Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How do I study Geography?

People often ask me: "How do you study Geography? There is so much to know and read about... It's overwhelming . Where do I start? How do I get a child interested in such a broad subject?"

As my wife often tells me: "Your first response to practically any question is to grab an Atlas..." When studying geography, you don't necessarily have to follow a set order. Start by looking up a locations of interest, possible vacation destinations, states or countries where friends live, etc. As you look at a map you will start noticing things like rivers, historical landmarks, funny names of locations. Look them up online, read and find pictures about them. Slowly but surely, you will start to make connections.
You read about Silicon Valley, but never thought about why it has such an unusual name. You heard about lake Okeechobee but never realized that its funny name, like many others in that area (Okefenokee, Seminole, etc.) are Indian names, given by the tribes that lived there.

Another important way to learn Geography is to make it a part of our daily life. A few days ago, I blogged about looking up the country of origin of the clothes in my closet. Below, is another simple way to learn about places. Check out the departure and arrival screens at your local airport. You may discover some interesting places. And, if you are from one of those cities I mispronounces the name of, please forgive me.

As we make connections, discover interesting and fun facts and associate names with events and pictures, we start to get a global understanding of the world around us. Give it a try, you may be surprised at what you will discover...

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