Episode 66: Teaching Geography with Chris Heffernan

In episode 66, Dan and Michael talk with middle school world geography teacher and #WorldGeoChat moderator Chris Heffernan about teaching geography.

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Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources

  1. Check out the #WorldGeoChat moderated chats on Twitter on Tuesday nights at 9pm EST/8pm CST or join the conversation 24/7 using the hashtag
  2. You can find the #WorldGeoChat blog at WorldGeoChat.wordpress.com
  3. “The Power of a PLN” from the #WorldGeoChat squad  for National Geographic: https://blog.education.nationalgeographic.com/2017/08/24/the-power-of-a-pln/
  4. Chris has written a number of helpful blog posts, including:
    1. Stop making students memorize maps!
    2. 3 ways to add geography to your classroom
    3. You don’t need to teach geography to be a global educator
    4. 3 things we could do tomorrow to make Americans geoliterate
    5. Why geography matters now more than ever
    6. Geography to save the world
  5. Check out the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) and their conference at ncge.org
  6. Check out Google Earth; Google My Maps; Google Expeditions
  7. Blog posts from #WorldGeoChat moderator Pete Spiegal on Google Maps:
    1. New Google Earth basics
    2. New Online Google Earth tutorial: Part II
    3. New Online Google Earth Tutorial: Part III
  8. Planet Money T-Shirt Project NPR story, series, videos (intro, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, all) and Lesson Plan
  9. 99% Invisible podcast episode on shipping containers: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/reefer-madness/
  10. Chris has his students plot out 10 countries and physical features in a region on satellite view to understand and do a See-Think-Wonder: What do you see? What do think about what you see? What do you wonder about what you see?
  11. Check out the UN Sustainable Development Goals: GlobalGoals.org


Chris Heffernan teaches 7th-grade world geography at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville, Illinois, and is starting his seventeenth year there. He loves maps, but hates when students are forced to memorize them. Chris has focused his course on having students appreciate the different ways that people around the world are influenced by physical systems. He is passionate about water issues and strives to have his students take action to solve problems ranging from issues at school to the global water crisis. He can be found on Twitter @cheffernan75 and through the #worldgeochat blog (worldgeochat.wordpress.com).

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