A strong awareness of geography and quality Social Studies instruction can positively impact today’s students as they grow up with global opportunities for learning, working, and traveling. Historical, cultural and geographical awareness can help students make connections with one another and with other subject areas. In their statement online, The Georgia Council for the Social Studies shares that quality social studies instruction can help students “develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.” Parents can help advocate for the teaching of social studies in our schools, and assist our children’s educators by encouraging their schoolwork in this area. There also are ways to supplement this learning at home by helping our children with global awareness in ways that are fun.
Globes or maps can increase interest in learning about the world around us. They can be used in a playroom or bedroom as decoration. In addition, they are a good resource to have around for older children doing schoolwork. There are a variety of interactive globes available online that can encourage children through touch pens to learn more about the countries they seek out, or to play games. For families that travel or move a lot, a scratch map that allows the family to mark off places they have been may be a fun way for young children to begin to comprehend travel time and distances, and you can find both USA scratch maps and full Earth ones (which are generally larger and more expensive). For a bright touch in a playroom, consider a stick-on wall map. For around $10 on Amazon, the company Home Evolution has a large wall decal with oceans, continents, and animals for each habitat marked. Many other decor companies make these as well with different fonts, colors, and focuses.
Meredith Flory, contributor of the Augusta Family Magazine.