National Council for Geographic Education

Top Ten Ideas for Teaching APHG to Ninth Graders

Top Ten Videos
By Sharon Shelerud

There isn't much extra time to show videos in an AP class, but videos can be powerful learning tools.  The links and list below are ten I show every year.  Many are Ted Talks, a great resource for short and excellent videos. The others are movies where you may to choose to show the entire show or select clips to show.  There is no particular order to these ten, just my ten favorites.

1.  Hans Rosling has many excellent Ted Talks on population and development, but this one using IKEA boxes is my favorite.  It is excellent for teaching the DTM and economic development.

2. Wade Davis's Ted Talks is great for culture and language extinction and what it means

3.  Robert Neuwirths's  "Shadow Cities" is a great Ted Talk for teaching about squatter settlement's

4. Stewart Brand's 3-minute long Ted Talk is a great intro to rural to urban migration

5. Edward Burtynsky's manufactured landscapes is good for both urban and Economic Geography

6.  For Political Geography  Parag Khanna's Ted Talk is excellent for a discussion starter.

7. Cary Fowler's Ted Talks on seed diversity is great for the Agriculture unit.

8. For Urban Geography, the Pixar movie" Cars" is great for showing the decline of small towns due to highway/freeway system.  Another Pixar movie "Over the Hedge" takes a critical view of suburban development.  On a more serious note, the video "Urbanized", which I got on Netflix, shows urban development in three cities from around the world.

9.  Hotel Rwanda is an extremely powerful and moving movie.  I will often show this one after the AP Exam, as time doesn't always allow me to show it during the political unit. 

10.  I like to show "Food Inc". Although it is one sided, it is great for discussion.

There are many other great videos that people show during the course and at the end of the year, so this is just a list to get you started.   If there are topics you would like me to cover or you have questions or comments, please contact Sharon Shelerud at