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Geography Awareness Week


This year's Geography Awareness Week theme was "Declare Your Interdependence." Students explored the idea that we are all connected to the rest of the world through the decisions we make on a daily basis, including what foods we eat and the things we buy. 

Check out to investigate your own interdependence by completing the "Global Closet Calculator" - an interactive game that gathers the contents of your own closet by origin to generate a map showing your unique global footprint. 

You can also download and print this year's poster to find global connections.


The 2011 GAWeek theme of community geography focused on exploration as students learned to use geographic principles and perspectives to examine the places where they live in a new way, and find the adventure in their own communities.

Explore Your Community!

To help students see their communities in a new way and find adventure in their own backyards, National Geographic Education and the UK-based Geography Collective have designed a series of “missions” which can be undertaken by class groups, small teams, families, or individuals and—once accomplished—collect points toward earning “Explorer Badges.”

The missions are grouped under four “Explorer Badges” in Photography, Mapping, Storytelling, and Take Action! These badges are earned by completing a certain number of missions in each category.

  • Click here for some mission examples to get you started (with Michigan GLCE connections)


The 2010 GAW theme was FRESH WATER!

MGA focused on two main projects and has produced resources and activities to help teachers and students learn about Great Lakes fresh water resources.

Great Lakes Tile Maps and Activities

This Great Lakes puzzle and accompanying activities are a great way to engage students in learning about and preserving the freshness of the Great Lakes.

Instructions for Teachers

1. Print a black and white Great Lakes Watershed Tile Map in the size you would like to use:

2. Print the Printing and Assembly Instructions.

3. Print the Great Lakes Watershed Master Map for reference.

4. Print the Great Lakes Watershed Tile Map Activities.

Helpful Printing Tips

  • Print a test page to gauge quality of the image.
  • Printing large maps may take several minutes.
  • Use an inkjet printer and use the "Draft" quality option for best image quality (this will also save on ink).

GAW Walk for Water

Two-thirds of the world's families do not have access to water in their homes and must walk to get it. People in undeveloped countries have to walk an average of 3.7 miles in order to get fresh water. What would it be like for you to have to walk to the nearest lake or stream to get drinking water or water for laundry and bathing? This activity will open students' eyes to the importance of keeping our water clean and appreciate the fresh water near us.

NGS Geography Awareness Week

Submit Your Activity

We want to hear from you! We'd like to know about your Geography Awareness Week. Did you take a Walk for Water with your class? Did the newspaper cover your story? Did your class put together a tile map? Did you explore Fresh Water in another country? 

Click here to complete the “Submit Your Activity Form” for a chance to win GAW prizes for your classroom! You could win a National Geographic Society Family Atlas, a complete copy of the MEECS Water Quality Unit, or a set of Michigan Posters with activities (appropriate for 3rd and 4th grade).

Geography and History Project

The National Geography and History Project: Developing a National Resource Base, Phase II is funded by a grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation. Built on the success of the first phase of the project, the Geography and History Project is a curriculum development and outreach project centered around the GeoHistoGram. 

Geography and History training workshops across the United States are taking place through the cooperation of geographic alliance partners of the NGS alliance network. Teacher Consultants in Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, New York, North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan are trained to provide workshops on the GeoHistoGram and provide the accompanying materials.

Contact an alliance near you for more information about scheduling a workshop in your area: