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Essential Resources for Geographic and Environmental Educators

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Issue Vol. 61, No. 1

Publication Date: April, 2010

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CGR4M: Peak Oil: What Goes Up, Must Come Down  

Page: 6-12

Author(s): Beeharry, Tasleema


Human-Environmental Interaction

OE1 – explain how human well-being and survival depend on complex linkages with other components of the biosphere;

OE2 – identify differences in the perceptions of nature and the views on environmental preservation of selected individuals and groups (e.g., indigenous people, corporations, government, recreationists);

SE7 – evaluate the environmental, economic, and social implications of resource dependency for various individuals or groups (e.g., indigenous peoples, lumber companies, pharmaceutical companies, farmers, tourists);

SE8 – explain how various factors and processes determine the spatial distribution and short-term and long-term availability of a selected resource.

SE10 – evaluate the effects of fossil fuel use (e.g., for transportation, heat, manufacturing) on urban and rural environments;

SE11 – illustrate ways in which environmental degradation is related to human health concerns (e.g., smog and respiratory problems);

SE12 – predict the social, economic, and environmental effects of the extraction and depletion of selected resources (e.g., overfishing/fish stocks; logging/rainforests; mining/various minerals; pollution of water sources/water supply; urban sprawl/supply of arable land);

Grade 8: Where We Came From  

Page: 13-17

Author(s): Fischhoff, Tina

This lesson was adapted from Healy, Patricia. Human Geography: Discovering Global Systems and Patterns: Teacher’s Resource Package. Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Company, 2000. The lesson is a great introduction to the migration unit. It’s a great “hook” activity to stimulate interest and generally get the students into talking about movement.

The lesson plan provides the instructions for the introduction activity (Our Ties to the World) as well as the continuation of how it can be used as mapping skills reinforcement (Places of Origin). The entire lesson took two periods but depending on the class and the time length of each period, it could take more. The curriculum connections are from the Grade 8 Geography Migration unit.

Overall Expectation

Use a variety of geographic representations, resources, tools, and technologies to gather, process, and communicate geographic information about migration and its effects on people and communities;

Celebrating GIS Day  

Page: 18-19

Author(s): Rivard, Joel

GIS Day is a celebration of GIS technology that takes place every year in the third week of November. The event is part of Geography Awareness Week and is celebrated in over 80 countries. GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society - These demonstrations or hands-on sessions are typically organized by GIS experts from the federal or provincial government, private GIS companies or academic institutions. Coming to such an event is a great way to introduce schools to how the technology is currently being used.

CGC1D: Density Dilemma  

Page: 20-24

Author(s): Ennis, Katherine

Lesson Overview

Students will calculate the population density of their classroom and various classrooms around the school in an effort to provide a small-scale context for the study of population density.


  • Analyse variations in population density and use their findings to explain overall population patterns
  • Use appropriate statistical methods (i.e. calculate averages, medians, correlations) and categories of data (i.e. population distribution, density, migration rates) in geographic analysis, observing accepted conventions
  • Gather geographic information from primary and secondary sources to research a geographic issue
  • Provide appropriate and sufficient geographic evidence and well-reasoned arguments to support opinions and conclusions
  • Communicate the results of geographic inquires, for different audiences and purposes, using a variety of forms and including geographic visual supports, both conventional and geo-technological.

CGW4U: Current Issues in Music  

Page: 25

Author(s): Roberge, Alicia

Lesson Overview

Music has always been an important medium for artists for expressing their worldview. In this lesson, the students will choose a song whose theme is based on a current issue. The students will then decipher the songwriter’s perspective of the issues. Then through a series of questions, the student will identify the issue in the song and as well illustrate its complexity. The objective of this activity is to give students the tools necessary for dissecting an issue.

Curriculum Expectations

By the end of the lesson, students will:

  • explain how point of view influences an individual’s perceptions of place;
  • identify local awareness levels and viewpoints relating to a current geographic issue;
  • evaluate the credibility of sources and the reliability and usefulness of information;
  • distinguish among opinion, argument, and fact in research sources.

Geography of Sports and the Five Themes of Geography  

Page: 26

Author(s): Black, Nigel; Brown, Andrew

These brief lesson outlines were developed based on the 5 Themes of Geography: Location, Place, Interaction, Movement, and Region. The focus for each lesson is the geography of sports. Each lesson has a ministry expectation that is covered, although many expectations can be included in each lesson.

CGG3O: Top Travel Choices by Canadians To Foreign Countries  

Page: 27-30

Author(s): Fletcher, Jonathan

This exercise, developed for the CGG3O Travel and Tourism course, uses current statistical data on where Canadians travel internationally and combines it with Arcview 3.2 to give students a visualization of these top destinations, the average length of stay and the average cost per night in these countries. The maps produced will show students obvious patterns including how proximity to Canada affects frequency of visits and the duration of visits. This lesson provides an excellent starting point to generating discussion on patterns of tourist travel and interpretation of travel.