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Dedicated to the Teaching of Geography in the State of Illinois

Our purpose is the promotion and enhancement of geographic knowledge in the schools and among the general populace of Illinois. To achieve this purpose, the Alliance maintains a strong grassroots organization of geographic educators from schools and universities, participates in educational reform at the district, state, and national levels. We engage in an active program of preservice and inservice teacher education, develop curriculum materials based on the National Geography Standards, and foster public awareness of the importance of geography in our society.


Teach Atlas

A team from Illinois State University has developed a curriculum for 5th grade students that bridges technology, geography, social studies, science, and language arts. Learn more at

For questions about the curriculum, technology, adapting the materials for other grade levels, or workshops and training, please contact

Nat Geo Bee Crowns a New Champion

If you could find Lake Kivu on a map, you'd know the place Rishi Nair answered correctly to win the 28th National Geographic Bee. Rishi bested nine other finalists and over 2.5 million other 11- to 14-year-olds across the country. Learn more about the competition at or sign up here to get a notification about registration for next year's Bee.

Rishi Nair, 2016 National Geographic Bee Champion
Rishi Nair, 2016 National Geographic Bee Champion

Explorer Magazine Brings Science & Adventure into the Classroom

Classroom subscriptions to National Geographic's Explorer Magazine are now available for the 2016-17 school year. Explorer's nonfiction content is authentic and engaging, and supports both reading and science standards. Subscriptions are available in print or digital, starting at only $4.50 per student. Learn more at

National Geographic Explorer Magazine

2016 Illinois Geographic Alliance Earth Day BioBlitz at Elgin High School

The students from Ronald D. O'Neal Elementary School in Elgin gathered along the babbling Poplar Creek and investigated the Elgin High School Nature Trail as part of the first ever BioBlitz. Read the article here.

NCLB - ESSA Comparison

KnowledgeWorks has created a handy side-by-side comparison of No Child Left Behind and Every Student Succeeds Act. Check it out here!

Why Children Still Need to Read (and Draw) Maps

PBS Parents thinks it's more important than ever for students to read and draw maps, and we couldn't agree more!

Join the GeoMentors Community: A Nationwide Effort to Improve Geography and GIS Education

As part of the ConnectED initiative, Esri is donating free ArcGIS Online organization accounts to every K-12 school in the U.S. (account sign-up is available here). This gift introduces GIS software and geographic concepts into classrooms, allowing students to map and analyze data with the same technology used by government and businesses.

GIS is a powerful educational technology, but K-12 teachers already face considerable time constraints that can make it difficult to learn and implement a new resource. To address this need, Esri and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) are working together to develop a nationwide volunteer network of GeoMentors, knowledgeable GIS users who volunteer their time and expertise to help educators and administrators meet their classroom goals using GIS. The GeoMentors program maintains online maps and databases for collaborators to connect with each other, a curated collection of ArcGIS Online educational resources and curriculum materials, as well as several online groups and social media streams for community engagement and interaction.

To learn more about the program, visit, or register today to work with a GeoMentor or be one yourself! Contact AAG staff with any questions at

The GeoMentors community is ready and able to help make a difference in K-12 education with GIS!

2016-06-22T10:05:38.983-05:00 2016