Robert Marzano explains in The Art and Science of Teaching that to maximize learning students should actively process content as they are learning it. So how does geography fit in this Active Learning Continuum?
Clearly, geography skills encompass more than the obvious “Where” questions. Students can expand their geographic reach to explain “How” and “Why” by making annotated maps that illustrate complex understanding.
Objective 1.01 Create maps, charts, graphs… as tools to illustrate information about different people, places, and regions… Objective 1.02 Generate, interpret, and manipulate information from tools such as maps, globes, charts… to pose and answer questions about space and place, environment and society.
Imagine students using a geographic context to display, for example, the pros and cons of three potential routes to the 1890s Gold Rush in California.
Or imagine students conducting online research to assess data and create an annotated map with triangles connecting countries where one or more languages are spoken across three contiguous countries.
Here students create annotated maps that highlight inquiry-based learning. Such activities exhibit the synergy of technology and creativity that NCSS Curriculum Standards demand. Students produce outcomes that display learning in a geographic context.