I was educated in the 1980’s and it is fair to say that my Geography education was patchy; a traffic survey here (I accurately recorded 1 car after 2 hours in Tittleshall Village High Street and was told off for not doing my homework properly), some map reading there and a bit of population density thrown in for good measure. Perhaps I was ill the day we did volcanoes but what was certain was that I struggled to engage with the subject and even the colouring of maps and keys lost their appeal after a while. That was until I realised that Geography is packed full of the most amazing stories.
Stories that span the life of continents or that are over in the flash of a lightning bolt; stories of far flung places or from just around the corner and all packed with amazing drama! From the catastrophic energy of a volcano to canyons eroded by rivers, valleys carved by glaciers and mountains rising up from the earth’s crust; these stories are every bit as exciting as the clash of armies, the murder of kings and the fall of civilisations from History.
We have been telling stories about the geography around us for centuries. The Australian Aboriginal myths describe how the landscape was formed and imbue geographical features with cultural and spiritual significance; these stories are beautiful and powerful but no more so than the true story of the Grand Canyon, the Himalayas or the Amazon River. Geographical stories have fascinating time scales and spectacular settings. Once you have heard them you can see their traces everywhere, from the Vale of York to the moons of Jupiter. You can look back in time to Ice Age Britain or out to space at Io, the most geologically active body in our Solar System, with over 400 active volcanoes.
For more information please see our full range of primary resources for Geography.
Written by Marcia Napp, Book Collections Manager