As I sit here typing this, I can see one, two, three, FOUR globes sitting on shelves around my room. Many of them are tattered and torn, but I keep them because students love looking at them.
What is the Soviet Union?
Where is South Sudan?
These are questions that students throw my way when they look at the globes. Did I mention the globes are extremely outdated? I call them historical.
Although it is fun to have these conversations with students, when I need to students to study geography they use the National Geographic Atlas app. When using the app, students can spin the world just like a globe. All of the countries are clearly labeled and the search options allow you to find countries fast. When you click on a country it allows you to view information about the country such as the literacy rate, life expectancy, GDP and a text summary about the country. Students can even see the local time and weather. (Note: students seems to get caught up looking at the weather. For some reason, this is very interesting to middle school students.)
- Use the atlas to start a discussion about a country or area of the world. Students can quickly grasp the location and other basic facts before you jump into more complex discussions.
- Students can conduct more in depth research on important statistics such as the literacy rate or life expectancy to determine why countries differ in this respect.