Professors Create Geography Workshop To Help Second-Graders Learn Map-Reading Skills
April 28, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: April 28, 2006
CONTACT: John Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
LUBBOCK – Two Texas Tech University professors are piloting a new teaching tool that
uses technology and an elementary school’s neighborhood to help second-graders learn
to read a map, understand aerial imagery and create geographic awareness of their
Reese Todd, an assistant professor in the College of Education, and Tina Delahunty,
assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Geography, created a four-stage
exercise that trains children to understand directions, scale, perspective and map
Their project uses children’s literature to show aerial perspective in picture books,
Todd said. Then, instructors and students map neighborhood streets and landmarks around
the school with masking tape on the floor. Also, children are shown aerial photographs
of the neighborhood and asked to pick familiar landmarks. Children create their own
aerial perspective landscape paintings at the end of the lesson.
During the second workshop, children are shown older aerial photographs so they can
identify changes and development.
“We are contributing to increasing geography literacy in the state of Texas,” Todd
said. “There’s a new report from the National Research Council that says there is
a decrease in the number of minutes of social studies instruction in the kindergarten-through-fifth-grade
classrooms. By the time students get into grades six through 12, they don’t have the
foundational knowledge they’d need to do the work in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.”
Delahunty said the workshop was funded with a National Geographic Society Education
Foundation grant. The professors presented their workshop in November at the National
Conference for Geographic Education in Birmingham, Ala.
“National Geographic reports that now, more than ever, geographic literacy is necessary
to understand global events,” Delahunty said. “U.S. citizens ranked second to
last in a nine-country geographic literacy survey. The National Research Council now
is stressing the importance of geographic literacy in the kindergarten-through-12th
grade curriculum. We’re just trying to do our part. But, what is great is that the
children just love the learning activities. It is amazing how quickly they pick up
Delahunty and Todd will teach workshops at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Arnett Elementary
School, 701 E. Queens St.; 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Idalou Elementary School, 601 S.
Walnut Ave.; and 1 p.m. May 8 at Casey Elementary School, 501 Seventh St. in Wolfforth.
Media should contact Todd or Delahunty before attending the classes.
CONTACT: Tina Delahunty, assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Geography,
(561) 414-4372, or email@example.com; or Reese Todd, assistant professor in the
College of Education, (806) 742-1997 ext. 281 or firstname.lastname@example.org