Using State Maps in the Classroom

RI tabletop

“Have you ever seen a map and marveled over all of the information that it contains? It is incredible how maps can capture so much of the real world and depict so many places. From big cities to small towns, maps use characteristics such as topography, hydrography, industry, and recreation to tell the story of a place.”

National Geographic Education has just finished producing all 50 State Tabletop Mapmaker kits which focus on basic mapping skills for younger audiences.  This set of tiled 8.5 x 11 sheets really expands what you can do and to help educators know what to do with these resources, they wrote this article that shows 9 ways to use these new state maps in your classroom.  I’m looking forward to printing off the Rhode Island state map!

TagsNational Geographic. mapping, K12.

See on

European word translator

Translate any word from English to more than 30 other European languages, on a map

This is an incredible resource to visualize the linguistic similarities between European languages all on one interactive map.  Just type in a word or phrase as it will translate it for you and place the results on the map.  I just found this, but I think it still belongs on my list of favorite resources.   

Questions to Ponder: Do you see any regions forming?  How does language impact the diffusion of people, ideas and goods?  Hoe do you think these languages diffused?   

Tags: language, culture, English diffusion.

See on

Coast to Coast: Baseball Hall of Fame Geography Lessons

The history of baseball reflects the story of expansion in the United States. New cities have emerged and modern stadiums have been built as a growing population fueled the popularity of our National Pastime. The result is an extensive network of baseball teams at every level – from the major leagues to the little leagues – that represent the communities and environments in which they play. Everything from jersey colors, names, and symbols to the foods served at ballparks reflects the local landscape and culture of baseball teams. A simple game that began with a bat and ball is now a comprehensive case study of how people and geography are interrelated.

All of the lessons and activities have been prepared to accompany “Geography: Baseball Coast to Coast.” You will find that the curriculum is organized into three levels: Level 1 for elementary school students, Level 2 for middle school students, and Level 3 for high school students.

Thanks to the NCGE and the Baseball Hall of Fame for working together to bring us these great resources…play ball!!  On a local note, what baseball team is the most popular in your area?  Is there a geography to fan support? 

See on

Building a War of 1812 Warship

This summer, a ship named after naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry will set sail

Oliver Hazard Perry, the U.S naval officer who won a decisive victory against the Royal Navy on Lake Erie during the War of 1812—“We have met the enemy and they are ours,” he declared—would have appreciated the irony. An extraordinary new sailing ship was supposed to be a replica of a British warship that his flotilla captured. But when the Canadian group behind the venture ran out of money, enthusiasts in Rhode Island bought the unfinished 138-foot-long steel hull and named it after Perry, an Ocean State native. Six years and more than $10 million later, the three-masted, 20-sail tall ship will launch this summer from the Newport Shipyard. And while it’s the first vessel of its kind to be built in the United States since 1903, it’s also fitted with 21st-century technology, such as twin six-cylinder backup engines.

See on

Creating your own StoryMaps

“RIGEA will be sponsoring a follow-up workshop on how to use online mapping in the classroom (this time with step-by-step instructions to reference later). This computer lab-based professional development workshop is designed to train someone with LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE how to use free online mapping tools in a classroom setting. This is open to educators from all grade levels and subjects. “

Seth Dixon‘s insight:

The registration fee is WAIVED for all RIGEA members and those that have attended previous workshops ($10 at the door otherwise); with limited seating we ask that you reserve your spot by simply emailing an RSVP to  Lunch (Pizza and soda) will be provided.

WHEN: April 19th, 2014 9am-12pm
WHERE: Rhode Island College, Alger Hall 101(see campus map).

See on

Africa Map Pictures

Six schools were able to host the Giant Traveling map of Africa this March.  Here are some of the pictures of the Rhode Island College geography classes that participated in the event (you are never to old to take off your shoes and enjoy a giant map!!).  

See on

Prof. Emeritus Lemons Presents Lecture in Celebration of Shinn Fund 25th Anniversary

More books have been written about Roger Williams than any other 17th-century American, but some of the facts attributed to Williams are simply fiction said Rhode Island historian J. Stanley Lemons, RIC emeritus professor of history.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ridgway F. Shinn Jr. Study Abroad Fund at Rhode Island College, Lemons will present “In Search of Roger Williams,” a lecture, on Thursday, March 27, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Forman Center, Room C.

See on

Come see the Giant Map of Africa!

The Giant Traveling Map of Africa is making its way across the state; I’m glad that many more decided to avail themselves of this opportunity than did last year.  For those that are not able to have the map come to your classroom, I would like to invite you to mine.  This next Thursday, March 20th, I will be sharing this map with my World Regional Geography class at Rhode Island College.  Students will be presenting short 5 minute lessons (on topics from mining in Central Africa to the historical/colonial influence of Portuguese in Sub-Saharan Africa) and if will be a chance to take of your shoes and get up and personal with this map.  The event will be held in the RIC Student Union Ballroom at 4pm, March 20.  I hope to see you there; as RIGEA is currently thinking about creating a Giant Traveling Map of Rhode Island (how cool would that be to have in your classroom!), you can see some of the resources that accompany this type of map.

See on



Have you ever wanted to learn more about the National Weather Service and receive meteorological training?  NOAA works with volunteers that are trained severe weather spotters to help keep local communities safe with timely and accurate weather reports.  Training of this type will be freely offered at Rhode Island College on March 31st at 7pm in the GAIGE HALL AUDITORIUM (room 100–this is a change for earlier announcements). 

See on