Planning, programming and assessing geography K–6

Resources to help you plan, program and assess geography from Kindergarten to Year 6.

The study of geography looks at where things are, why they are there and how humans interact with environments. It involves students:

  • investigating geographical issues
  • asking questions
  • acquiring information
  • analysing data
  • evaluating consequences
  • contributing to the management of physical, social, cultural and built environments.

These skills are outlined in the K–10 Geographical inquiry skills continuum (NESA).

Geography K–10 Syllabus (2015)

Through the Geography K–10 Syllabus (2015), students learn to form and express their own ideas and arguments whilst critically assessing the opinions of others. This forms the basis for active and informed civic participation and responsible membership of society.

Scope and sequences

Learn how to develop effective scope and sequences (includes sample scope and sequences).

The syllabus contains useful information to assist with programming including a guide to the syllabus, sample scope and sequences, and sample units.

Geographical inquiry process

Use the inquiry process (DOCX 101 KB) to support programming in geography.

Geography K–6 teaching and learning frameworks

The following Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 teaching and learning frameworks cover topics from the Geography K–10 Syllabus.

You may adapt these frameworks to suit the needs of individual students and your local school context.

Syllabus content

  • Important places
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander places
  • Locating places

Teaching framework

My school grounds (DOCX 79 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Features of places
  • How places are organised

Teaching framework

Local places and spaces (DOCX 238 KB)

Syllabus content

Weather and seasons

Teaching framework

Weather (DOCX 47 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Australian places
  • Australia's location
  • People's connection to places

Teaching framework

Australian places (DOCX 62 KB)

Syllabus content

Local and global connections

Teaching framework

Syllabus content

The Australian continent

Teaching framework

Features of Australia (DOC 101 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Climate of places
  • Similarities and differences between places
  • Perception and protection of places

Teaching framework

Syllabus content

Australia's neighbours

Teaching framework

Australia's neighbours (DOC 53 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Different environments
  • Significance of environments

Teaching framework

Natural environments (DOCX 59 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Perception of environments
  • Protection of environments

Teaching framework

National park case study (DOCX 106 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Factors that shape environments
  • Humans shape places

Teaching framework

Contemporary land use issue (DOCX 49 KB)

Syllabus content

Environments shape places

Teaching framework

Why live where? (DOCX 71.1 KB)

Syllabus content

Bushfire hazard

Teaching framework

Bushfire mitigation (DOC 166 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Diversity across Asia
  • The world's cultural diversity

Teaching framework

Engaging with Asia (DOC 105 KB)

Syllabus content

  • Connections shape perceptions
  • Global connections

Teaching framework

Connections and perceptions (DOCX 51 KB)

Learning sequences

Use learning sequences to support students working from home.

People live in places – 1

Students will investigate why places are special and how people can care for them. Students will explain why people need to take care of places.

People live in places – 2

Students explore the places they live and that are important to them. They investigate how the location of places can be represented on maps. They develop an understanding of what makes a place special and how this may differ for different people.

What are places like?

Students will identify and describe the features of the place they live in. They will record geographical information by representing features of the place they live on a pictorial map.

Features of places

Students examine interconnections between features, users and organisation of spaces.

Features of places 2

Students explore places across a range of scales within Australia and Australia’s location in the world. They describe connections people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, have with places, both locally and globally.

Features of places 3

Students will identify and describe the natural and human features of a familiar local place and describe the activities located there. They will represent features of places and identify where activities are located on a pictorial map.

Places are similar and different

Students examine the diverse characteristics of the natural and human features of Australia. They explore and compare the different climates, settlement patterns and demographic characteristics and natural vegetation of places in Australia and then use this information to imagine what it would be like to live in those places. Students will compare lives of the people of three Australian places, including their own place/town/city. To complete the sequence students, create and publish a mini atlas.

The Earth’s environment

Students explore the climate, natural vegetation and native animals of places in Australia and Asia. They examine the importance of natural vegetation and natural resources to the environment, animals and people and learn about the ways people value environments, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Skills focus

In this sequence, students focus on the geographical skills of mapping and data representation. They learn to construct tables, graphs and maps, and interpret these to identify distributions and draw conclusions about climate, natural vegetation and native animals in Australia.

Places and environments

Students investigate land use for a road-building project as a case study at a regional scale. They examine the geographical characteristics of the site, the interconnections between the place and a range of people with varying points of view, the role of government in the issue, and sustainability considerations.

A diverse and connected world

Students explore countries of the Asia region and the connections Australia has with other countries across the world. Students learn about the diversity of the world’s people, including the Indigenous Peoples of other countries.

Skills focus

In this sequence, students focus on the geographical skills of mapping and data representation. They learn to construct tables, graphs and maps, and interpret these to identify distributions and draw conclusions about how climate influences the distribution of where people live.

Geographical toolkit K–10

Geographical toolkit (DOCX 16.3 MB) – The interconnections between geographical concepts, geographical inquiry skills and geographical tools enables students to think and work geographically when investigating geographical knowledge and understandings.

Geography terminology continuum

Geography terminology continuum K–10 (DOCX 80 KB) – provides a list of essential vocabulary required of the NSW syllabus for the Australian curriculum K–10 geography.

Using quality literature in geography

Guide to using picture books in geography K–10 (PDF 4.52 MB) supports teachers to integrate picture books to enhance their geography teaching and programming. It provides examples of learning activities for picture books selected for their geographical and literary value.

Learning across the curriculum using picture books

Geography for small schools

Geography for small schools K–6 (DOCX 59.8 KB) supports small school planning and programming for geography using a conceptual approach.

Eight organisational ideas have been identified which align with much of the Geography K–10 Syllabus. They are:

  • Local places
  • Global connections
  • Important environments
  • Features and characteristics of places
  • Distribution of features/places
  • Environmental perspectives and significance
  • Environmental management
  • Life in different places.

Learning across the curriculum

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (DOCX 116 KB) – teaching and learning activities and links to resources to integrate the teaching of the key concepts of Country and Place, Culture, and People with the content and outcomes of the syllabus.
  • Sustainability (DOCX 84 KB) – how to embed the cross-curriculum priority of sustainability within a history program through learning snapshots with links to resources across a number of different topics from K–10.
  • The K–10 cross-curriculum resource Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia (PDF 903 KB) provides snapshots of learning for each stage with case studies that support teachers to include the diversity of Asia, achievements and contributions of peoples of Asia and Asia-Australia engagement in geography.


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  • Educational Standards
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  • Kindergarten
  • Teaching and learning
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