Geography–A Collaborative Opportunity

Collaborative Lesson Ideas for Science, Social Studies and Library ScienceDo you remember learning about geography when you were in grade school? I do! My teacher sent me to the school library with a blank map. I found an atlas, flipped through the pages, and located the map I needed. I colored in my map to look just like the one in the atlas. That’s it. I can’t tell you a thing about the country I was coloring, but I remember using pretty colors and doing a nice job outlining.

Imagine how this “lesson” in geography would look if classroom educators and the school librarian collaborated on the project. They would use their respective standards to develop a robust and meaningful lesson. Learners would be driven to do a lot more than just color in a map. Compare the Competencies, Indicators, and Performance Expectations listed with each standard. How can these standards ramp up geography lessons?

Let’s give that map-coloring activity a makeover. Here is a lesson idea that integrates the AASL Standards with NGSS and C3.

Collaborative Geography Lesson

AASL Explore Shared Foundation/C3 Inquiry Arc Dimension One and Two/NGSS Practice 1

Essential Question: What can we learn about the world by understanding how people get water?


  • Ask learners what they already know about drinking water. How do people access clean drinking water in different parts of the world?
  • Introduce The Water Princess by Susan Verde. Ask learners to read the title and look at the illustration. What they can expect to learn from the book?
  • Wonder aloud while you read. Invite learners to ask questions. Write inquiries for investigation on chart paper.



  • Invite learners to do an image search of women carrying water. Ask learners to find out where the pictures were taken. Map the locations with a digital map. Read “8 Options for Making Digital Maps” by Richard Byrne to find a mapping tool that works for your learners.


What is your favorite collaborative geography lesson? Please share in the comment box below!


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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1 reply

  1. I really wish more people would teach this way! Big geography buff here. I have webpages of books set in different countries. Here’s the one on African countries:

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