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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.


Geography Awareness Week 2015

Celebrate and explore the power of maps November 15 - 21, 2015. The theme for 2015 is "Explore! The Power of Maps." Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more.

See how National Geographic is celebrating 100 years of cartographic history. Check out a suite of resources all about geography as a field and discipline, and even more tips and tools to plan your own GeoWeek celebrations!

Read more about the history and purpose behind Geography Awareness Week. Looking for even more resources? Check out the Geography Awareness Week Archive for material dating back all the way to 2000!

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!


4th Annual AP Human Geography Conference for Illinois Teachers

What: A 1-day conference for pre-service and in-service teachers to meet fellow colleagues, learn about current topics and teaching methods in Human Geography, and share your ideas.

When: Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. (Note: We have moved our annual conference from spring to fall!)

Where: Plainfield East High School, 12001 S. Naperville Rd., Plainfield, IL 60585

Cost: Free! There is no cost to attend the conference; however, registration is required. Professional Development Hours (formerly CPDUs) are provided for conference participants.

Geographical Names: Their Origin, Meaning, and Roles as Cultural Icons Workshop Opportunity for Teachers in Chicago and the Chicago Region

Hosts: Prof. Jongnam Choi (Western Illinois University) and Prof. Joseph Stoltman (Western Michigan University)

Overview: Have you ever wondered about the origin of a geographical name used in the Chicago Region? “Blue Island”, for example, is a regional geographical name. “What is in a Name” is the topic for the workshop. International naming issues, such as the East Sea and Salish Sea will be examined. Geographical naming is a persistent issue and differs from place name recognition. Naming inquires about the origin and meaning of a geographical place name. Geographical names communicate the power of place in political, social, and economical contexts. Geopolitical fault zones sometimes occur over the names used to express conflicting, but deeply held, emotive values about places. Geographical names capture the cultural attributes and historical contexts of people living in a particular place. A geographical name conjures up an expression of the past, the meaning of the present, and anticipation of the future. This workshop will present historical and contemporary examples of geographical naming and its consequences, ranging from sea names to island names.

Date: October 24, 2015

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Rosati Room, Richardson Library at DePaul University Lincoln Park Campus, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

Invited Participants: Social Studies Teachers in Chicago Metropolitan Area (Teachers of social studies, history, civics, geography, and economics are invited).


  • Registration is complementary for current teachers. Registration for other attendees is $75.00.
  • Pre-service teachers are invited to apply; invitations will be extended based on space available.
  • Mileage will be paid for those who drive more than 10 miles per round trip, and a maximum of 60 miles per round trip.
  • Parking will be provided.
  • Materials will be provided.
  • Participants are invited to a group dinner following the workshop at a restaurant close to DePaul University from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

For more information or to register, please contact Prof. Jongnam Choi <>.

National Geographic Bee: Early Bird Registration

Bring the exciting competition of the National Geographic Bee to your school! Log on to to register today.

Each year, thousands of schools in the United States participate in the Nat Geo Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.

All Workshops and Institutes 

2015-09-25T05:11:48.63-05:00 2015