Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Support for Educators in the Field

WCE Brings Geography, Agriculture to Area Schools

Monday, March 03, 2014

Buchanan to Develop Geography Kits for Elementary Schools

Watson College faculty member Lisa Buchanan has received a 2014 Geographic Literacy Award from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The award was created to encourage the integration of geography into the social studies curriculum. Buchanan will use funding to develop geography kits for local elementary school classrooms.

Four kits will focus on geographic elements, maps and map skills, human interaction and movement. The free kits will be available to students in six counties in southeastern North Carolina beginning next fall. In addition to non-fiction and literature related to the concepts, each kit will include inquiry based research materials such as flip cameras for student created documentaries and fabric maps for small group research.

With planned two-week loan periods to schools in the region, the program can serve 64 elementary classrooms each year.

For more information on NCSS, please visit www.socialstudies.org


WCE Brings Agriculture to Area Classrooms

Agriculture is making a comeback in classrooms across the country. Throughout much of our history agriculture and education were closely related, but public interest declined as farm populations shrank. In recent years, local Farm Bureau boards have teamed with teachers to promote healthy eating, help P-12 students better understand the concepts of global sustainability and environmental stewardship and promote the importance of agriculture to the economy.

Agriculture is still the number one industry in North Carolina and the source of employment for 20% of N.C. residents. For the past two years, WCE’s Lisa Buchanan has partnered with the North Carolina Farm Bureau (NCFB) and the New Hanover County Farm Bureau Board to bring educational resources to area classrooms through grant funding provided by the NCFB Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program. The goal of AITC is to weave agricultural-based content into core curriculum concepts taught in science, social studies and language arts. Buchanan’s work forming a three-way partnership between the university, the local farm bureau and schools in the region is considered a model for the state.

For more information, please visit www.ncfb.org