I am new to teaching Human Geography and in looking at our text (Rubenstein) the first unit is full of vocabulary terms needed for the subsequent chapters. How do you all tackle teaching this much vocabulary at the start of the year? I would love some ideas and resources if you have already found what works best. I will post my lessons as I finish them as well.
Molly, when we created our Geography Alive program, we wanted to do the same thing...front load the vocab so that students are ready to read the text. Our strategy to get students there was to create a matrix called Geo-Terms. You can see in the sample lesson here: http://www.teachtci.com/programs/middle_school/regions_and_people/G...
The idea behind this Geo-Terms matrix is that the student will complete three things: 1) write the definition in their words, 2) use it appropriately in a sentence, and 3) create a symbol or visual that will help them to remember what it means. This matrix is very easy to create and although, I'd love to hear that you were using TCI, it's something that could be adapted to any publisher-related materials.
A couple of other strategies you might think about would be to conduct a reading/vocabulary strategy activity called "What's that?" What you do is get an index card for each content/vocabulary term and write that word on the front. Make a second index card or third copy (untl each student would have one). Give each student one of the cards. Tell them they need to go to three other people, show them their card, and get that person's definition. It may or may not be correct...that's okay as this is just to get them to know the terms. After the person has gone to three other people (who do not have that same term), then they match up with the folks that did have the same term. Together they try to come up with a singular definition for it. Once you give groups an opportunity to share what they believe the terms are, you can validate or redirect when needed.
Hope this helps!
First, I would look at Martha Sharma's vocab list on AP Central- http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/courses/teachers_corn....
There is a lot of vocabulary, but it doesn't have to be taught all at once. I have my students do concept mapping to connect related terms (and MANY of the terms have direct relations) and examples of them. I also require students to use to correct geography vocabulary in their responses (during class discussions, on quizzes, on tests, etc.). They will pick up on it!
Side note- it is also essential that students also understand which terms can't coexist. For example, the lowest scoring free response question from this year's exam required students to understand that if a country has a primate city it does not follow rank-size rule.
Quizlet.com might help with getting your kiddos to practice the terms once they've been introduced. There are a few different games they can play. My kids like to compete for the best times/highest scores.