A way to encourage students to choose Geography for level 1

Have a three week Geography unit – teach it around option time and watch the numbers climb.

Some ideas include:

Global coffee production and consumption; issues around coffee production and consumption and how this is significant tp people.

OR the same ideas but with chocolate (see a unit plan below)

Chocolate unit outline 2017 v3


Have a three week unit on Climate change

Geography weeks unit plan



End of Year course

We had a great end of year course on Friday 30 November at Kohia Teachers Centre

Around 90 people attended and it was a busy day with lots of chatter and discussion on all things geographical.

We had three wonderful guest speakers:

Rebekah White, Editor of NZ Geographic



Fraser Morgan, speaking about his research in Antarctica and how we could include the Antartica in our geography classrooms, and

Andrew Douglas-Clifford, a GIS analyst, hobby cartographer and creator of the Te Reo map.


Thank-you to all our guests – they were interesting, enthusiastic and inspiring.

Thanks to all the AGTA committee who worked hard to ensure the day was a wonderful success.




SocCon 2019 New Zealand Social Sciences Conference

Tūrangawaewae – A Sense of Place 

‘A Sense of Place’ is our theme for 2019

Through the lens of the Social Sciences, this theme offers exploration on many levels. On an individual level it may be about identity, tūrangawaewae, or being part of a community. Communities, both physical and conceptual, have a sense of place. On a national level it may be about New Zealand’s identity, our place in the world. What has shaped it, how has it changed, and what might it be in the future?

It is a theme that draws together all four strands in the NZC – Identity, culture and organisation, Place and environment, Continuity and change, and the Economic World, and should prove to be an inspiring and thought-provoking focus for SOCCON 2019.

SOCCON 2019 is an opportunity to cement the Social Sciences as an integral component in our NZ curriculum.  Come and celebrate, as a Social Science community, the breadth and diversity of our subject area.  Connect with fellow Social Scientists to learn, be challenged and develop our skills as expert educators in our field. The conference will include inspiring keynote speakers and headliners as well as a wide range of workshops that will cover all areas of the Social Science curriculum.

30 September to 2 October 2019 – Waipuna Hotel, Auckland




Learning revolution or pathway to ignorance? Makes for interesting reading and listening

This is an interesting article for every teacher to listen to.

You might have different opinions about the content but it is a very good debate especially over the one of KNOWLEDGE vs SKILLS/CONCEPTS   and SUBJECTS vs PROJECTS.

I for one, see that knowledge are skills are so intrinsically related that you can’t have one without the other. And, perhaps the collaborative approach to learning (across subjects) might indeed be a good way to see connections between areas of learning and help students to deepen their knowledge.


And this is the link to the podcast: https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018670501

Above: Haeata Community Campus


Have you ever combined classes – what strategies have you used?

Hi Geographers – I am looking at writing a ‘help’ sheet for teachers who face the issue of teaching a combined class (ie 2 or 3 levels at the same time) as I am aware this is becoming an increasingly common problem we face in our subject. I would welcome any comments from those of you who have already faced this with both solutions and problems you have encountered.

Please do e mail me at J.Evans@tgs.school.nz.

Bevan Hunter Never had to deal with this nor would I want to. The only logical way I can think of should I be fed to the wolves,is to become a wolf. Have 2 years of ‘settings’ per standard. For example if the class was Year 12/13, then the .1 would be rotated between Tongariro and South Island, and then have 2 settings for .5, .6, .7. Obviously then the only tweak is the Level 3 involves more depth etc etc. Keen to hear how others do it.

Kat Jordan-McGrath Yes agreed, a cycle of topics is best. Easy for internals. Also depends on your students tho. If they aren’t too needy and have done geo before they can work independently on booklets, slideshows etc for externals for 2 periods per week each half of the class. And or they all do their internals that way and you just help out. Getting student teachers if extremely helpful too! 2 teachers, 2 levels – so good!


Let Jane know if you have further ideas.

Have a wonderful Term 4

I hope you have a great term everyone – soon those seniors will be gone and we will be in planning mode for 2019.

I can’t get my head around 2019 – it just seems the other day that it was the turn of the century!

Quizlets – students love these.

The first is a Quizlet on the Christchurch Earthquake for 11GEO extreme natural events (hopefully the link works). I use Quizlet Live and shuffle the teams each time, to help reinforce key points.


The second one is a quizlet on ‘temporal variations’ for tourism development in Hawaii for 13GEO


And the third one is another quizlet for The Amazon for Natural environments for 12GEO


Get amongst it all – Jacinda Andrews from Diocesan is the Queen of these – oh to have the energy myself!

Coastal Erosion – What to do?

For a coastal nation fixated on home ownership, coastal erosion represents a problem. Large parts of the country were built in the wrong place, under the assumption the land would stay put. For most of the areas likely to be hit by rising seas, there are decades to prepare before the water starts lapping at their door.

There’s no such luck in Granity, Ngakawau and Hector on the West Coast of the South Island.

This image has been downloaded from https://westcoast.recollect.co.nz/ and may be subject to copyright restrictions. Please verify the copyright status before any reuse of this image.

2018 was like no other – coastal erosion is getting worse.

Check out this internal and resources at this link

Thanks for these resources Sarah

There is an article on this topic on Sunday TV1 (7 October 2018) – check it out.

A map journal … Haiti Earthquake 2010

Check this out!


On the 12 January 2010 an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Haiti. The epicentre was just 25 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince and the focus was only 13km below the surface. The city and the surrounding area ( up to 56 km SW of the capital) were affected by strong aftershocks ( up to 5.9 on the Richter scale & only 9 Km in depth). In total around 75% of the population were affected, about 230,000 were killed, 250,000 were injured and around a million people were made homeless.
This resource is excellent for those of you looking at EQs at Level 1.
Thanks Zandra.

Google Geo Tools 2

Are you ready for another journey through the Google Geo Tools and a dive into some new developments that are out there on the Range of Geo tools that are available to us?

This is great for Geo/Social Studies teachers or any classroom teachers who just want to learn more about the tools tagged with ‘geo’ that they can use in their classrooms

This will be at the end of week 3 of Term 4 (Saturday 3rd November) with Steve Smith when we should have a little more time to think and play.

Check out my geo tools site at : bit.ly/geosteve

The day long course will cover ;

  • Earth updates
  • Expeditions
  • Tour builder/creator

There will be an emphasis on teach, learn, play on the day.

To secure your place please register your interest by 3rd October at; REGISTER HERE

The cost of the day will be $15 (includes morning tea). The course will be held at Takapuna Grammar in Auckland.

Google Geo Tools 2018 flyer

Level 1 Population Query

Hi there;

At the start of the examination it says ” In the box below, name a population case study (studies) that you will use to answer ALL the questions”
A discussion colleagues and I are having does it mean:
You select and only use one example throughout the paper?
If you have studied more than one example e.g. NZ and India, could you use NZ as your example in two of the 3 questions, and in the third India?
Can you use both examples to assist in any of your answers?
Currently, we play safe and say only use one throughout.
Does anyone know which of the 3 complies with the needs set?

Michael Palin encouraging geography

Michael Palin talks about how Geography broadens the mind – He says studying geography is key to understanding the world and “helping us to realise that we all share the same planet”

Palin said geography was a vital subject in the modern world, broadening minds and encouraging an understanding of different countries and cultures.

 “The world is much more accessible, and I think it is hugely important that we understand the world and why countries are where they are, why they live how they do, what the climate is, what they produce,”





AGTA Quiz results

Mt. Albert Grammar wins the annual AGTA quiz!

And MAGS Team B came second.

And, Takapuna Grammar was third.

Well done to all our winners!

Thank you to everyone for all your efforts and we hope the students had lots of fun.

Thanks also to the committee who worked on the questions and helped with jobs on the night – it is so appreciated by us all.



Mock examinations are up!

The “mock” examinations have been uploaded here this morning.

Please do check through the examinations yourselves (and the schedules) – they have been moderated by AGTA committee members but it is important you do this as well. 

With regard to the skills examinations and the scholarship exam:

  1. The Level 1 examination uses the 2012 Resource booklet on Sydney.
  2. The Level 2 and 3 examination are new resource booklets – they are presented here in a pdf version only.
  3. The scholarship examination uses the 2011 Resource booklet alongside a supplementary booklet. 

Not a member of AGTA but want to use these mock exams – well, contact us at agtassociation@gmail.com

Term 3

Have a fantastic term 3.

I hope that you have all had an excellent holiday and that you are coming back to Term 3 refreshed and ready for one of the busiest terms. 

I know it’s going to be a busy one for you, and for some quite stressful (pay round and all) so we are here to make life easier for everyone.


Firstly, we will have our examinations available to you all at the start of next week so that will take the pressure off. Tere are examinations (and relevant marking schedules) for all levels and all standards – excellent as students won’t have seen these before the “mocks”. I will email you when they are up on the website – probably at the start of Week 2. Yay!


Our last workshop will be held on the Wednesday 29 August at 4.30pm in HSB 1 at the University of Auckland. This session will focus on physical geography and should be an interesting one. I’ll get to register for this in a few weeks time.

Option Evenings

Most of us will be starting to encourage our Year 10s to do Geography right about now – there are lots of ideas on the website to use/adapt and make our own, so as students choose Geography.

I know at my school we have a Geography unit that we do with the year 10 Social Studies classes which are focussed on Geography in particular. This year we are looking at Climate change – why is it happening, where is it happening and who is it happening to? I teach at a girls school so we are focussing on the impacts that climate change will have on women and girls across the globe. Other potential topics could include food shortages (kids would love this as it could culminate in a food day – I envisage cake competitions, food from across the world and so on ;).  What might you do? 

If you have any ideas could you share them with me and I can put them up on the website. Thanks in advance.

Quiz for year 12/13s 

Some of you have already registered your year 12s and 13s for the annual AGTA quiz on Wednesday 8 August. 

This is to be held at Clouston Hall, St Cuthbert’s College. The invoice for your accounts department is here.

AGTA Quiz Flyer 2018

Register your team here please by Wednesday 1 August  

New resources

There have been some great resources added to the website – check them out and thanks so much to the contributors  – there is one on Seabed Mining at Patea and another on a proposal for a new housing development at Ōtuataua Stonfields in Auckland.

Please share your ideas with us also.

Heads up

We will be holding our end of year course on Friday 30 November – the date is confirmed and the details will be sent through later this term.