Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning



Dear Principals, Teachers, Education Assistants, Activity Coordinators, and Office Managers,


We at Explore Workshops and Summer Camp would love to help you celebrate the end of your school year by showing your students how passion can merge with your curriculum, offering a variety of geography-themed workshops.

Run through the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University, Explore provides workshop programing for students in kindergarten to grade eight, available from May 15th to June 30th, 2017.  Explore consists of a group of enthusiastic Queen’s University undergraduate students who love working with kids and are eager to share knowledge about the world we live in with your students. Running for its 12th consecutive year, Explore offers an exciting way to spark curiosity in students in eight different workshops, tailored to your classroom! Incorporating specific expectations from the Ontario Curriculum, Explore workshops are designed to allow your students to travel around the world in the comfort of your classroom, while developing an understanding of environmental issues that face our world today.

Workshops are one hour in length and cost $85.  Registration Form (pdf, 19KB).

Please find enclosed information for all of our workshops. If you are looking for a special addition to the end of your school year, we’ve got what you need! We would be happy to discuss any accommodations your class might require. For booking requests, please contact us by e-mail at, or fax your requests to (613) 533-6122. We are happy to answer any questions by email or by telephone at (613) 533-6000 ext. 77214.

We are very excited about the workshops we have prepared for your classroom, and we cannot wait to meet you and your students. Because of a high demand, ensure to submit your requested dates early so we can best accommodate your needs.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you soon!




Jessica Jickels
Executive Director
Explore Workshops and Summer Camp 2017


     Department of Geography and Planning at Queen's University
68 University Ave., Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-6000 ext. 77214 Fax: (613) 533-6122
Email: ~ Website:

Explore 2017
May and June Workshops


#1 – Exploring our Communities

What does it mean to be a member of a community? In this workshop, students will learn about communities and neighbourhoods with to goal to show how we can navigate through these areas to visit our favorite places with the cardinal directions, maps, and other tools! This interactive workshop will allow students to explore key attributes of their surrounding community and neighbourhood, develop a stronger understanding or rural, urban and suburban communities and attempt to classify their own community by mapping an area in their school community

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Identify the distinguishing physical features of their community (e.g. buildings, roads, rivers, lakes);
    • Recognize pictoral symbols, colour, legends, and cardinal directions on maps of Canada and other countries.
    • Analyze and construct simple maps as part of their investigation into places that are significant to them or their family.
    • Locate on a globe or map their local community in Ontario and Canada.

Recommended Age Group: Grades K-3


#2 – Ecological Footprint

How much garbage do you create in a year?  How much water do you waste?  What is the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources?  In this workshop, students will learn about some of Canada’s natural resources while also finding out about their ecological footprint and how to reduce waste.  Students will participate in a variety of activities including creating their own ecological footprints, and even building their own composters.

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Describe how they follow the rules about respecting the rights and property of other people and about using the shared environment responsibly.
    • Describe ways in which they and their families use the natural environment (e.g. water, energy systems etc.)
    • Identify environmental factors that explain the location of various communities.

Recommended Age Group: Grades K-3


#3 – Shake, Rattle and Roll

Is your classroom a disaster?  Well it’s going to be!  This high energy workshop brings earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and many more natural phenomena into your classroom.  With interactive demonstrations and awesome hands-on activities, your students are guaranteed to have an electrifying experience that will get them excited about social studies and science.  Students will also gain a better understanding of Canada’s participation in disaster relief efforts.  This is one workshop that will finish your year off with a bang!

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Recognize that the world is made up of countries, continents, and regions.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between location and climate.
    • Describe Canada’s participation in international efforts to address current global issues.

Recommended Age Group: Grades K-6


#4 –The Ins & Outs of Import and Export

Do your students know where their favourite candy bar came from before it ended up in their stomach?  They might think that the answer is “the convenience store,” but after this workshop they will be able to say that the cocoa used was grown in Brazil.  This workshop will educate students about the extensive resources, labour and transportation involved in the production of common commodities that they use every day.  To conclude, students will get the chance to participate in a class-wide game of international trade and learn the basics of imports, exports and globalization.

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Identify some countries with which Canada has links.
    • Describe some of the connections Canada shares with the rest of the world.
    • Identify products that Canada imports and exports.

Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-6


#5 – Getting Settled

Getting settled will take explorers back in time, and give us a look at what it was like to be an early settler. Together we will examine the roles that the land and the surrounding environment played in the everyday life of the settlers, with a focus on forestry, wildlife, farming, and bodies of water. Students will consider sustainable solutions and put their skills to the test in a class-wide competition that limits their resources to see if they’ve got what it takes to overcome a challenge!

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Identify the aspects of the environment that allowed for growth within the settlements. (Trees, Land, Water).
    • Analyze some of the general ways in which the natural environment of regions in Canada has affected the development of industry.
    • Describe some key action taken by both industries and citizens to address the need for more sustainable use of land and resources. 

Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-8


#6 – Ecstatic About Ecosystems

Want to get your students’ brains working and their hearts pumping?  Look no further.  A stimulating game show will introduce the students to Canada’s 15 terrestrial and 5 marine ecosystems and explore common and endangered species.  Finally an outdoor activity will highlight the dynamics of the food chain and the destructive forces, such as urban sprawl, forest fires, invasive species and toxic waste, which affect an ecosystem’s health and sustainability.  This workshop is an adventure in which students will learn how special each Canadian ecosystem is!

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Understand that changes to habitats (whether caused by natural or human means) can affect plants and animals and the relationships between them.
    • Identify reasons for the depletion or extinction of a plant or animal species (e.g., hunting, disease, invasive species, changes in or destruction of its habitat), evaluate the impacts on the rest of the natural community, and propose possible actions for preventing such depletions or extinctions from happening.
    • Identify animals that are carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores.

Recommended Age Group: Grades 4-6


#7 – Sustainable Cities

Why do people live in certain physical environment and not others? Where do cities get their food, water and energy? How can cities be more sustainable? In this workshop, students will learn about how the physical environment affects cities and how people change the environment to sustain these cities. This workshop addresses critical understandings of ways people use and change the natural environment and the environmental challenges as a consequence of our use. Students will participate in a variety of activities about water conservation, renewable energy and urban planning!

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns and trends related to human settlement and of ways in which human settlements affects the environment.
    • Describe ways in which people use the natural environment, including specific elements within it, to meet their needs and wants.
    • Describe some responses to social and/or environmental challenges arising from the use of natural resources.
    • Describe possible features of a sustainable community in the future and analyze some challenges associated with creating such a community.

Recommended Age Group: Grades 7-8


#8 – Globally Conscious Citizenship

Why were the terms “first world” and “third world” created? Why are some countries more poor than others? Using practical and hands-on examples, students in this workshop will learn about global inequality and learn to think critically about their place in an increasingly globalized market. We will encourage globally conscious citizenship by connecting the commonalities and differences between various companies who live in “excess” versus others that have very little. We will conclude by examining Canada’s role in foreign aid and consider what organizations are doing to improve quality of life around the world.

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Students will:
    • Identify and describe the significance of several indicators that are commonly used to measure quality of life on a global scale and compare them.
    • Analyze patterns and trends in ‘more developed’ and ‘developing’ countries.
    • Identify various factors that can contribute to economic development.
    • Identify groups and organizations that work to improve quality of life.

Recommended Age Group: Grades 7-8