 9:53 PM
Syllabus Links: 
GE2-1 - examines features and characteristics of places and environments
- description of natural features of Australia eg deserts, rivers, mountains 
- location of Australia’s states, territories and major cities

Why is this resource useful?
 - It can be implemented into activities to allow students to engage digitally in active, hands on learning. In the Linn (1997) study students showed preference using digital technologies over traditional methods when collecting. and presenting data. 
 - It can be used to give students a visual depiction of Australia as a  country, as teachers can either locate the states and territories or ask students to search and locate it themselves. 
- This resource can be used with a whole class, in small groups, or individually. 
- Students are integrating maps, illustrations and sketch maps into their geographical understanding. 

What does this resource include? 
This interactive map allows students to explore Australia and its physical features. The map provides detail by including: 
- rivers 
- rainforests 
- sand
- lakes 
- railways
- populated areas 
- recreational areas

When can this resource be used?
This resource can be used at the beginning of the topic to help students identify the location of states and territories. It can also be used when students start learning about the geographical features of each state e.g. desert, rivers

How can this resource be used?
- Sketch maps have been found to be effective in developing map concept skills in primary students (Taketa, 1996). Students can be provided with a large blank map in groups of 2-3. Using colours, students can differentiate between dry and wetland and can use symbols to mark where certain physical features and landforms are located e.g. Rivers, waterbodies.
- Students can make judgements on the environmental features of different parts of Australia e.g. NSW will have a denser population and more water ways as opposed to Central Australia and make notes around the map provided. 
- The teacher can describe a location and students must find it on the interactive map. This can planned as a class game. 


BOSTES NSW. (2016). K-10 Geography Syllabus. Retrieved from

Linn, S. E. (1997). The effectiveness of interactive maps in the classroom: A selected example in studying Africa. Journal of Geography, 96(3), 164-170.

Taketa, R. (1996) Using Field Sketch Mapping to Teach Basic Mapping Concepts in Elementary School Geography, Journal of Geography, 95:3, 126-130, DOI: 10.1080/00221349608978704
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25 educational resources to help kids with the war on waste - Ara Sarafian - ABC Splash -

25 educational resources to help kids with the war on waste - Ara Sarafian - ABC Splash - | Primary geography |
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Map Skills for Elementary Students - National Geographic Society

Map Skills for Elementary Students - National Geographic Society | Primary geography |
Find activities that develop map skills in students from preK to Grade 6.
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Documentary making for primary geography

Documentary making for primary geography | Primary geography |
Catherine Smyth's insight:

Documentary making about a geographical issue enables primary students to organise and communicate new geographical knowledge. It also provides rich opportunities for developing ICT skills in a purposeful way.

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Apps for geography

Apps for geography | Primary geography |
Catherine Smyth's insight:

The Field of Mars Education Centre highlights a range of Apps to enable students to generate, organise and communicate geographical knowledge.

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Map Men: teaching geography through comedy

Map Men: teaching geography through comedy | Primary geography |
Mark Cooper-Jones and Jay Foreman, the Map Men, tap into a rich vein of geographical quirks to teach through comedy

Via Seth Dixon
Catherine Smyth's insight:

Feeling lost teaching geography? Navigate your way through the new concepts, skills and content in the new Australian Curriculum and K-6 syllabus by developing geographical understanding.

Christopher L. Story's curator insight, August 29, 2016 9:24 PM
Anything to help people know where the Caspian sea resides...or was that Uzbekistan?
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, January 22, 2018 1:21 PM
Funny and full of information!
Laurie Ruggiero's curator insight, May 29, 2018 5:29 PM
Unit 1
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23 Maps to represent Australia

23 Maps to represent Australia | Primary geography |
Australia is a continent like n
Catherine Smyth's insight:

Not sure about the title, but like the 23 different ways to represent Australia.

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Changing landscapes-historic photos Powerhouse Museum

Changing landscapes-historic photos Powerhouse Museum | Primary geography |
Powerhouse Museum – These forty two photographs show aspects of urban and rural life, resource use, farming and transport in Australia between 1890 and 1915. Most depict changing

Via Karen Zhou
Karen Zhou's curator insight, April 12, 2016 8:17 AM
This is a great geographical tool that develops knowledge and understanding of past human actions and impacts of these on the environment. Students examine photographs that show how environments have been transformed by humans to suit their interests and needs. Many of these practices have been detrimental to the environment in the long-term. Emphasise to students that without proper care, the environment cannot sustain itself into the future. This is thus useful for introducing students to the idea of sustainability, and would act as an apt introductory activity to the unit. It useful for getting students to ask the key inquiry question: how can people use environments and place more sustainably? Teachers may consider using “See Think Wonder” during photograph observations. (More details on this thinking routine here:
This may be a large or small group activity. Teachers may wish to structure this activity in two stages: 
1) Observation of photographs (encourage students to note down the details that are useful for later discussion, e.g. blurred background of urban landscape) Depending on how the discussion is run, the photographs may be shown on an interactive whiteboard or printed and laid out on the table for viewing 
2) Web task as students visit the Powerhouse Museum page and read the descriptions provided. Students should be encouraged to think about the What, Where, Why and Impact (Kriewaldt and Boon, 2012) 

When evaluating the data, students can rank the photographs by degree of harm the described action has caused the environment. Ask students why they chose to order the photographs in that way, and allow students to freely offer their views and disagree. As a closure to this inquiry process, teachers may wish to use the Connect Extend Challenge VisibleThinking routine to gauge students’ prior knowledge, and help them communicate the new understandings and questions that have emerged from this activity.

 -Kriewaldt, J. & Boon, D. (2012) Geographical inquiry. In Tony et al. (ed) Place and Time – Explorations in Teaching Geography and History (pp.129-142). Frenchs Forest: Pearson Australia.
Rescooped by Catherine Smyth from Geography Stage 2: The Australian Continent!

Google Earth

Google Earth | Primary geography |
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others.

Via Amy Cohn
Amy Cohn's curator insight, April 7, 2016 4:02 AM

Google Earth is a great teacher and student resource. 

Aligning with the Stage 2 syllabus outcome to

 "examine features and characteristics of places and environments" the multi-dimensional aspect of this mapping program allows the students to explore the different characteristics of the Australian landscape, looking out for changes in terrain or identifying iconic buildings and natural phenomena specific to different areas around Australia. You can explore the differences between states and their climates and the iconic features that are individual to each. 


This program could be used as a teacher run activity where the whole class examines the same map on a projector or interactive smart board and the teacher is able to navigate students around the map. 


This could also be used by students on either a computer or tablet, getting them to explore different states and territories and come up with a list of characteristics and features for different parts of Australia whether in terrain view, or 3D view etc. This task could be an individual task or one where students are divided up into groups for a particular area. 

This sort of individual, independent task allows students to take a self directed inquiry based approach to their own learning. According to Kriewaldt and Boon it important for students to be progressively working towards designing their own investigations to collect geographical data and draw their own conclusions (2012, p.132). 


BOSTES NSW. (2016). New NSW Syllabus: Geography K-10. Retrieved from ;

Kriewaldt, J. &  Boon, D. (2012). Geographic Inquiry (Chapter 9). In Taylor, Fahey, Kriewaldt & Boon. Place and Time. Explorations in Teaching Geography and History. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Australia

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Climate Change

Climate Change | Primary geography |
Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming and climate change from NASA.

Via Ga eun Lee
Ga eun Lee's curator insight, April 10, 2016 9:23 AM
Climate change tools

Stage: 3 (Years 5-6)

 What is this resource about? 

 This particular resource is a geographical tool that display a world map with a series of visualizations, which shows how some of Earth's key climate indicators such as sea ice, levels, carbon dioxide and global temperatures are changing over time (Boek, 2016). The website is broken into 4 categories and each show the change from the past to 2015, with keys in Carbon dioxide and Global temperature to assist students with interpreting data. It would allow students to realize human influence on climate change through compare and contrast of the past images to the present.

Why is this effective? 

 The device would be an effectual resource to use with the website and video in the previous scoop, about pollution in our playground ‘Climate change starts from the pollution in our playground’ in order to clearly address the influence of human activity in changing our environment over time. The resource specifically addresses the outcomes and content of the syllabus through the differences in the statistics and images in comparison to the past, clearly depicting the firm bond between humans in altering the natural environment. 

 Through the use of technological geographical tool, students can effectively examine human activity’s immense impact on our natural environment as it “enable students to use and experience powerful cognitive tools… used by students as ‘intellectual partners’, and as a device to analyze and interpret their understanding” (Herrington & Kervin, 2007, p.1). Also, engages students with English as a second language, special needs or lower achieving students to explore with the images, participate in the activity, helping their comprehension of the effects of climate change (Wakeman, Karvonen & Ahmuda, 2013, p.9). Also, the resource could support stage 3 students to be involved in higher order thinking as the tools require them to evaluate data (Herrington & Kervin, 2007, p.1).

Activities with the geographical tool:

 1. Divide students into groups and allocate topics of sea ice, sea levels, carbon dioxide and global temperatures. 

2. For each of the topic, students are to use the geographical tool to collect data or as a supporting resource to the information they’ve found in their research.

 In this process, address the expectancy for students to visit sites appropriately (teachers should monitor students using the computers). 

3. Students are to examine the cause, drawing back on their activity on pollution and effect by using the tools and additional research on the topic. 

 Modification for ESL & special needs students: For research, ask students to use the tool and draw what has caused these changes, drawing on their prior knowledge from the previous activity (Strom, 2014) 

 4. Students are to present their topic as “formalized peer learning can help students learn effectively…enhance the quality of education,” encourage students to be responsible for their own learning and enhance their apprehension of the impact of pollution on climate change (Boud, Cohen & Sampson, 2002).


 Boek, M. (2016). Climate Time Machine. Retrieved 10 April, 2016, from ;

Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Sampson, J. (2002). WHAT IS PEER LEARNING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?. Retrieved 9 April 2016, from ;

Herrington, J & Kervin, L, Authentic learning supported by technology: 10 suggestions and cases of integration in classrooms. Educational Media International, 44(3), 219-236. 

Strom, E. (2014, 3 January). Understood for learning and attention issues. [Weblog]. Retrieved 9 April 2016, from ;

 Wakeman, S., Karvonen, M., & Ahumada, A. (2013) Changing instruction to increase achievement for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children 46(2), 6-13. doi:10.1177/004005991304600201
Rosie Paijmans's curator insight, April 22, 2017 9:35 AM
In this resource students investigate how the natural environment influences people and places, for example: (ACHGK028). The activity I would use which utilizes  this resources is designed to facilitate students learning and stimulate discussion concerning how climate influences the distribution of where people live.

This resource allows students to view how global warming impacts and changes the natural landscape on a map. The resource has four maps one shows a rise in global temperatures from 1883 to 2015, another displays carbon dioxide increase from 2012 to 2014, there is also a map which displays the loss of sea-ice levels and another which maps the rise of sea levels in three areas around the world. 

These maps allows students to see the changes in climate, due to global warming and how this in turn affects the earth, as well as what these impacts could have on the lives of people around the world. 

This resource is easy for students to use and each different display of global warming, has a myriad of discussion topics that could lead of this. for example; in the 'rise in sea level map' questions such as "why do you think Amsterdam loses so much land in the 'sea level' interactive map?" this could lead on to topics about which areas would be most adversely affected by climate change such as pacific island countries, ect.
This exercise should help students to understand how the natural environment can have a huge impact on people and place. In particular students should be shown that as sea levels rise people have to move inland. 

Students will also investigate how the natural environment influences people and places, for example: (ACHGK028) discussion of how climate influences the distribution of where people live. as well as adhering to content descriptor 'comparison of how landforms influence where and how people live in Australia and another countries'.          


Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW. (2015). HSIE K–6: Guide to the NSW History and Geography syllabuses. Sydney, Australia:     
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GEOGRAPHICAL TOOLS-  Statistics & Pictograms

GEOGRAPHICAL TOOLS-  Statistics & Pictograms | Primary geography |
Share Graphics for National Recycling Week

Via Michelle Ko
Michelle Ko's curator insight, April 5, 2016 7:49 PM
    As a way of exploring and communicating with the world, geographers use ‘geographical tools’, such as graphs, statistics and visual representations. For that, in NSW K-10 Geography Syllabus, the importance of providing students with opportunities to ‘engage with each geographical tools during each Stages of learning’ (BOSTES, 2015, p.26) has been highlighted. Considering this, the National Recycling Week Planet Ark webpage can be a valuable resource that can be used by students in the elaboration stage of 5’E models (Krewaldt, Boon, 2012, p.136), for the topic ‘protection of environments’ of Stage 2 Geography. The website shares a number of pictograms and graphs, which state the facts about recycling and waste management issues within Australia. The data is well represented, and easy to read, which can encourage students’ access. Teachers may encourage students to use the website, especially the pictograms and the data, for research purpose to elaborate their understanding of the topic, by collecting and analysing the data (Kriewaldt and Boon, 2012, p.136).

(Other related pictographs and visual data can be retrieved from this link)

 New South Wales. Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards, author. (2015). Geography K-10 syllabus: NSW syllabus for the Australian curriculum. Board of Studies.