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.
Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest helps you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges students to create a short video connecting world population growth to one of three global challenges: preserving biodiversity, sustainable resource use, or human rights. Students can win cash prizes (featuring 80+ new prizes this year!), and participating teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The deadline for submissions is February 28th, 2019 – use this lesson plan to get started now! Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found here.
Registration is open for the 2018-2019 National Geographic GeoBee! Register your school-grades 4-8-for the annual competition that inspires and rewards students' curiosity about the world. Registration includes study resources for your class, participation and school champion certificates, and more than 400 exciting GeoBee questions to quiz your students about geography, cultures, physical features, history, earth science, and more! Register today at http://www.natgeobee.org/
Bring project-based learning to your classroom through the National Geographic GeoChallenge! This annual standards-based competition empowers student teams in grades 5-8 to address a critical issue and change the planet, just like a National Geographic Explorer. This year's theme is Tackling Plastic. Register today at: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/programs/geochallenge/
You probably know Dr. Jane Goodall for her integral work with chimpanzees. But did you know that she wrote letters and notes while out in the field? Now your students can be like Jane and join the Dear Jane Letter Writing Campaign! Submitted letters will be bound into a book and given to Dr. Goodall. As an added bonus, every educator who participates will receive a free copy of the new documentary film airing on National Geographic in 2018, JANE, which tells the true story of how her chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Write a letter to Jane.
This past Saturday I made the trek from the suburbs of Chicago to Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal to attend the 2017 Geography in the 21st Century Conference. I made this 2 hour journey across the cold, flat, farm fields of central Illinois, with my friend and fellow #worldgeochat moderator Chris Heffernan. (@cheffernan75 ) Neither of us had attended this conference before so we didn’t quite know what to expect. Although we found the conference was small in the number of attendees it was big on learning. It checked off the biggest box for a successful conference...walking out with strategies, resources, and ideas you could use in your classroom that next day! All of those new ideas and resources made it definitely worth the 2 hour drive and giving up watching a big slate of college football games.
I attended 4 sessions: “The National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process”, “Bringing the World to your Classroom”, “Geographical Thinking in Action” and “Using Historical Maps to Examine Historical Thinking and Geographic Thinking.” I learned something new at all 4 sessions which is always a win! The remainder of this post will recap my big take aways from each session.
The Illinois Geographic Alliance and the Department of Geography, Geology, and the Environment at Illinois State University are excited to announce that the 2018 Geography Education in the 21st Century Conference will be held at Illinois State University on Saturday, October 20, 2018. This free, drive-in conference for geography educators includes networking opportunities, a keynote, and a variety of breakout sessions to choose from. The Illinois Bicentennial is the conference theme this year.
This conference is applicable for a wide range of geography educators including pre-service and in-service elementary school, middle school/junior high, and high school teachers and community college and college/university geography instructors and professors. This conference is a fantastic opportunity for you to network with geography educators from around the state.
Please visit the conference website for information about the conference and the online conference registration form.
If you are interested in presenting a session at the conference, please contact the Illinois Geographic Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.