Home NYC Working Group Chesapeake Project Membership Upcoming Events In the News Newsletter
Geography Awareness Teaching Materials Geography Links Contact Us

In The News

Family Geography Challenge

March 17, 2009
Gail Hall


We are always pleased to share events that are happening across New York, especially when they are organized by NYGA members. Gail Hall, a long-time Teacher Consultant from West Seneca School District (near Buffalo) has organized a Family Geography Challenge. They recently had their first night of activities. This is what she reported to us:

The Family Geography Challenge is comprised of two family meetings and the actual "challenge."  During the first meeting, my
fourth graders assisted the younger students in decorating and presenting to the parents, several completed NY geo-cookies, which they could then eat.  The families were given National Geographic Home Journals in which they are expected to write about 5 or 6 geographically significant news stories they have read about or viewed on TV together.  They learn how to think about these news events in relation to the Five Themes of Geography. My fourth graders took over much of the guidance during the evening geo activities, as they helped the younger students.

Finally, all the children take the Kids' Pledge, and all the parents take the Parents' Pledge that they will work hard to complete the Challenge. Then, after a 6-week period, we have a Geo Party (this one is March 24th) where families that completed the journals receive free maps and other prizes after participating in some geo games.  Our PTA helps me provide some ethnic snacks from around the world.


Photos above: Gail Hall discusses the Kids' Pledge at Family Night, and the children decorate New York State cookies.

If you think this is an activity that you could do at your school, let us know! We'll send you the information on how to get started. If you want to correspond directly with Gail, email her by clicking here.