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Essential Resources for Geographic and Environmental Educators

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Issue Vol. 69, No. 4

Publication Date: April, 2019

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President's Message  

Page: 2

Author(s): Geddes, Ewan

This message comes as the weather is warming up after another Polar Vortex, which covered many parts of Ontario in a lot of snow and ice. No doubt the conditions left many people dreaming of where they might like to be during March Break. If you are fortunate enough to get away for a well-deserved rest, think about using Esri's Survey123 and Story Map to collect memories of the trip. For the rest of us, while we may be at home just resting up (if possible), hopefully we will be come back rejuvenated and ready to move forward in our teaching.

As a tool for collecting data, personal or for the class, Survey123 is simple and intuitive to use. Just be sure to have your Board or Provincial subscription and you will be ready to start creating content. The application can be accessed on your cell phone so you will be able to collect data, including captioned photos, and then upload them when you get a chance to access your computer (saving your valuable monthly data allowance). Using this application on a field trip with your students can offer another way to engage them during and after the excursion by having them take an active role in creating questions (called "Field Headings" in the app) that they will collect data on, and then upload their content afterward to further their learning. Survey123 is also a great jumping point to get into creating personalized Story Maps. The Story Map application is a useful tool for communicating the message of the data. When data has been collected, analysed, and evaluated, we communicate our findings. From Survey123, a spatial journal can be created and then a story map from the spatial journal can be used to share the findings with others. This process helps make the learning authentic and meaningful - keys to deeper, more lasting learning. If you are not using these tools now, hopefully you will be able to find time in the near future to try them out. When you do, you and your students can share that work for the OAGEE Spatial Technology Mapping Contest, which is now accepting submissions.

Another aspect of our teaching that all of us can reflect on to enhance our teaching of geography is to better understand our own bias and how what we say, how we say it, and the body language we use to communicate our messages may have consequences we did not anticipate, or even realize in the moment. These unintended consequences often harm our more vulnerable students, including those from marginalized groups, and, in particular, those who identify as FNMI peoples and Black youths. Journalist and activist Desmond Cole presented on Black youth in the education system, using his watershed article, “The Skin I’m In”, to bring issues of systemic racism to light at a teachers’ PD
session in Toronto this February. He shared not only how Black youth are harmfully misrepresented throughout society but more specifically in the education system. The evidence is clear: Black youth do not get the same opportunities as many other students because of the systemic bias that exists in the system.

So what can we do? Research suggests that getting kids involved in their own learning can improve student success. The discipline of Geography is a great platform to address the concern of culture bias, it is at the core of What is where? Why there? Why care? Students can use the Geographic Inquiry Process to explore and communicate their own stories.

One thing we can do is to make sure our students “see themselves” in the materials we use, from the texts we select to the guest speakers we book. But the day-to-day decisions we make are actually the most important change we can make to undermine systemic biases. By being mindful of how we are treating and responding to each student’s needs, we can interrogate where our best intentions fall flat and make changes to our approach to centre equitable, fair high expectations in an environment that is safe for all. To do this, we - all of us - must develop an understanding of our own biases and acknowledge where they impact our decisions (just as someone with a substance use disorder is better positioned to recover after acknowledging their illness). These changes at the individual level may not change the system as a whole, but it will shape a system that honours all students.

Come to the OAGEE Spring Conference in Huntsville on Friday May 3 and take an active part in field activities that will get the students doing Geography and help them become apart of their own learning. And don’t forget to submit students’ work to the OAGEE Spatial Technology Mapping Contest. Students can share their own experience and potentially communicate them to a wider audience.

Managing Canada's Resources & Industries Story Mapping Assignment  

Page: 6-9

Author(s): Peers, Stephen; Thomas, Christina

Story maps are a combination of maps, multi-media such as photos and videos, and words that are used to tell a story. In this assignment you will learn to use spatial analysis to better understand Canada’s natural resources using the story maps ArcGIS Online template.

CGC1D - Country Profile Infographic  

Page: 10-11

Author(s): Elliot, Brieanna

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.

Task

Create a 1-2 page infographic on a selected country’s demographic profile. You will use the statistics, diagrams, concepts, and terms covered in the course to describe your country now and in the future.

CGC1 - Climograph Mini Inclass Assignment  

Page: 12-14

Author(s): Thomas, Christina

Using the data sheet, select a climate station from the Landform Region you are doing for your Landform Region Travel Ad assignment.

WebWatch  

Page: 15

Author(s): Wilkie, Randy

By Randy Wilkie, OAGEE Regional Councillor, Lakehead University, GEOGRAF/X design

CGF3M - Teaching Hands-on Physical Geography  

Page: 16-18

Author(s): Gallah, Sarah

Teaching Physical Geography can be challenging at times. Students read textbooks, see pictures and diagrams, watch videos, and are passively taking in lots of information. This year I asked myself, how can I make Physical Geography hands-on? Would this help students engage with the material and demonstrate a deeper understanding? At first it took a leap of faith to try these activities, but based on student feedback, I will most definitely be incorporating these activities into future classes and courses!

CGG3O - Resource Review: Ticket to Ride (Europe Edition)  

Page: 19-20

Author(s): Bolsby, David

Activity Outline

In this activity, students play the popular board game “Ticket to Ride: Europe”. The goal of the game is for each player to complete as many train routes across Europe as they can. Throughout the game, players draw cards that allow the players to place their trains on routes of corresponding colours, but this can become difficult as players vie for the same connections between European cities to complete their own routes. The game ends when one player uses all of their allotted trains. A winner is determined by how many points each player earned from the routes they completed and the total number of trains they used. The game is designed for 2-6 players, and depending on the number of players this game can be completed in 30 minutes or less.

The Old Farts Geography Association (OFGA)  

Page: 21-22

Author(s): Andrews, Wayne; Bowen, Hal

They came back! You could see them coming out through the mists of the inter-drumlin swamps. From the four corners of the Land Between. They had railed against Capes and Bays and insisted that “Local Studies” was where it was at. They maintained the belief that GIS and GPS were the forms of Government Social Assistance that would continue to make them relevant contributing members of society.

"The Language of Geography": Graphicacy and Geographical Thinking Concepts  

Page: 23-25

Author(s): Gollick, Linda

The Autumn weather was great for OAGEE ‘s Fall Conference on Friday November 9th and Saturday November 10, 2018 at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario. The theme of the conference was “The Language of Geography” - Graphicacy and Geographical Thinking Concepts.

Thank you to - The Conference Committee - Jonathan Fletcher, Melanie Bourque, Christina Dero, Maria Gountzounis, Paul Hackl, Spencer Martin, Sarah Murdoch, Lorraine Upham, Lindsay Warner, Andrew White, and Ling Wong who helped make this great conference happen.

American Geosciences Institute - Education Geosource  

Page: 26

Author(s):

A major resource available free to teachers of the Earth Sciences, Geology, and Physical Geography. Interested? Visit and explore their website.

History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land  

Page: 27-28

Author(s): Mansfield, Dick

A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land
Adam Shoults
Douglas and McIntyre, 2017
ISBN 978-0-670-06948-0 (hardcover), ISBN 978 -0-14-319400-2 (EPUB)
307 pp, Chapters: $32.48 (hardcover), $19.77 (paperback), $13.99 (Kobo eBook)

Book Reviews & Musings - Books Enjoyed in 2017  

Page: 29-30

Author(s): Mansfield, Dick

The Armchair Traveller

One of the things that I enjoy as a retired Geography teacher is doing more reading for enjoyment. This means reading more fiction; however, I still manage to include a reasonable portion of non-fiction in my annual reading list. Over the past few years I have been able to enjoy between 30 and 45 books each year, depending on what else is going on in my life.