Inquiry-based Grade 8 Geography Unit – By Karisa Sharpe

gril2The following document was written by Karisa Sharpe / Huttonville Public School / PDSB

Geography Unit Overview

Grade 8 Geography

Geography Unit Overview – K Sharpe.pdf

Geographical Thinking

  • Spatial Significance
  • Patterns and Trends
  • Interrelationships
  • Geographic Perspective

Geographic Inquiry

  • STEP 1 – Formulate Questions
  • STEP 2 – Gather and Organize
  • STEP 3 – Interpret and Analyze
  • STEP 4 – Evaluate and Draw Conclusions
  • STEP 5 – Communicate

Unit A – Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability

  •  Analyze some significant interrelationships between Earthʼs physical features and processes and human settlement patterns, and some ways in which the physical environment and issues of sustainability may affect settlement in the future.
    • Physical environments (climate, landforms, soil types, vegetation, natural resources)
    • Types and trends of settlement patterns (linear, scattered, clustered)
    • Possible features of a sustainable community in the future and challenges in creating it
  • Use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective.
    • Issues between human settlement and sustainability (social, economic and environmental perspectives)
    • Construct maps to indicate population density/distribution and the loss of green space
    • Look at photographs of potential land-use conflicts
  • Demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns and trends related to human settlement and of ways in which human settlement affects the environment.
    • Identify significant land use issues (competition for land for agriculture, industry, housing, transportation, recreation, wilderness areas, land claims by indigenous groups, development in ecologically sensitive areas)
    • Describe ways in which human settlement has affected the environment describe various ways in which human settlement has affected the environment (e.g., water pollution from industry, agriculture, human waste; air pollution from vehicle and industrial emissions; soil contamination from pesticides, industrial byproducts, garbage dumps; deforestation and loss of habitat from expanding settlement; loss of agricultural land to urban sprawl; light pollution from large cities; disruption of migratory routes of different species; desertification from unsustainable agricultural practices)
    • Describe ways to make human settlements more sustainable (e.g., reducing water use, increasing recycling and composting, limiting the construction of housing on land that could be used for agriculture, using public transit, planting and maintaining trees)

Unit B – Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life

  • Analyze some interrelationships among factors that contribute to global inequalities, with a focus on inequalities in quality of life, and assess various responses to these inequalities
    • Factors that contribute to the quality of life (lack of access to clean water leads to an increase in water-borne diseases and to high death rates overall as well as high infant mortality rates; a country that has equal access to education for all will have higher literacy rates and will most likely have higher employment rates, a lower fertility rate and birth rate, and better maternal health)
    • Factors that have affected the economies of developed and developing countries around the world
    • Examine programs and policies aimed to improve the quality of life in various countries (governmental and non-governmental programs to provide clean water, improve literacy rates, provide drugs for people with HIV/AIDS, reduce the spread of malaria, reduce violence against women, reduce child labour or the use of child soldiers, promote fair trade, or develop alternative income programs)
    • Look at media sources to see their affect on changing the quality of life
  • Use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective 
    • Global development vs. quality of life – Construct digital and print maps as part of their investigations into issues related to global development and quality of life 
    • Examine photographs to discuss quality of life (“What do these photographs tell you about the quality of life of the people in the picture? What are the social and economic implications of what you see? Are these implications supported by information or data you have obtained from other sources?” “What does this population pyramid showing a rapidly growing population suggest about quality of life issues for this country?)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns in and factors affecting economic development and quality of life in different regions of the world
    • Identify indicators of the measure of quality of life (ex: national literacy rate)
    • Create scatter graphs to display correlations of global development and quality of life 
    • Identify groups that attempt to better quality of life
    • Identify different types of economic systems (e.g., traditional, command, market, mixed), and describe their characteristics
    • Explain how the four main economic sectors (i.e., primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary) are related to global development
    • Describe various factors that can contribute to economic development

Geography Assignment Overview:

  • 1) Inquiry Project #1 – Where Would You Want To Live? Written Report (individual)
  • 2) Map In-Class Assignment (individual)
  • 3) Mid Term Test (individual)
  • 4) Inquiry Project #2 – Future Sustainable Community – Creative Design Project (group)
  • 5) Inquiry Project #3 – Quality of Life – Inquiry Circle Roles (group)
  • 6) Top 10 List OR Geography Trading Cards? TBD (individual)

Unit A – Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability

Geography Inquiry #1 – Where Would You Live . pdf

geography-unit-a

Choose one of the following prompts to guide your inquiry:

  • a) “If you could establish a settlement anywhere in the world, where would it be? What criteria would you use to select the location?” OR
  • b) “If you could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would it be? What criteria would you use to select the location?”

Inquiry Steps

  1. Formulate questions to guide your research
  2. Gather and organize your research and data from a variety of sources
  3. Describe the connection between the physical environment and why you are drawn to this location
  4. Analyze how the following factors impact your decision:
    • Trends and patterns in human settlement
    • Population
    • Physical environment
    • Weather and natural climate
    • Employment
    • Education
    • Food
    • Housing
    • The Cost of Living
    • Safety
    • Health Services
    • Pollution
    • Transportation
    • Technology
    • Personal connection
  5. Complete a two page (one paper, double sided) written report outlining your findings. You are encouraged to use headings to organize your writing.

Inquiry Process Steps

Geography Inquiry Process – Steps.pdf

inquiry-process

Formulating Questions Inquiry Project #1 – Global Settlements

STEP 1: ‰Formulate questions to guide your research.

You have been given two prompts to inspire your specific questions that will guide your inquiry. Come up with as many specific questions that you can think.

Based on the prompt you have chosen, finish the following sentences.

  • I wonder if…
  • I wonder how…
  • This topic makes me think of…

Step 2: Gathering & Organizing Research

  • Collect research from a variety of sources. ‰
  • Put the research into your OWN WORDS (this means making your own notes!) ‰
  • Organize your research and data from a variety of sources. You may start to organize it into headings as you will have to for step 4. ‰ Place all of your research notes into your duotang for Ms. Sharpe to review. ‰
  • Begin your draft list of sources that you are using for research. You must have at least 5 sources from the following categories. Check that you are writing down your sources in correct bibliography form.
    1. (book)
    2. (website)
    3. (website)
    4. (media)
    5. (choice)

Step 3: Making Connections

Describe the connections between the physical environment and why you are drawn to this location. You may want to use the Venn diagram to outline the physical features of your location vs. what you are looking for in a location . Anything that matches can be written in the middle

  • What personal connections can you make to this location?
  • Why do you feel this is the best choice for yourself?

Step 4: Analyzing Your Decision Factors

Analyze how the following factors impact your decision:

  • Trends and patterns in human settlement
  • Physical environment
  • Weather and natural climate
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Food
  • Housing
  • The cost of living
  • Safety
  • Health services
  • Pollution
  • Transportation
  • Technology
  • Personal connection to this place

‰ Use one of the attached graphic organizers OR create your own and attach it to your rough drafts. You may find it helpful to make a bubble for each heading.  You may choose to merge some of the topics above into one bubble.

Step 5: Complete

  • Complete a two-page (one paper, double sided) written report outlining your findings. ‰
  • You are encouraged to use headings to organize your writing. ‰
  • Use the space below to work on a rough draft. ‰
  • Have at least 1 peer review your writing before you begin your final draft.
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23 thoughts on “Inquiry-based Grade 8 Geography Unit – By Karisa Sharpe

  1. I’m just starting a Geography unit after teaching years of core Music. I’m excited to try these resources out. Can anyone give feedback on what you did to change, modify. As well, are there any other links people liked using for Gr. 8 Geography. Thanks so much for your help
    E

  2. Being new to Geo this year, I feel a bit overwhelmed and I would definitely purchase your assignments. Have you considered selling the entire unit?

  3. Hi Karisa, I’m in the same boat as a lot of people. I was moved from grades 4/5 to grades 7/8 this year and am needing to teach geography, history, and science to these students. If you could share your resources that would be fantastic.

  4. Hi Karisa, I am a new teacher teaching grade 7 and 8 and have no resources and feel out of my element. Is there anyway you can share your rubric and assignments? I feel I am at odds and don’t even know where to begin.

  5. This is amazing! I am new to teaching His/Geo I would love to see your other projects too, Can you please contact me!

  6. This is amazing!!! Excellent organization of topics and research!!! Again, like the others, would you be willing to share your rubrics and attachments to the other inquiries?

  7. This is AMAZING! Is there any way you would share the rest of your unit? Even with some cost …Teachers Pay Teachers…this would be worth every penny!

  8. Hi Karisa, we can add to your unit by emphasizng the geographic definition: What is where? Why there? Why care? In addition we could add the geographic concepts of thinking that are relevant to this investigation. Then students are thinking like geographers. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Karisa, I love all of these ideas! Thanks for sharing! Is there any way that you could share the assignments that you have listed above?

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