National Council for Geographic Education

Ninth graders and AP® Human Geography Top Ten List

Top Ten Free Resources for APHG Students and Teachers

By Sharon Shelerud

 As the year comes to an end, many people are starting to evaluate what worked and what didn't this year as they begin to plan for the 2012 - 2013 school year.  Others may have just found out that they will be teaching AP Human Geography for the first time.  Someone suggested that I write a column listing "must have" resources.  I thought that was a great idea, but a difficult one.  There are so many great resources out there, and many I have not yet used, but, the ones I have chosen to include in this "Top Ten List" have proven to be invaluable for my students and/or myself as I continually look for updated materials to use in my classroom.  Please remember that this list is not a complete list and feel free to send out any "must haves" that you use to the AP listserv or to the AP Human Geography Face book site.

1. AP Human Geography Face book site. This site has new information and resources every day. People from the field generously share the resources they have found so it is easy for a teacher to access and then include in a lesson.  If you have not joined this group I would recommend you do so.

2. BBC News.  I love this site for articles for students to read as supplemental material.  It gives a different perspective than many U.S. news articles.  It will often have topics that are not highlighted in the newspapers we get at my school.  That in itself has lead to interesting discussions.

3. New York Times interactive maps.  The New York Times articles are great and I do use them, but what I really love are their interactive maps.  The ones on U.S. Immigration, U.S. Foreign Workers, The Geography of the Recession and U.S. Census are some of the ones that my students have been the most interested in.  These maps can be used for a large group discussion or as an inquiry based lesson for individuals to do.  I usually just Google New York Times interactive maps, but here is the link to their multimedia page.

4. Food Environment Atlas. An excellent resource for the Agriculture unit and topics related to U.S. agriculture.  I have used this to have students' do an analyses of the relationship between maps and to create a public service announcement.  The topics covered are quite wide and can all be related to some agricultural topic.

5. Geothentics.  This site comes for the University of Minnesota. Currently there are three issues/topics for students to research and then develop a geographic solution.  Those topics are: Avian Flu, Where to put a hospital in San Francisco and the effects of global warming on various locations around the world.  All the resources students need is included in this package.

6. Ted Talks.  If you haven't used this you need to.  Great videos.  Anything by Hans Rosling is worth previewing.  I also like Shadow Cities, Manufactured Landscape, and Disappearing Cultures.  Do be sure to preview and entire talk tough before you show it, as sometimes a word may be used by the presenter that could get you a parent call or concerned email.

The remaining resources are ones I list on my webpage for students to use for research:

7. U.S. Census Bureau -

8. Nation Master -

9. CIA World Fact book -

10. UN Human Development Index -