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November 12th, 2019




Illustration in Geography

       When learning geography, one of the most important tools at our disposal is illustration. The main purpose of illustration, as with cartography and data visualization, is to communicate something to the reader. In a story, its job is to elaborate and clarify the meaning of the text. Images in geography education help students to understand and identify concepts, as well as the things they may come across in daily life.

       As we think about our memories of Natural Florida, illustration can be used as a tool to help readers understand the context of our stories. Images help us to relate with information easily, and see patterns that we might not think of otherwise. This is an important skill for geographers; identifying patterns in nature often leads to important discoveries!

       Can you think of any patterns in nature? Try drawing them out and sharing it with your class!



Ask your students to share a memory they have about Natural Florida. It can be a park, a plant, an animal, or even a green space they cultivated themselves. Prompt them to explain/think about why it had an impact on them.



  • Prompt your class to choose a favorite memory they have of interacting with natural Florida.

  • Discuss what these stories have in common. How do they compare, and how do they differ?

  • Images are important to geographers to record information, as well as identify details and patterns in nature! Ask the class to draw their memory. 


  • Tell students to consider the following when drawing: 


  • Visual information is not the only information we have about nature! What did each student hear, feel, smell and taste? How can they include this in their drawing?

  • What can they infer about the things they saw, heard and felt? For example: One student remembers seeing ripples in a lake, but there was no rain or wind. We can infer that there were fish in the lake, and the student can draw those fish in their illustration.

  • What colors best communicate their memory? For example: If it was night time in the winter, dark and cool colors might work best. If it was sunny in the summer, perhaps warm and bright colors!

  • If time allows, briefly review the Setting Poem lesson from yesterday. Students may write Setting Poems about their memories to accompany their illustration.

  • Hold an art contest for your students' Florida Memories! Choose one winner per class, then scan the pages and send them to us at We will print them into a book with all the other winners state-wide, and send it to your classroom for you and your students to enjoy!

Kids Drawing
Kids' Paintings
Art Fun
Drawing Time
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