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.
The Australian continent
- Climate of places
- Similarities and differences between places
- Perception and protection of places
- Factors that shape environments
- Humans shape places
Environments shape places
|Why live where? (DOC 94 KB)
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.
- Learning sequence – People live in places 1 Early Stage 1 (DOCX 75.1 KB)
- Student workbook – People live in places 1 Early Stage 1 (DOCX 5.3 MB)
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.
- Learning sequence – People live in places 2 Early Stage 1 (DOCX 74 KB)
- Student workbook – People live in places 2 Early Stage 1 (DOCX 3649 KB)
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.
- Learning sequence – features of places Stage 1 (DOCX 80 KB)
- Student workbook – features of places Stage 1 (DOCX 127 KB)
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.
- Learning sequence - Features of places 2 Stage 1 (DOCX 77 KB)
- Student workbook - Features of places 2 Stage 1 (DOCX 1.2 MB)
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.
- Learning sequence – places are similar and different Stage 2 (DOCX 86.7 KB)
- Student workbook – places are similar and different Stage 2 (DOCX 1.5 MB)
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.
- Learning sequence – the Earth's environment Stage 2 (DOCX 75 KB)
- Student workbook – the Earth's environment Stage 2 (DOCX 991 KB)
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.
- Learning sequence – places and environments Stage 3 (DOCX 76.7 KB)
- Student workbook – places and environments Stage 3 (DOCX 103.8 KB)
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.
- Learning sequence - a diverse and connected world Stage 3 (DOCX 74 KB)
- Student workbook - A diverse and connected world Stage 3 (DOCX 73.9 KB)
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 1.62 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
- Using picture books for intercultural understanding (PDF 1.55 MB) is a resource for geography, history, English, creative arts K–10. The resource suggests learning activities based around picture books selected for their value in developing intercultural understandings and their literary worth.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures – picture books (DOCX 12.6 MB) – is a resource for history and geography that suggests learning activities based around quality literature for the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
- Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia – picture books (DOCX 1.6 MB) – a resource for history and geography that suggests learning activities based around quality literature for the cross-curriculum priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia.
- Sustainability – picture books (DOCX 2.81MB) – a resource for geography that suggests learning activities based around quality literature for the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability.
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.