Giant Map Comes to Rhode Island!

Imagine your students scaling the high peaks of the Andes, searching for the ancient city of Machu Picchu, then following the Amazon River from its alpine headwaters thousands of miles through the Brazilian rain forest all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Or, perhaps they will traverse the fertile Pampas on their way to historic Buenos Aires, where they bravely set sail southward around Cape Horn and out to the Pacific Ocean to visit the Galapagos Islands! This and more can happen all in an afternoon at your school on our new Giant Traveling Map of South America, our latest in a series of maps that make geography come alive for your students in ways they will never forget!

This new map of South America invites your students to explore the amazing physical features of this continent. The map measures approximately 26’ x 35’ and, like all Giant Traveling Maps, comes with a trunk of fun and content-rich activities, props, and other educational resources.

Here is some great news!  The Giant (26’x35′) Traveling Map of South America that is owned by the National Geographic Society is coming to Rhode Island.  The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance has the map scheduled from April 2-18 and the map can make a visit to your school.  If individual teachers can coordinate at the school level to make an event of it, the Alliance Coordinator or a Teaching Consultant can give a presentation in your school that will be remembered for a long time.  This is a great cross-curricular opportunity with limited dates and times.  If you are interested and need more details, please email Seth Dixon (the Alliance Coordinator) for more information or to schedule the map for an event: rigea (at) ric (dot) edu. 

This map comes complete will a set of age-appropriate activites that are linked below.

Activities designed specifically for the South America Giant Map
Activities Overview
Walkabout…South America
Simon Says…Explore!
Animals & Habitats
The Hollow Continent
Cultural Geography Relay
Symbols Are the Key
Countries and Capitals Concentration
Go With the Flow
The Grid Game
The Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle
Physical Features Scavenger Hunt
Additional Activities

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Creating American Borders

30-second animation of the changes in U.S. historical county boundaries, 1629 – 2000. Historical state and territorial boundaries are also displayed from 178…

I love this time-lapse animation of all the county and state-level boundary changes in United States history.  Would you like to see this in greater detail?  Would you want to download the data and create your own visualization of this?  The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has all of this data as GIS shapefiles, Google Earth KMZ files and PDFs for the whole country as well as for each individual state.  This project sponsored by The Newberry and the National Endowment for the Humanities has tremendous potential for use in the classroom for history and geography teachers alike.  

Tags: historical, USA, borders, time lapse, mapping, edtech.

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Martin Luther King Jr.–Then and Today

I Have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King’s Address at March on Washington August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring fro…

There is much to glean from Martin Luther King’s famous I Have a Dream speech as a fantastic rhetorical device. This speech has a profound impact on the the psyche of the America culture and it has endured as a pivotal moment in history. As we celebrate his life and legacy this Monday, it is an appropriate time to contemplate that the ending of segregation (a spatial division of races) has reshaped the United States.

Many streets in the United States bear the name “Martin Luther King Jr.” to memorialize both the man and the Civil Rights movement. This streets, as this YouTube video suggests, are often in poor, crime-ridden and violent neighborhoods.

This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name. This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book “Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory” say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video).

Questions to ponder: If Martin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in ‘violent’ neighborhoods? Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States? Only in the South? Only in predominantly African-American communities? What does the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?

Tags: historical, culture, landscape, place, race, unit 3 culture, USA, urban, poverty, unit 7 cities, book review.

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Restoring Geography in America

Focus (WILL) – listen online, on demand topics and episodes, location, contact, schedule and broadcast information

This is the audio archive of a 2007 radio interview with Jerome Dobson, Geography Professor at the University of Kansas and President of the American Geographical Society.  In this interview he discusses many topics including the importance of geographic education, how to define geography and showing the relevance of the disciple in solving real-world problems.  He gives historical context as to why geography became minimized within the United States.

Tags: geography education, geo-inspiration, podcast.

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