Chromebooks and iPads and smartphones, oh my! Sixth-grade students, more than ever, are tapped into technology. In fact, most of my 103 students use some sort of “device” every day - even when they’re not in school. They can easily navigate a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Tech skills are important for exploring world geography because students can quickly access a plethora of resources. However, flat screens in a round world don’t provide a complete picture.
My students struggle to grasp spatial patterns that will help them to better understand the world in which we live.
When they work with hands-on materials, lively discussions ensue and comprehension deepens. Many of my students (45% of whom receive free or reduced lunches) have not traveled far from our rural southern Michigan community. They wonder about faraway places and are eager to explore our GLOBAL community.
Our classroom comes to life when my students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities. Currently, our tangible materials for exploring geographic concepts include textbook maps and a wall map. Flat maps simply don't provide the visual representation students need to clearly envision our round world and understand its spatial patterns.
I want to capture the excitement and engagement of hands-on exploration of our world by using globes throughout the school year.
Last year, I borrowed globes from wherever I could find them. My students buzzed with excitement! They were crowded around globes, noticing our location relative to other places, discovering hemispheres, latitude, longitude, time zones, and physical features.
Globes will help my students learn the geography skills they need to navigate their world and grow into global citizens.
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