Saturday, October 29, 2011

10 Ways to increase your "GQ" (geo-literacy quotient)

1. Bring the world into your home.
Do you own a globe, maps or world atlas and use them to look up places in the news? Check out the mapmaker kits from National Geographic Education.

2. Check your family's knowledge.
Test your family's global knowledge. Do you and your family know the fundamentals of geography from the local to the global? Find games and activities here that teach about the world.

3. Know what's going on.
Do you and your family watch news programs, listen to news radio, and read the newspaper? Don't forget to check the new kid-friendly web sites like BBC Newsround, Time for Kids, and National Geographic Kids News. Talk about what's going on - not just in your community but also in your state, your country, and all around the world.

4. Get out there.
Have you tried EarthCaching or geocaching? They are great outside activities. Visit new places - nearby towns, different neighborhooods, local and ntional museum exhibits, and other countries - on day trips, weekends, or vacations. Learn more here.

5. Understand your own community.
Everything is connected. Make it a family mission to know your community - why it's where it is, how it was settled, who lives there now and its connections to the world through business, arts, music, technology and sports.

6. Know where things come from.
What are the global connections in the food your family eats, the clothes you wear, the games you play and the music you listen to? Make a map that shows your interactions with the world every time you eat or get dressed.

7. Broaden your family's horizons.
Courses, research projects, and extracurricular activities expand kids' understanding of their world - as do books, magazines, videos, and games that feed their natural curiosity.

8. Support your schools.
Does your school have what it needs to teach about the world? does it offer geography courses? Does it have up-to-date maps, globes, atlases, and software? Find your local school or parents' organization and get involved. Start a geography club and celebrate Geography Awareness Week!

9. Spread the word.
Contact your state's members of Congress by sending a letter here asking them to support legislation that would fund efforts to improve geography education nationwide.

10. Sign up for National Geographic Education Compass e-newsletters. (Family or Teacher edition)
You'll get helpful tips, the latest news, links to great resources and fun gamves, information about contests and offers, and much mure. Sign up here - and discover the power of global knowledge.

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