Project GO

Overview

Project Go (Project Geography Online) is a professional development experience for pre- and in-service middle school and high school teachers in geography and social studies. It is an extension of Geography: Teaching with the Stars (STARS). In Project GO, special attention is given to the application of geo-spatial technology in real-world situations.

Project GO currently includes four modules: water resources, tornadoes, urban heat islands, and precision agriculture.

These modules are interdisciplinary in nature and can be taught during social studies, social science, geography, science, or math class time.

Each lesson builds on the previous one incrementally introducing the students to geospatial technology starting with basic skills and tools and progressively increasing user sophistication. They are designed to help develop strong spatial thinking skills in students.

Each module contains:

  • An overview of the module
  • National Geography Standards related to the lessons contained in the module
  • Extensive background information, for teachers, related to the topic of the module. These materials can also be used by students.
  • A content enhancement video that demonstrates how the geo-spatial technology illustrated in the module is used in the real world. NOTE: These videos are also woven into lessons contained in the module.

Each module contains two or three comprehensive lesson plans related to the module topic. Each lesson plan contains:

  • A lesson overview
  • Estimated time needed to teach the lesson and its components
  • Links to the materials needed to teach the lesson (student handouts, content enhancement video)
  • Learning objectives
  • A vocabulary list with definitions
  • GIS Tools and Functions (if necessary)
  • Additional resources (articles with links that can be used in the lesson)
  • A step by step plan for teaching the lesson.

In addition, each lesson plan includes features designed to support teachers in preparing to teach the lesson. These features are embedded in the lesson for easy use.

  • Technological, pedagogical, content knowledge (TPACK), and spatial skills notes related to various segments of the lesson plan. Each note is color coded and offers important information to help teach the module: 1) content knowledge (blue) notes define and explain key geographic and STEM ideas, concepts and topics, 2) pedagogical knowledge (red) notes indicate strategies for presenting and sequencing the content, 3) technological knowledge (green) notes discuss ways to incorporate technology, teach concepts using technology, and help in the implementation of geospatial technology, and 4) spatial skills (yellow) notes suggest strategies to teach about spatial concepts and skills, for example: suggestions for monitoring student involvement; suggestions for adding math to the lesson; suggestions for introducing cardinal directions. NOTE: To access these notes, hover over the color-coded words in the lesson plan, with your cursor, and the notes will pop up.
  • Links to a video-based virtual professional learning community, made up of in-service geography teachers familiar with the lesson, who discuss questions related to alternative ways of teaching segments of the lesson, for example: How should I introduce new vocabulary?; How can I get students to interact with this graph?; What are some ways of wrapping up this module?
  • Links to an education consultant who offers, via video, pedagogical insights related to ideas and strategies developed in the lesson, for example: map reading strategies; vocabulary development strategies; strategies for using video effectively.
  • Links to specific teaching strategies and resources, available on line, that can be used to enhance the suggestions contained in the lesson or mentioned by members of the virtual professional learning community, for example: KAHOOT; parking lot reading strategy; gallery walk; four corners vocabulary strategy.

Finally, Project GO offers an online forum designed to encourage teachers to ask questions , share ideas, and/or leave comments with fellow teachers around the world, related to the project materials.

Module One: Precision Agriculture

Module Two: Urban Heat Islands

Module Three: Tornadoes

Module Four: Water Resources