6 Strong Reasons Why Teaching Geography Skills to Special Education Students is Essential

I am excited to introduce this week’s guest blogger, Kasey from SFSETeach to chat all about geography skills! Kasey started SFSEteach to provide teachers with ready-made social studies curriculums and activities that have been specifically adapted for students with different needs.

6 Reasons Why Teaching Geography Skills to Special Education Students is Essential

What are these skills?

Geography skills primary students involve the use of maps, globes, and other geographic tools to interpret information about the environment and the people who live in it. Geographical skills examples include:

  1. Reading and interpreting maps
  2. Knowledge of physical and cultural features of the environment
  3. Understanding climate, weather, and natural hazards
  4. Ability to analyze and interpret data related to geography
  5. Awareness of global issues and the interconnectedness of the world

Geography is an essential subject that helps us understand the world around us, and it’s crucial that all students have the opportunity to develop their skills. This is particularly important for special education students, as geography education can have significant benefits for their academic and personal development. In this blog post, we’ll explore why you should teach geography to special education students.

Reasons to teach Geography Skills

  1. Practical applications
    • By focusing on practical applications, you can help students understand the relevance of geography. For example, you can teach students how to read a map to navigate their community or how to find information about different countries for a social studies project. By emphasizing the practical applications of geography, you can help special education students understand why it’s important to learn about the subject.
  2. Enhances social studies knowledge
    • Understanding the world’s physical and cultural features is crucial to understanding history, economics, and politics. Geography can provide a hands-on, visual approach to learning about different cultures and historical events. By teaching geography, you can help special education students enhance their social studies knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  3. Promotes global awareness
    • Geography education promotes global awareness and cultural sensitivity, which is essential in today’s diverse world. Geography education can help special education students develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and people. By teaching geography, you can help students develop a global perspective, which can improve their social skills and promote empathy.
  4. Develops problem-solving skills
    • Geography requires problem-solving, such as analyzing and interpreting maps, understanding spatial relationships, and making decisions based on geographic information. 
  5. Provides opportunities for multi-sensory learning
    • You can teach geography skills with maps, globes, virtual tours, and other visual aids, which can help special education students understand geographic concepts in a more tangible way. By teaching geography, you can provide opportunities for multi-sensory learning, which can improve special education students’ engagement and understanding of the subject.
  6. It’s Fun!
    • Free Jeopardy Game to Review Geography Skills PDF – If you need an activity to review geography skills with your special education students, you can grab my FREE jeopardy game here.


geography skills with a globe

Teaching geography can develop spatial awareness, enhance social studies knowledge, promote global awareness, develop problem-solving skills, and provide opportunities for multi-sensory learning. By teaching geography, you can help special education students develop essential skills and understanding of the world around them!

What can you do?

You can simply use Google Earth, maps or a GPS system to show them how to plug in their address or a location. This will help with directions and understanding navigation. You also could have students create a map of their neighborhood and where they live. This information can be helpful to them if they ever need it!

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