Canadian Geographic – Classroom Contests

The beginning of the school year also means the beginning of Can Geo Education’s contests. This year, get your class excited about geography by signing up for one (or all) of our free contests!

Canadian Geographic Challenge
The Canadian Geographic Challenge is Canada’s national geography bee. It’s a great way to highlight how fun and diverse geography is. Sign up any grade 4-10 class this fall.

Classroom Energy Diet Challenge
Teach your students about energy using this fun and engaging program. Available to all K-12 classrooms.

Canada’s Coolest School Trip
This year, one lucky grade 8/secondaire 2 class will embark on an all-expenses-paid trip to number of Parks Canada places.

Visit to find out where the lucky winners will be heading and register in September.


Grade 8 Geography: Disappearing Forests: Google Map changes since 2000

Using Landsat imagery and cloud computing, researchers mapped forest cover worldwide as well as forest loss and gain. Over 12 years, 888,000 square miles of forest were lost, and 309,000 square miles regrew.

Global view of problems … and fixes
Applications for the new global forest map range from calculating how much carbon is stored in the world’s forests to identifying what countries are logging trees most ravenously. “Whether you are a tree hugger or a logger, this map could be useful to you,” Hansen noted.

The map does bring a new level of transparency to forestry accounting, he added. It opens up for the world to see the impact of Brazil’s conservation policy, for instance, where the rate of forest loss was halved to 8,000 square miles a year over the course of the decade.

The map also shows that Brazil’s deforestation reduction is more than offset by increased forest loss in places such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay and Bolivia. Overall, the forest loss in the tropics is increasing by 811 square miles a year, according to Hansen and colleagues, who discuss the map in a paper published today in the journal Science.

Grade 8 Geography: World Population Pyramids & World Violence

Answer these questions on this Word document: World Population Pyramids

Click on several countries of the world and notice the different shapes of population pyramids. For example, check out Azerbaijan. Quickly scan the recent history of the country to see a possible explanation for it’s shape.

Currently, Zimbabwe has the largest youth bulge in the world.  As of 2012, the largest youth bulge is found in Zimbabwe, which has a population structure with 56.57% between the ages of 15 and 29. Briefly skim the article: Human rights in Zimbabwe.  Summarize in one or two sentences that might explain Zimbabwe’s youth bulge.


On the World Violence map, answer the following questions:

  1. True or False: the USA is more violent than Haiti?
  2. True or false: Egypt is more violent than Canada?
  3. Where does Canada rank, in terms of suicide?
  4. In gener1al, suicide is more prevalent in the  _______________ hemisphere.

Life Expectancy:

  1. Longest living country in the world is?
  2. Canada’s longevity ranking is?
  3. What is Haiti’s average life expectancy?
  4. Which country has an average life expectancy of 66.2?

Causes of Death:

  1. What are the top three causes of death for Canadians?
    1. Where is suicide on the list?
  2. What is the #2 cause of death in Guatemala?
  3. What do you notice about Haiti‘s life expectancy?
    1. What is the number one killer of Haitians?
    2. What is surprising about #4 and #6 on the list?

Inquiry-based Grade 8 Geography Unit – By Karisa Sharpe

gril2The following document was written by Karisa Sharpe / 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

Continue reading

Grade 8 Geography: An Interactive Map of Global Ecological Land Units: bioclimate, landforms, rock type, vegetation

An Ecophysiographic Stratification Approach

A New Map of Global Ecological Land Units booklet

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), Esri, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) are pleased to present A New Map of Global Ecological Land Units – An Ecophysiographic Stratification Approach. This paper describes the concepts and methods for delineating ecological land units (ELUs) as distinct physical environments and associated land cover. Detailed and accurate maps of ELUs are presented for the Earth and the continents, as well as regional examples.

The ELUs were developed in response to the need for a high resolution, standardized, and data-derived map of global ecosystems for use in analyses of

  • climate change impacts,
  • assessments of economic and non-economic value of ecosystem goods and services,
  • biodiversity conservation planning, and
  • natural resource management.

The work was done in a public/private partnership between USGS and Esri, and was commissioned by GEO as part of an intergovernmental protocol called the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). With this special publication, AAG recognizes the work as a contribution to understanding the physical and ecological geography of the Earth.

Interactive Map

The United States Geological Survey has published a new global ecosystems map of unprecedented detail.

The map was produced by a team led by Roger Sayre, Ph.D., Senior Scientist for Ecosystems at the USGS Land Change Science Program. It is a mosaic of almost 4,000 unique ecological areas called Ecological Land Units (ELUs) based on four factors that are key in determining the makeup of ecosystems.

  • Three of these—bioclimate, landforms, and rock type—are physical phenomena that drive the formation of soils and the distribution of vegetation.
  • The fourth, land cover, is the vegetation that is found in a location as a response to the physical factors.
  • You can read more about the research in this blog post.

This Story Map Journal has two main features, an ecosystems browser and an ecosystem tour.

In the ecosystem browser, opposite, point and click at any location on the map and the name of that ecosystem appears in a pop-up box. In general, tans are deserts, yellows and light greens are savannas, darker greens are forests, mountainous regions have texture, reddish is warm and bluish is cold. The browser includes pan and zoom functions.

Download the high resolution PDF booklet (33.8MB)

Download the low resolution PDF booklet (1.9MB)