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Fairmont State University GeoSavvy Guide: Geography Book Club

Book Club

A geo-close reading melds geospatial literacy and academic reading literacy to promote close reading to identify and analyze geographic concepts in a reading. Geographic thinking or literacy is important to question the geography behind what you are reading, its relevance, biases, and context. 

from Integrating Historical and Geographic Thinking ​By Educational Outreach Staff, with contributions from Dr. Mark Newman and Dr. Peggy O-Neill-Jones

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash




Geo-Close Reading

‘Learning geography requires students to read widely from a vari­ety of texts and other sources of information. They need to select, compare, synthesise and evaluate information from different sources as well as use other skills to distinguish fact and opinion, and to recognise bias and objectivity in sources. ’  Biddulph et al, 2015, p157

A geographic inquiry approach is reading through the lens of spatial context:

1. Contextualize: Consider the location and its physical features, climate, cultural aspects, and historical background.

2. Analyze spatial relationships: Look for spatial relationships and connections within the text.

3. Consider perceptional geography: Pay attention to different perspectives presented in the text. 

4. Maps and visuals: Use map resources to deepen your understanding. Look for patterns, trends, and spatial distributions.

5. Connect through the real world: Consider how the concepts discussed can be observed in your own environment or in current events. 

What We're Reading


The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Common Book Committee will be hosting an interdisciplinary Lunchtime Lecture related to this year’s Common Book, The Radium Girls, on Thursday, November 9 from 12:30-1:15pm in Library MMA. Please join us for brief lectures on the Physics of The Radium Girls by April Townsend, and the Geography of The Radium Girls by Barb MacLennan. 

A Geo-Close resource for The Radium Girls will be posted after the talk.


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Some ideas for read alouds for volunteer geo-literacy events 

As the Crow Flies (Our Earth)

'How I Learned Geography' (Storyline Online)

Mapping My Day (APA)

Mapping Penny's World Leedy, L. (2000). Mapping Penny's World. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

Martha Maps It Out (Love2Read)

Storytime: Me on the Map (Tennesee State Museum)

My Dream Playground

Reading Resources 

Geography in Fiction (National Geographic)