Grade 9 Lessons

Teacher Voice: Grade 9 Pre-AP* World Geography—Susan Hollier, Pre-AP Geography, The Woodlands High School McCullough Campus, The Woodlands, Texas

Research shows that today’s high school students will have 20 jobs in 10 countries, so it is imperative we prepare them for the world that awaits them.

When students first enter my classroom, they think geography is merely memorization of place names on maps. It is my responsibility to teach them not only about the world, but, equally as important, to show them how they find their own place among the 6.3 billion of us sharing the planet.

I teach them about relevant, contemporary world issues to pique their interest in others (not something that comes easily to teenagers, who tend to be notoriously egocentric!) Through regular practice, I shape habits of mind that help them write timed essays that reflect critical thinking with statistical evidence to substantiate their positions.

I am teaching them to take risks in thinking and writing and challenging them to map their own way into the future. Yes, my goal is to ensure their success in future Advanced Placement Program* classes, but the reach of my class is much broader. I try to create culturally literate world citizens who understand the complexities of our ever-shrinking world. My range is broad, and my students confidently cut a wide swath as they travel into a world I can only dream about.

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