New Earth-Based Activities in the ArcLessons Library

A new set of activities about the Earth have been added to ArcLessons that promote geoliteracy through earth investigations as quizzes and matching activities.  Each of them model “What’s Where?”  “Why is it there?”, and “So what?”  The first was created by a colleague at the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in Texas, entitled, “Where in Indian Country?”  In it, clues about physical and cultural geography are used to match satellite images with monuments, each of which is significant to Native Americans.  Monuments speak to history and landscape, representing wars, warriors, gods, and animals; some are natural wonders of spiritual significance.  A brief description of each of 15 monuments is included on the slides.  Through this activity, you are thinking spatially and considering geography, culture, climate, landforms, land use, and other factors.

I created an activity along similar lines that I call the “City and Country Ground Image Matching”.  Can you use physical and cultural geography clues to match the ground photograph provided with its correct city and country?  In so doing, you are thinking spatially and considering language, culture, climate, landforms, land use, transportation methods, and other factors to determine the correct answers.

I created an Earth Quiz using ArcGIS Explorer Online’s presentation mode.  The Earth Quiz asks you to think spatially and creatively about the “whys of where” using maps and imagery for famous waterfalls, cities, coastlines, and other physical and cultural features.  These include the famous “Earth eye” in Mauretania, the Dorset Coast in England, and other wonderful landscapes.

Along these same lines, my ArcGIS Explorer Online “Weird Earth” set, encourages the exploration of the planet using bizarre, unusual features.  Through their intriguing nature, they help students to think spatially using a variety of themes and scales.  One of my favorite things about “Weird Earth” is that not all of these mysteries can be explained!

Image from Earth Quiz: Name that Place

Image from Earth Quiz: Name that Place

These are only a sample of the earth-based activities that promote geoliteracy that are in the ArcLessons and that are on ArcGIS Online.  Keep checking this blog for additional resources that appear weekly.

How are you using these resources in your instruction?

-Joseph Kerski, Esri Education Manager

Joseph Kerski

About Joseph Kerski

Joseph Kerski is a geographer who believes that spatial analysis through digital mapping can transform education and society through better decision-making using the geographic perspective. He serves on the Esri education team and is active in GIS communication and outreach, creates GIS-based curriculum, conducts research in the effectiveness of GIS in education, teaches online and face-to-face courses on spatial thinking and analysis, and fosters partnerships to support GIS in formal and informal education at all levels, internationally. He is the co-author of Spatial Mathematics, The Essentials of the Environment, The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, and other books. Follow him on Twitter @josephkerski
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