I believe utilizing Color, Symbol, Image Charts for large concepts is a great way to activate background knowledge. By using a Color, Symbol, Image approach to an event, topic, or idea like "Geography" students instantly activate their metacognition and recognize that reflecting and thinking about your thinking (metacognition) is an efficient way to learn. This is a great simple activity that students always love. I have had great success using this concept as a conversation starter and during review. Colored Pencils enhance the activity.
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Introduction & Tools of Geography Unit Bundle