According to National Geographic, Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek) was created to raise awareness to a dangerous deficiency in American education and excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life. GeoWeek is celebrated the third week of November every year (this year it’s November 16-22). The National Geographic Society uses National Geography Awareness week to ensure that our youth understands how the Earth’s geophysical, human, and ecological systems work. In other words, National Geographic is working to make kids geo-literate.
This year’s theme is “declaring your interdependence,” which focuses on people making connections internationally through the foods they eat, the foods they buy, and the decisions they make. Although food is the focus this year, participants are encouraged to celebrate ALL aspects of geography! This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to stop and evaluate how much they really know about geography. It’s important to get to know our world in its entirety! Share your knowledge with your kids and let them share with you! Here are a few ways to celebrate National Geography Awareness week.
Activities To Increase Geography Awareness For Kids
Show your Support
Spread awareness any way you can. Try showing your support by following @NatGeoEducation and/or @LoveGeography on Twitter to discover fun geography facts, post on social media about why geography is important using #GeoWeek and #geography at the end, write a letter to your local newspaper editor about sharing geography awareness, or simply learn about one place you’ve never heard of before and post about it!
List Places You Want to Go
Have every family member list 10 places he or she wants to visit. Collect the lists and see which places overlap! Create a master list and talk about why they want to visit those places. This makes for a great dinner conversation during GeoWeek.
Hold a Geography Quiz/Trivia Night in Your Community
Get together with some friends and test your geography knowledge! This is a great excuse to have a fun gathering and bond with friends in your community. Do you know of a local restaurant that has a trivia night in your area? See if they will gear their questions toward geography during GeoWeek!
Visit National Geographic’s Interactive Maps
Explore food crops of the world with your kids! Click through the interactive maps to view where in the world different crops are produced. Below the maps, there are tabs with more information on crops, questions, fast facts, and vocabulary. Try recreating one of the map or making your own! Get creative with your materials.
Cook a Recipe from National Geographic’s Sustainable Seafood Recipe Cards
These recipe cards contain dishes that are all prepared with sustainable shellfish and fish. There are many delicious meals to choose from such as shrimp and corn pancakes, wild salmon tacos, and arctic char croquettes. Follow this link for more recipes and cirriculum: Sustainable Seafood Recipes.
Bake a Cake of the World
In the mood for something sweet? Try baking a cake of Earth or of the United States. Have your kids draw on the continents or states with their very favorite icings! If you’re feeling fancy, try baking a multi-layered or multi-colored cake. Cut into the cake and have your kids label the core, crust, and mantle!
Remember, National Geography Awareness week is NEXT WEEK! Start making plans to celebrate and spread geography awareness. Which fun activities to increase geography awareness for kids will you do? Share your plans or your favorite geography activities and crafts!