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Essential Resources for Geographic and Environmental Educators

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Issue Vol. 65, No. 3

Publication Date: November, 2014

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President's Message  

Page: 2

Author(s): Hughes, Shawn

I trust that everyone had a fantastic start to the school year. By the time that you receive this message you will be looking forward to a well-deserved break.

The 2014 OAGEE Fall Conference Committee has certainly earned a much-needed break from the monstrous amount of time and effort that they gave prior to, and during, the 2014 OAGEE Fall Conference at Ryerson University. I would like to thank Paul Hackl, Ling Wong, and their planning team for donating so much of their time to bring us a wide variety of fantastic professional growth opportunities. In addition, Ryerson University’s Joe Aversa, Academic Coordinator for the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, provided a tremendous amount of on-site assistance during the conference. 

OAGEE honored Mark Lowry at the 2014 OAGEE Fall Conference. Mark received the OAGEE Award of Distinction, which is presented to an Ontario educator who is passionate about and exemplifies great Geographic education within the Province of Ontario.

Mark had been the Toronto DSB Geography Consultant for 19 years. He was the only educational consultant in Ontario that was dedicated exclusively to the discipline of Geography. Although Mark has retired from TDSB, he has not retired from Geography. We are very pleased that Mark has chosen to continue to work with ESRI and OAGEE in promoting Geographic Education. 

Mike Farley, University of Toronto Schools (UTS), devel­oped the amazing logo for our conference. Conference coordinators Paul and Ling lauded Mike’s hard work and problem-solving abilities. We are extremely fortunate to have Mike as conference coordinator for the 2015 OAGEE Fall Conference at the University of Toronto Schools.

“That was amazing” was a common phrase expressed by the astonished teachers that I witnessed leaving at the end of a workshop presented by students from UTS. We are very excited at the prospect of a conference run by Mike and his students. 

The OAGEE Spring Conference is driven by field stud­ies. This year we are proud to announce that the 2015 OAGEE Spring Conference will coincide with the Sources of Knowledge Forum in Tobermory on May 8th. Teachers will explore the Bruce Peninsula and have the option of participating in the Forum on the 9th & 10th. You can visit the Forum website at:

Needless to say, OAGEE’s volunteers have been busy. We eagerly anticipate the release of the new Ontario Curricu­lum, Grades 11 and 12: Canadian and World Studies. Our volunteers work hard to aid Ontario Geography teachers with the successful implementation of the new curriculum and to build capacity in their Geography programs.

Relocation Role Play: The Geography of Racism in Canada?  

Page: 05-13

Author(s): Ellis, Amanda; Prosser, Janeva

Learning Target

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the history of cultural relocations and its effects on the people, pat­terns and places of Canada’s geography.

Success Criteria

  • I can reflect on my prior knowledge to influence my ideas;
  • I can use critical thinking skills to make an informed decision;
  • I can use available resources effectively to investigate;
  • I can communicate my research with my peers.

Exploring the Grade 9 Curriculum – OAGEE has the Big Ideas!  

Page: 14-15

Author(s): Hughes, Joanna; Scarlett, Brenda

It is exciting to share with you one of the 4 posters being developed to support the new curriculum for the Grade 9 Geography Program. Each poster has been organized by strand around the Geographic Inquiry Process and the three questions: What is where? Why there? Why care?
How can these posters support my classroom?  

  • For Grade 7-8 teachers, these are “look for” questions to help prepare students who are about to enter Grade 9.
  • For Grades 11-12 teachers, these posters could be a possible review before getting into the senior curriculum.
  • Within the Grade 9 classroom, these questions will begin the exploration of the issues within the strand.  Students could use the posters on the first day of class to discuss the issues to be studied.  Also, the posters could be used on a daily basis to continually tie back to the overall themes being explored.
  • The posters clearly show how Strand A is interwoven into the other strands of the course and assists in helping with this transition.
  • These posters may help the students in formulating their own questions throughout the Geographic Inquiry process.  
  • The concepts of Geographic Thinking and the skills of Geographic Inquiry are all nicely linked to the posters and thus more supports are being developed in this regard.
  • Lesson plans will also be available for the use of the posters once they are piloted this year.

It is an exciting time in Geography and thus OAGEE is there to support you in these curriculum changes so you can deliver the best Geography program possible!

OAGEE and Canadian Geographic Education Award Winners  

Page: 16-17

Author(s): Hughes, Shawn

Often, we fail to recognize the contributions of our fellow teachers as they develop new approaches to enhance teaching effectiveness in order to improve students’ learning. These teachers have contributed a lifetime’s worth of work towards the betterment of Geographic and Environmental Education.
OAGEE continually seeks to improve geographic and environmental education in the Province of Ontario. 

Mark Lowry
OAGEE Award of Distinction

Mike Farley
Innovation in Geography
Teaching Award

CGC1D: Canadian EcoTours Concierge Activity  

Page: 18-20

Author(s): Bufalini, Rob

Lesson Overview

Students will select an existing Canadian EcoTour destination and pitch the area and establishment to potential vacation­ers. Students will also research and provide information about the environmental surroundings, climate and other specific geographically-related criteria.


  • describe the natural characteristics (e.g., landscape, weather, drainage, vegetation, wildlife) of their local area or region, and explain their significance for the region;
  • compare the natural characteristics (e.g., landscape, weather, drainage, vegetation, wildlife) of their local community with the natural characteristics of other communities across Canada;
  • explain how the natural characteristics of an area in Canada influence human activities.

CGW4U - World Isodemographic Map  

Page: 21-24

Author(s): Coletta, Vince


To construct a map of the world to illustrate the distribu­tion of the world’s population and rate of growth based on birth rates. The size of the country will be proportionate to its population. Students will then provide a written inter­pretation of their results.

Overall Expectations

  • Analyse the cause and effect of economic disparities around the world;
  • Analyse the impact of selected global trends on people and environments at the local, national, and global level;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of short-term and long-term solutions to geographic problems and issues at the local, national, and global level;
  • Analyse and interpret data gathered through research and investigation, using a variety of methods and geotechnologies.

Specific Expectations

  • Analyse appropriate statistical indicators to assess the quality of life in a variety of developed and develop­ing countries in different parts of the world;
  • Outline the factors that influence selected world demographic trends;
  • Predict future global demographic changes and their economic, environmental, and social implications; 
  • Gather geographic information, using a variety of geographic tools and technologies.

CGC1D: Ecozones Culminating Activity Assignment  

Page: 25-30

Author(s): Hinds-Gamble, Kelly

The Ecozones Assignment is a culminating activity developed for the Grade 9 Academic Geography course. It is designed to allow students to make connections be­tween the various characteristics of an ecozone and make conclusions as to how these characteristics influence the ecozone’s population. Ecozones are an excellent tool within the Geography classroom to look at the regional diversity of Canada and allow for the consideration of both physical and human characteristics of an area.


This activity will allow the students to demonstrate the following expectations from several different strands within the CGC1D curriculum:

Overall Expectations

A1    use the geographic inquiry process and the concepts of geographic thinking when investigating issues relating to Canadian Geography;
B1    analyse various interactions between physical processes, phenomena, and events and human activities in Canada;
B3    describe various characteristics of the natural environ­ment and the spatial distribution of physical features in Canada, and explain the role of physical processes, phenomena, and events in shaping them.

Specific Expectations

A1.4    interpret and analyse data and information relevant to their investigations, using various tools, strategies, and approaches appropriate for geographic study;
A1.7    communicate their ideas, arguments, and conclusions using various formats and styles, as appropriate for the audience and purpose;
B1.2    analyse interrelationships between Canada’s physi­cal characteristics and various human activities they support; 
B3.1    explain how various characteristics of Canada’s natu­ral environment can be used to divide the country into different physical regions.

Mark’s Web Picks #3  

Page: 30

Author(s): Lowry, Mark

Book Review: National Geographic Atlas of the World, 10th Edition  

Page: 31

Author(s): Fulton, Ron

National Geographic Atlas of the World, 10th Edition
National Geographic Society, 2014
448 pp - Hard Cover - $141.90 (Indigo on-line) $169.95+SH URL:
Soft Cover - $119.95+SH (
ISBN (hardcover) 978-1-4262-1354-0
ISBN (softcover) 978-1-4262-1353-3

Reviewed by Ron Fulton, Retired Teacher, HWDSB