Thanksgiving Resources

“Thanksgiving has some fascinating spatial components to it.  My wife and I prepared an article for the Geography News Network on that shows the historical and geographic context of the first Thanksgiving and in the memorialization of Thanksgiving as a national holiday (if you don’t subscribe to Maps 101, it is also freely available as a podcast on Stitcher Radio or iTunes).”

One of my favorite combinations of maps for Thanksgiving involves the geography of food production and food consumption.  When we start looking at the regional dishes on Thanksgiving plates we can see some great patterns.  This ESRI storymap asks the simple question, where did your Thanksgiving Dinner come From?

This StoryMap is a great resource to combine with this New York Times article that shows the regional preferences for the most popular Thanksgiving recipes.  Where are sweet potatoes grown?  Where do people make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving? 

Plymouth County, MA is at the heart of only 3 cranberry producing regions and is was also home to the first Thanksgiving.  How has this New England local ecology and traditional food patterns influenced national traditions? 

For these and more Thanksgiving resources on, click here.

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2013 Map Challenge Winners

Thank you to all participants, teachers and parents who helped to promote this mapping challenge and geo-literacy.  We are pleased to announce the top two winners in our 2013 Map Challenge Contest in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week 2013 here in Rhode Island. 

  • Mrs. Lepre’s 7th Grade Geography Class (Mount Saint Charles Academy, Woonsocket) Winter Olympics 2014 MegaMap



  • Ms. Taglione’s 6th Grade Social Studies Student Team (Barrington Middle School) Eytan Goldstein, Amit Bhatia and Nikhil Pareek–Revolutionary War Map of RI’s Struggle for Freedom


Honorable Mention

  • Sophia and Benjamin Lepre–Walt Disney Map of Favorite Characters.


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Rhode Island From Above

This is a fantastic interactive map that compares aerial photography in the Ocean State from 3 different time periods.  Pictured above is Rocky Point which was a vibrant locale in the 1972 imagery, but shows signs of disrepair and total abandonment in the 2011 color imagery.  Aerial photography can be quite beautiful, as can satellite imagery.  These are more than just pretty pictures; interpreting aerial photography and satellite imagery is not easy; here is a great article that gives an introduction on how to interpret satellite imagery.  With a little training, satellite images become  rich data sources.  This is a similar interactive map that uses a global data set; it compares satellite imagery from different time periods and analyzes the change over time. 

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2013 Geography Awareness Week

Geography Awareness Week is right around the corner (Nov. 18-22)!  The Theme is GEOGRAPHY AND THE NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION.  Here are some resources that you can use in your own classroom, in your home or anywhere with eager geo-enthusiasts. 

Here are some additional resources and worksheets that might be helpful.

RIGEA hopes that you use Geography Awareness week to promote spatial thinking and global awareness (something we like to call geo-literacy) in the Ocean State.  At Rhode Island College, there will be a GIS Day event on Wednesday, November 20th in Gaige Hall (10am-2pm).

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Online Mapping for Educators

Did you miss our Oct. 26th event Online Mapping for Educators?

Here are the documents to supplement the Oct. 26th professional development activity.  

For AFTER the event: 

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Mapping Lectures this Week

This is last minute but there are two lectures in Providence this week that RIGEA members should consider.  One, at Rhode Island College on Tuesday, Nov. 5th is entitled “Mapping North Africa: A Cartographic History, 16th-19th Centuries”  presented by Dr. Richard Lobban.  The other on Nov. 6th, is Signifying Geographies, Mapping Violent Contestations: The Making of Symbolic Landscapes by Dr. Kevin DeJesus.  

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