As students become more connected with the world around them, the need for current and relevant course material is becoming more apparent. Subjects like English, art or politics are often top of mind when it comes to contemporary material. Rarely do we think of geography as a “current” subject. Making Connections: Issues in Canadian Geography, Third Edition (Pearson) brings geography into the real world for students.
In a previous post, we touched on the difficulty that teachers encounter when it comes to keeping students’ attention in a world of smartphones and tablets. If that is true for subjects like English, it is certainly true for geography. It’s not uncommon to hear a student say, “When am I even going to use this?” Making Connections, Third Edition, overcomes this obstacle in one great way: it shows students the real-life applicability of the subject.
Many students exhibit lack of interest in school courses, because they do not immediately see the subject’s relevancy in their lives outside of getting a grade. Making Connections, Third Edition, addresses this by posing real life questions to students, such as, “Should Canada have a one child policy?” It then provides supporting points for each side of the debate, encouraging students to make their own connections and come to their own informed conclusions.
The text also explores natural resources as they are tied to the economy. Chapters on natural, renewable and non-renewable resources, as well as population, manufacturing, the service sector, and the economy, come together to provide a complete and connected picture of the relevancy of geography in our daily lives.
Why teachers will want to use it in their classrooms
This textbook includes preparatory material with OSSLTs in mind. It also provides teachers with support in the form of sample lesson plans, summaries for each unit and chapter, answer keys, assessment checklists and rubrics, modifiable line masters, lesson support, and curriculum support.
Above all, what teachers will appreciate the most is seeing their students make connections between what they are learning in the course and the world around them.
Why students will want to learn it
This textbook is great at making difficult information accessible. It includes interactive learning opportunities through ArcGIS, Geo Flight, and Google Maps, which speak to students through mediums they use every day and can easily navigate. It also gives students a chance to apply the theory they learn in the classroom.
The book even goes a step further by including a “Skills Tool Kit” section, which breaks down the concepts, technical terms, and skills required to use and read the graphics included in the textbook.
Essentially, Making Connections, Third Edition, provides students with all the tools they need to succeed in their Grade 9 geography course. Whether it’s a question of the Canadian economy or their future, your students will leave your classroom at the end of the year with all the skills they need to advance to their next steps.