The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

“The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is dedicated to the creative educational use of its cartographic holdings, which extend from the 15th century to the present.  The Center has a particular interest in developing innovative uses of maps and geographic materials to engage young people’s curiosity about the world, thereby enhancing their understanding of geography, history, world cultures, and citizenship.”

The Map Center has specific teacher resources and its current display is “Geography in the Classroom.”  Saturday, Nov. 15th there will be a Family Open House in the BPL’s map center from 10am-12pm. 


Providence’s Cityscapes

The Providence Journal featured this video recently.  As stated in the article, “PVD Aerial Productions is a local production company that uses drones – better known in the industry as ‘quad-copters’ – to film and shoot land and cityscapes in Providence and surrounding towns. 

PVD Aerial’s use of piloted quad-copters creates amazing footage for the viewer and captures what the average photographer cannot; shots at eye-level with structural bridges, looking down at the Battleship Cove, and even soaring above the Rhode Island Statehouse create an immersive viewing experience.”


Event: Geography Awareness Week

We are pleased to announce an exciting professional development opportunity for both this upcoming Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22) and GIS Day (Nov 19). This year’s Geography Awareness Week has the theme of “The Future of Food.” Given that the global population predictions have recently been revised upward to reach 11 billion, the geography of food becomes all the more critical. We will have speakers and presenters sharing a variety of perspectives on the geography of food, local food issues, GIS, Google Earth resources, and other topics to celebrate Geography Awareness Week.  We’ll have a big announcement about Rhode Island lesson plans, some pizza to munch on, and as a special bonus for Geography Awareness Week, the Alliance would like to donate a class set of reversible world maps (see below) for all Alliance members who attend this event.  Come join us and reserve your class set of maps!  RSVP by sending an email to with the subject title “GAWeek event.”

WHEN: Nov. 19th, 4pm.
WHERE: RIC, Whipple Hall rooms 105 and 106 (Directions)


Food and our Local Environment

Committed to uniting fresh, locally grown produce with farm-raised and wild-caught seafood to make the freshest dishes you’ll find anywhere. Our signature raw bar offers a variety of Rhode Island oysters, crisp cherrystones, littleneck clams, and jumbo shrimp. Our Matunuck Oysters are grown in Potter Pond right off our waterfront patio and many of our herbs and vegetables are grown in our vegetable farm on the north end of the pond.

With Geography Awareness Week coming up, I wanted to share local applications of the focus, “the Future of Food.”  Matunuck Oyster Bar is an interesting local restaurant that is obviously enmeshed with our local marine environment with an interesting ecological philosophy. 


Video Competitions for High School Students

High school students: Enter our short video competition about how human population growth impacts a global issue and at least one way it can be solved.

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your high school geography classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either the sixth extinction, available farmland, or global education. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 19, 2015. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at


Alliance Maps on Loan

Hello Alliance Members. At virtually all RIGEA events, I try to hand out some map resources. Soon I will have enough of the World Explorer/World Satellite maps to give every RI teacher a CLASS SET of them (pictured below) as well as a large number of wall maps.  This is the perfect size for 4 students to put their desks together and work on any number of spatial projects.  Any teacher that recruits a new RIGEA member (or is a new RIGEA member) can have a class set at our next event (I believe this would be a great way to kick off Geography Awareness Week). 


There are some maps that the alliance has that we can’t give out to on a large scale, but are certainly available to any RIGEA member that would like to borrow them. I have several that are available on a “first come first serve” basis, but I will always retain a few to circulate around the state.  I will put the dimensions and a picture some of these maps below. If you would like to borrow any of them for an extended period of time, send me email at and with the subject title “RIGEA maps on loan: [map title]” and we’ll try to make arrangements so you can use these in the classroom.

Read more and see a wider set of map resources available to RIGEA members at:

Pumpkin Geography

“During the month of October, I take advantage of the pumpkin harvest to bring hands-on geography to my students.  After spending a month becoming familiar with the location of the seven continents and the major bodies of water, each student is given a pumpkin to turn into a globe. Students paint the entire surface of the pumpkin blue to represent water. Next, they use pushpins to position and trace the outline of each continent onto their pumpkins. They use actual globes as models and are careful to place the continents in the correct hemisphere. Then, they paint and label each continent a different color. They label the major bodies of water and use white paint to represent the North and South Poles.”


Happy October everyone!  The pictures above (from a friend’s website) show how teachers and parents alike can get children involved in a fun craft that will strengthen kids’ mental maps–all with a seasonal twist.  If you really love idea of pumpkin globes, you should also see this one.   

Tagsart, K12, fun, seasonal.