I teach approximately 90 seventh grade students. These students come from a very rural area where money and resources are limited and students have less exposure to the world around them. Many of them have never ventured out of the state let alone the country or continent. It is my job as their teacher to ensure that they get access to the resources and materials that they need to be successful students and citizens. This includes providing them access to a world they might otherwise not be able to experience. With a median household income of $33,000 and a large majority of students on free or reduced lunch, world travel and cultural exposure doesn't typically happen.
This is a bridge year for our standards. To ensure that my students do not miss a beat, my 7th grade classes will be studying not only our old world history standards but we will also be incorporating the new standards. The new standards focus on geography, and while I believe geography is an area in which our students need continual practice and reinforcement, this is problematic.
Currently my students do not have access to physical atlases, maps, or globes.
While we do use technology as a resource, having real paper atlases, maps, and 3D globes is important because it builds in map-reading skills, research skills such as finding information in an index, and reinforced concepts such as latitude and longitude.
Students will use the atlases, maps, and globes to analyze features on Earth, to investigate, and solve geographic questions. Throughout the year students will participate in longitude and latitude exercises, mapping labs, country identification activities, as well as researching and referencing. Having a globe in the classroom, physical maps of the world, and atlases to reference will greatly improve my students understanding of the world around them.
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