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Digital Classroom for NYS Geographical Literacy

About the Digital Classroom for New York State Geographical Literacy

This project came about as a result of the several years I spent assisting 3rd grade teachers in their teaching of New York State Geography.  I experienced, and heard anecdotal evidence of many students even beyond the 3rd grade level, who were unable to locate New York state and its major geographical features.  I also found a dearth of appropriately leveled print and digital resources focusing on the key concepts of the Ithaca City School District social studies curriculum relating to New York state (below).  

Throughout this website I have used large text, and clear, bright photographs and images to foster interest and understanding in emerging readers. I hope that these activities and informational pages will assist teachers in providing students multiple opportunities to learn and reinforce geographical concepts. 

Main sections:

Maps - This section contains maps of New York state highlighting either geographical features or statistical information about New York state.  Mouse over these maps to find interactive features.  Each highlighted city or landmark links to an informational page about the place.

Glossaries -  A photographic glossary of landform terms provides photos of each landmark and links to maps higlighting its location. An image glossary of geograhy terms defines important terms used in the field of geography.

Geography Resources - This section lays out the field of geography in these main sections:
  • What is Geography? -  A slide show with a short definition of geography.
  • Where are we? - A slideshow moving from the universe down to each district school.
  • What is a map? - Explanation of what a map is and how they are used with examples of several kinds of maps.
  • Parts of a map - Example maps showing important features of maps.
Geography Links - External websites with information and activities related to geography.

Teachers Guide - An overview of the entire website.

Games and Activities - Games and activities which teach geography skills and terminology.  

Unless otherwise noted, the information and graphics on these pages may be copied for non-profit, educational activities.  

The Digital Classroom for New York State Geographical Literacy was created for the Ithaca City School District during a sabbatical in the spring of 2009.

Major concepts of the ICSD 3rd Grade Core Social Studies Curriculum:
  • What is a state?
  • Regional location of New York State
  • Physical geography of New York State
  • Tompkins County and the Ithaca area
  • Climate terms: weather, climate, temperature, precipitation, humidty
  • Landforms: coast, bay, harbor, mountain, plain, plateau, gorge, canyon
  • Rivers: Mohawk, Hudson, Niagara (& falls), St. Lawrence, Genessee
  • Mountains: Adirondack, Catskill, Appalachian
  • Lakes: Champlain, Ontario, Erie, Finger Lakes
  • Cities: New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse, Ithaca, Albany
  • Map Reading Skills

Created by:
Paula D. Long
Teacher Librarian
Beverly J. Martin Elementary School
Ithaca City School District
Ithaca, New York
Created 2009