Donum Dei's core mission is to walk alongside its students in glorifying God with all of their hearts, minds, and bodies. As such, Donum Dei’s Geography classes incorporate these three fundamentally important elements into the academically and spiritually important study of this beautiful world God created. Students this year have gone from barely being able to draw blob maps of the seven continents (or however many they thought there were at the beginning) to drawing very detailed, beautiful maps that correspond in every way to the real map itself.
This year, students in the first grade have studied how to draw the United States and memorize its states and capitals through chanting and song, which utilizes both the left and right sides of the brain, allowing for deeper and long-lasting memorization of the material. Second through fourth grades have been learning to draw and memorize the continent of Africa, corresponding with their historical and biblical studies of early civilization and the Greek-Roman world. Both Bridge I and Bridge II have learned how to draw all of the North American continents this year. Their work not only includes drawing all of Canada, the United States, and Central America, but also adding the corresponding physical features and labeling all of the provinces, states, countries, territories, and their corresponding capitals. Through games, constant repetition, and drawing many detailed maps, this year’s Donum Dei Geography classes have successfully engaged in the presented material and gained a deeper understanding of the beauty of this world.
As the Donum Dei Geography Tutor, I feel very blessed to guide so many wonderful students in learning this world’s geography. The word geography comes from two Greek words: ge, meaning earth, and graphia, meaning writing. This means that geography is defined as writing the Earth or studying the structure of the Earth. While drawing and studying the geographical material in class is very beneficial and important, it is equally, if not more, important to understand why we study geography. I believe it is exponentially important to study geography so that we can recognize the glory of God’s creation in this world, which, in turn, could help us better understand his very person.
As the session is coming to an end, I look back to the beginning of the year and see how incredibly far each student has come not only in their retaining and understanding of the material, but also their love for geography and heart for God’s amazing creation. I hope this year’s students have grown to love geography, as I have, and have seen the beauty in it. I am so proud of all their hard work and look forward to seeing the results at the end of the session.
Emma McLean, 9th grade geography tutor at Donum Dei