In early grades, children should do things
that build a solid foundation for inquiry in later grades.
This commonsense idea can be hard to implement in school districts where different grades are put in separate buildings, so that teachers rarely discuss curriculum with teachers in earlier or later grades. It can be even more difficult in a state where standards for different grades were drafted by different people. It becomes almost impossible where teachers are encouraged to develop their own lessons based on internet keyword searches.
Recognizing these pressures, the Michigan Geographic Alliance
has been working since 2011 to develop a set of simple, one-page diagrams
that describe learning progressions for a short list of “Big Ideas” in geography.