Iconic Traits of Rhode Island

“28 Things People From Rhode Island Have Explain To Out-Of-Towners.”


This article shows some culturally iconic and place-based traditions of Rhode Island.  Some are a bit goofy, but the overall it provides an interesting sense of place to introduce distinctive traits of the Ocean State.  In the same vein, this Buzzfeed article outlines 30 reasons why Rhode Island is underrated.      

Source: www.movoto.com

Welcome To Geography!

“Let’s start off the new school year in style! This is a re-imagining of an older resource designed to introduce the subject to new students in a highly visual manner.  Feel free to use & share it.”

Source: www.slideshare.net

Admit it…geographers have to sell geography.  This geography teacher has done a fabulous job of demonstrating what geography is in an engaging, relevant way to start the year off right

Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education.

Where We Came From, State by State

Charts showing how Americans have moved between states for 112 years.

Source: www.nytimes.com

This incredible series of interactive charts from the New York Times show where the residents of every U.S. state were born and how that data has changed over time (update: now available as an interactive map).  This graph of Florida shows that around 1900, most people living in Florida were from the South.  Around the middle of the 20th century more people from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the U.S. started moving in.  What changes in U.S. society led to these demographic shifts?  How has demographics of your state changes over the last 114 years? 


On the flip side, many people have been leaving California and this article charts the demographic impact of Californians on other states.  

Tags: migration, USAvisualization, census, unit 2 population.

Local Population Pyramids

Source: developers.arcgis.com

Have you even wanted to explore an interactive map of the United States and be able to click on any neighborhood to see the local population age structure and compare that to the national, state or county data?  If not, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.  This is a fantastic resource that lets you and your students explore the data AND ask spatial questions.  It’s definitely one that I’ll add to my list of favorite resources.  This population pyramid shows that Jamestown’s population is much older than the national average; how come?   


Tag: population, population pyramidsmappingcensus, visualization, USA.

Google Maps Smarty Pins

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game.

Source: smartypins.withgoogle.com

As stated in a review of Smarty Pins on Mashable, “Google unveiled a fun new game this week that tests players’ geography and trivia skills.  Called ‘Smarty Pins’ the game starts players off with 1,000 miles (or 1,609 kilometers if they’re not based in the United States), and asks them to drop a pin on the city that corresponds with the correct answer to a given question.” 

This game is wonderfully addictive…I haven’t enjoyed a mapping trivia platform this much since I discovered GeoGuessr.  I answered 38 questions before I ran out of miles…how far did you get?  

Tagsgoogle, fun, mapping, place, trivia.

The Language of Maps Kids Should Know

The vocabulary and concepts of maps kids should learn to enhance their map-skills & geography awareness. Concise definitions with clear illustrations.

Source: kidworldcitizen.org

I really like this article because it briefly shares the language needed for students to able to successfully use maps in the classroom…plus it’s highly adaptable for virtually any grade level.  

Tagsmapping, K12, scale, location.

The Habitable Planet

“”The Habitable Planet is a multimedia course for high school teachers and adult learners interested in studying environmental science. The Web site provides access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field.”

Source: www.learner.org

Much like the Power of Place resources were created by Annenberg Learner to share World Regional Geography videos, the Habitable Planet has diverse resources for Physical Geography and Environmental Science.  In essence, it is an excellent free online textbook.   

Tags: textbook, environment, physical.

How big is Rhode Island?

“In the end, the massive wildfires in Southern California burned an area that many reports described as about the size of Rhode Island. Now, that’s probably a phrase you’ve heard before. As the smallest U.S. state, Rhode Island has the distinction—or perhaps the misfortune—of being one of the news media’s most convenient geographic yardstick.  As in, Hey! This think is so big, is’t as big as a whole state!  Just how big is Rhode Island anyway?”

Source: www.slate.com

Did you know that Europe’s six smallest countries could fit inside Rhode Island, with room to spare?  This Slate article (as well as this article from the Wall Street Journal) shares some fun facts about Rhode Island’s size as a benchmark for comparisons that hopefully will bolster our mental maps with a familiar, local  point of reference.   

Improving the Urban Environment and Maintaining Historic

How do you move a historic victorian mansion? Very carefully. In this case, it’s the Peter Green House at Brown University, Providence RI.

Source: www.youtube.com

Many cities wrestle with two important, but opposing mandates: modernize the infrastructure to improve the city and maintain the history of the neighborhood to preserve a sense of place.  Most often these are not reconcilable, but with a whole lot of money, this is are very creative way to do both.