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Illinois Geographic Alliance, Elevating Geography Education logo

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 in-service teacher education, develop curriculum materials based on the National Geography Standards, and foster public awareness of the importance of geography in our society.

News and Events

Free, Virtual IGA Summer 2024 WORKSHOPS

The Illinois Geographic Alliance, LLC (IGA) at Illinois State University is pleased to offer three workshops this summer that are free of cost:

  • WORKSHOP #1 – Hand Fans: Fascinating Objects Representing Many World Cultures, Friday, June 21, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. using Zoom
  • WORKSHOP #2 – Introduction to ESRI's Survey 123, Monday, June 24, 2024, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. using Zoom
  • WORKSHOP #3 – Introduction to National Geographic’s MapMaker, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. using Zoom

Please visit Conferences and Workshops for details about each workshop and the registration links.

Questions about the workshops can be emailed to the Illinois Geographic Alliance, LLC (IGA) at iga@illinoisstate.edu.

 

Understanding Contemporary Europe: Spotlighting the Peripheries Workshop for K-12 Teachers at UIUC, July 9-12

The Illinois European Union Center is organizing an in-person summer curriculum workshop for K-12 teachers to be held on the UIUC campus this July 9-12. The workshop theme is “Understanding Contemporary Europe: Spotlighting the Peripheries,” and Illinois teachers can receive 16 PDHs for attending. The workshop details can be found here: https://europe.illinois.edu/outreach/k-12-programs-and-resources/summer-curriculum-workshop.

 

Teacher Conference Travel Support Program

The Illinois Geographic Alliance, LLC (IGA) is pleased to announce a new program that provides a travel stipend for a K-12 teacher to attend a geography-related professional conference. A stipend amount of up to $1500 may be requested for travel to a geography conference outside of Illinois, while a stipend amount of up to $500 may be requested for travel to a geography-related conference within Illinois.  Stipends are intended to offset travel costs associated with attending a conference, such as conference registration, airfare, mileage, and lodging. Teachers who are awarded a travel stipend will attend the conference on behalf of IGA. Following the conference, stipend awardees are required to share their conference experiences with other IGA teachers during the “Geography Education in the 21st Century” annual conference held each fall or through another suitable IGA event.

Applicant Eligibility: Any in-service K-12 educator in a public or private school located in Illinois is eligible to apply for the program. Applicants must also be an IGA member. First-time applicants will be given priority over applicants who have received a stipend previously.   

Conference Eligibility: An applicant may propose a travel stipend to attend any geography-related professional conference or workshop. Example conferences include the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), American Association of Geographers (AAG), ESRI’s User Conference (ESRI UC), Illinois Geographical Society (IGS), or the Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA).

Eligible Expenses: Eligible expenses include conference registration, airfare, mileage, and lodging. Please note that the program does not allow for reimbursement of meals or per diem.

Travel Stipend: The stipend will be dispersed as a reimbursement after travel is completed. Applicants may apply for up to $1500 to cover travel-related expenses for a conference outside of Illinois (e.g., NCGE, ESRI UC), or up to $500 for a conference held within Illinois (e.g., IGS, ILGISA). Please save all receipts for travel-related expenses for reimbursement.

Deadline: The program will remain open throughout the year and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all allocated funds for the program are awarded. Applications should be submitted at least two months before the anticipated travel.

Applications: Applications should include the following:

  • Applicant name, mailing address, school, and grade level
  • Name of the conference
  • Paragraph describing the benefits of attending the conference to the applicant’s teaching or professional development
  • Estimated travel budget with itemized costs (e.g., conference registration, airfare, lodging) for eligible expenses

Applications should be submitted by e-mail attachment to iga@ilstu.edu. Applicants will typically be notified of a decision about their application within two weeks of submission. 

 

Teacher Lesson Plan Development Program

The Illinois Geographic Alliance, LLC (IGA) is pleased to announce the continuation of a program that provides a stipend up to $500 for a K-12 teacher to support the development of a geography-related lesson plan for the classroom. Teachers may use the stipend for any lesson-related expense (salary, materials, etc.). Once completed, teachers are required to submit the lesson and a post-project summary to IGA for posting on the IGA website to share with other geography educators in Illinois. Although not required, program participants are encouraged to present their completed lesson plan at the IGA’s “Geography Education in the 21st Century” annual conference held each fall.

Eligibility: Any in-service K-12 educator in a public or private school located in Illinois is eligible to apply for the program. Applicants must also be an IGA member.  

Stipend: The stipend will be dispersed once the completed lesson and post-project summary has been submitted and accepted by the IGA. Applicants may apply for up to $500 to cover any lesson-related expenses (salary, classroom materials, etc.).

Deadline: The program will remain open throughout the year and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all allocated funds for the program are awarded.

Applications: Applications should be no more than one page in length, and should include the following:

  • Applicant name, mailing address, school, and grade level
  • Description of the project
  • Identification of one or more of the Geography Standards in the Illinois Social Science Standards that relate(s) to the lesson plan
  • Budget description

Applications should be submitted by e-mail attachment to iga@ilstu.edu . A committee will review the applications and applicants will be notified of a decision about their application following submission. Awardees will have 12 months from the time the application is accepted to submit the final lesson plan to receive the stipend.

Lesson Plan and Post-Project Summary: At the conclusion of the project, please submit the completed lesson plan and a brief post-project summary report by e-mail attachment to iga@ilstu.edu.

The lesson plan should be submitted using the provided template. Please follow the instructions that are included to ensure that the lesson plan is complete and formatted correctly.

The post-project summary should be approximately 1-2 pages in length and include the following:

  • Description about how the lesson was piloted in a classroom
  • Summarize/explain how the lesson was received by students as well as if the lesson objectives were successfully met
  • Summarize/explain any revisions or improvements they made to the lesson after the pilot.

Please do not include student work, student names, or any other identifiers in the summary.

 

Explore GeoCivics

Electoral redistricting is a nonpartisan topic that keeps communication lively and cuts across geographic areas and political perspectives. Explore resources from GeoCivics https://geocivics.uccs.edu/ including online redistricting puzzles, tools for mapping your community, and explanations of redistricting criteria. For an overview, check out this video

Resources for Illinois: https://geocivics.uccs.edu/stateresources/illinois

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca Theobald at geocivics50@gmail.com. Please share, as the more you and your communities engage with redistricting, the more voices will be represe