Geo-inquiry process

Geoinquries ( short, standards-based inquiry activities for teaching concepts found in commonly used science and social studies textbooks, using interactive maps to make the activity place-based. All that is required is an internet connection for educators and students to access and interact with web maps; no login is required unless students wish to save their work. Dozens of geoinquiries have been developed for science, social studies, math and literature classes from upper elementary through AP classes.

Several geoinquiries lessons have been adapted to "localize" the activity for students using web maps from the Wyoming Student Atlas. A recent study has shown that the capability for a student to zoom in on a map and explore familiar, local context (such as their state or even their town) and then zoom out to explore larger contexts at a regional or global scale provides an advantage in engaging the student with specific themes.

Instructor guides for grades 6-8 geoinquiries modified to include examples from Wyoming

National Geographic has also developed a more in-depth Geo-Inquiry Process  using a geographic perspective to offer a unique lens to analyze space, place, and the interconnections between both the human and natural world. Teachers work with their students to address problems in their local community, and use the Geo-inquiry process to connect complex components, see patterns, and make connections that change their communities.

National Geographic has provided a grant to develop activities for lesson plans using the online Wyoming Student Atlas as part of the Geo-Inquiry Process. Middle-school teachers in Casper, WY and Sheridan, WY are piloting activities for social studies (How natural features influence patterns in population and movement) and science (Weather forecasting and Wind and Currents) in their classrooms in 2018/2019. Please contact Margo Berendsen at if you are a Wyoming middle school teacher, librarian or facilitator interested in bringing the Wyoming Student Atlas and the Geo-Inquiry Process to your classrooms.