Tag Archives: Geography

Incredible India – Director’s Cut (2018)

15 Dec

I only recently saw this ad and it’s nearly two years old. I remember seeing the original ad on CNN about eight years ago when I lived in Kuwait. What a magical place, and I am grateful that my family got to spend six years there. We certainly need to return some day to explore places we did not see.

Vox Atlas: Why Iraq’s Great Rivers are Dying

27 Nov

Iraq gets almost all of its water from two rivers: The Tigris and the Euphrates. Both begin in Turkey and make their way down the entire length of the country, before emptying into the Persian Gulf. The problem is – they are drying up. Watch this excellent video from Vox Atlas to learn more about why the history of the great rivers in this region and the problems that their citizens are currently facing as their rivers dry up.

Vox Borders Series – Check it out!

18 Nov

Governments draw borders. Governments manage borders. But humans live inside them. From the North Pole to the northern shore of Africa to the Himalayas of Nepal, the lines we’ve used to apportion the planet play a decisive role in the past, present, and future of billions.” – Vox Borders series.

A friend and former colleagued shared a video by Johnny Harris, who is the creator for Vox Borders. I was not familiar with his work or this video series on the human impact of lines on a map. It’s terrific!!! Migration, maps, and borders are topics I am very passionate about, and I think that you will like these videos and photos. I have selected a few to show you here. I will share more on my website.

Johnny Harris – Instagram & Facebook

Vox Borders Series – FacebookYoutube ChannelWebsite

What Makes India Unique?

25 Apr

Incredible India! We are engaged in research for our final project, Diverse Places – Moving On! You have been comparing two places, one of them being India or more specifically, Chennai. I have lived in India for six years. Prior to moving here, I saw this first advertisement on TV and it sparked a lot of curiosity about life here. The second advertisement on this playlist is ‘incredible’ too. I have been fortunate to have travelled to many amazing places in India. What are some examples of geographic and cultural features that you see when you watch these two videos? 

Worldometers – a COOL site!

5 May


Screenshot of Worldometers 

Check out this cool website that Sangwoo found while doing research for his project. It features live statistics on all kinds of information. Thanks for sharing Sangwoo!

Why Geography Matters More Than Ever (PBS)

4 May

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 10.41.28 PM

“Geography matters today more than ever, but only if we are looking at the right things,” writes teacher Chris Heffernan. World map mosaic by Luis Cristino da Silva in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

As students finish their comparing places project which has focused on comparing the physical and cultural (human) geography of two places, I thought I would share this interesting column I just read on the PBS Newshour website. Here is an interesting excerpts and the column itself. 

“Geography matters more now than ever because students need to know human geography. They need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures. They need to see not just the differences in cultures, but the similarities. Students need to know that the kid sitting in a school in Afghanistan today probably doesn’t speak the same language, practice the same religion or live in a home that looks anything like a student in the United States, but they have a lot of things in common. They both love their families, the both want to play and they both want to learn. When we focus on the similarities instead of the differences, it changes the picture.”


Comparing Places

29 Mar

Here are some videos that compare countries or places.

What is climate?

4 Feb

What is climate? How is climate different than weather? You will be researching the climate of your country for your project. These videos could be helpful.

The Problem with Maps

7 Dec

This is a pretty cool video that I saw recently. Sanjeev also saw it and sent me a message about it. Check it out! “There’s not “right” map projection. Each comes with trade-offs, and cartographers (map makers) make projection decisions based on the particular tasks at hand. But if you are interested in seeing an accurate depiction of the planet, it’s best to stick with a globe.”

Three More Geography Games!

4 Dec

I am a little late, but as promised I am sharing three more geography games. It seems like some of you really enjoyed the speed test game where you had to name all of the countries in the world. Here are some more games you might like that were featured in this blog post by another teacher:

GameOn World is a multiplayer geography game developed by a high school teacher and his student in Portland, Maine. The game is similar in structure to that of Kahoot. In GameOn World the teacher selects a game category (cities, places, and timeline are three of the nine categories) and starts the game. The students join the game by going to GameOn.World and entering a game pin. In the location and timeline games, students answer the questions by moving a placemark on a map or selecting a date on a timeline. In some of the other games students answer by choosing a number on a sliding scale. See the directions in the video above. 

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. In both modes of the game works the same way. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

Where is…? is another good game geography game. This game uses a popular format for geography games; the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

Have fun playing the games!


Cool Maps – Population Growth

28 Nov

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 11.29.59 PM.png

Mr. Jet shared this map on Twitter and I thought it was cool. World Population History is an interactive map and timeline of the world’s population growth from 1 C.E. to today. The map is essentially a heat map of population centers. The timeline at the bottom of the map features little place marks that feature developments in science, trade, and major political events. You can click on the markers in the timeline to learn more about each development. Check it out!

Monsoons and India’s Climate

17 Nov

What is a monsoon? As we enter monsoon season in India, how do these seasonal winds shape, influence , or affect India’s climate?


Geography Awareness Week: November 13 – 19

13 Nov

Each year, over 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week. Established by Presidential proclamation over 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP) encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the interconnectedness of our world. During this week, I will post fun games for you to try out. Here is the first one, which many of my students have enjoyed:

Countries of the World Quiz – a timed (15 minutes) quiz to see how many countries you can identify on a world map


Creating Neighborhood Maps

23 Oct

Students have finished Out of Eden Learn, Footstep #2 – Creating a Neighborhood Map – and written a story using one of the five prompts provided by Out of Eden. Here are is a sample of some more of the maps that were created. After Week Without Walls, we will share the maps in a Gallery Walk with our classmates. Click on the images to see a slideshow.


The Long Dry Spell (role play)

24 Aug

“The brutal heat makes it difficult to work. Yet every day you must walk to the river with animal-skin bags to get water for the plants. You repeat the trip hour after hour, until your legs feel like they won’t support you any longer. Your back aches from carrying water and bending over your crops. The plants need every drop of moisture they can get. But the heat of the sun seems to evaporate the water as soon as it hits the ground.” – The Long Dry Spell” (pages 80 – 81).


The Geography of Greece

4 May


Isthmus from mainland Greece to the Peloponnesus

Isthmus of Central America

Isthmus of Central America






Korean peninsula

Greece is a beautiful country and its geography shaped life there. Click on these links to learn more about how Greeks used their limited land resources and trade to prosper.

Odyssey Online – Click on the link ‘geography’ and then look at the map link and look at the British Museum to get an introduction to the geography of Greece. 

Follow Odysseus’ travels to many fantastic lands with this story
Be an underwater archaeologist – take the challenge! Enjoy these links and post a comment telling me something interesting you learned about Greece.

Ancient China…Isolated?

18 Feb

“China is isolated by barriers.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In class this week, we learned how ancient China was isolated by barrier – deserts, seas, mountain ranges – and how it developed  a unique culture. It made the spread of goods or ideas to China (until the Silk Roads) challenging too. In class you learned what barriers and isolated mean, while making a human map to show how China is isolated. 

This is a nice video which talks about the upsides (or good things) about being an isolated civilization. It uses Egyptians, the Mayans, and the Japanese civilizations as examples. However, many of the same things can be found in ancient China too.

Geography of China

9 Feb

“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

This week we being our next unit on ancient Asia, China. Over the next few weeks we will learn about many new things about ancient China using our historical themes, or what we often call GRAPES. We begin by learning more about China’s geography. See Do Now #13!

What are the physical features of China? Use your textbook, library books in the classroom, the maps below, and the videos to help create a list of the features and what makes China unique. The British Museum also has an excellent link on geography in China (Story – Explore – Challenge).

Map_EastAsia_Physicalchina-location-on-the-asia-mapchinaslide_2China screenshotScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.16.27 PM

Cities of the Indus Valley

28 Nov

The Indus and Saraswati Valleys contained hundreds of cities. The largest cities were Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. What evidence suggests that these cities or this region was prosperous or wealthy? Why was the earliest Indian civilization located near the Indus River? i_mapindus-valley-civilization-map


The Geography and Climate of India

22 Nov

Questions to consider:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of having monsoons?

  • What are the negative and positive effects of India’s great rivers?

  • How do the mountains and seasonal winds shape the climate of India? 

  • Write 2-3 facts or things you learned about India from any of these videos. You can use the questions above as guiding ones or just list the facts.

New Trimester, New Unit – Incredible India

20 Nov

I am sure some of you have seen these TV advertisements, “Incredible India.” If you haven’t, watch them! I have also added a few other geography/climate related videos. India is an incredibly diverse country. We know many of you travel outside of India, or return home for vacations. However, we are curious about the places you have traveled to in India. Post a comment and tell us how long you have lived in India and what parts of India you have traveled to. Thanks.


Geography of Mesopotamia

17 Sep

This playlist supports what we are learning in the first lesson of Mesopotamia. These videos would be helpful to review. :>)

Where is Mesopotamia?

15 Sep



Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Tigris and Euphrates rivers

The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent

Modern day Middle East map.

Modern day Middle East map.

Screenshot of Euphrates River from Google Maps. You can see how fertile (green) the land is near the river (vs. the desert).

Screenshot of Euphrates River from Google Maps. You can see how fertile (green) the land is near the river (vs. the desert).

Screenshot of Tigris River  in Iraq from Google Maps.

Screenshot of Tigris River in Iraq from Google Maps.

Mesopotamia is a name for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, the northeastern section of Syria, as well as parts of southeastern Turkey and of southwestern Iran.

The True Size Of… (Fun Stuff!)

9 Sep

Image from The True Size Of... (screenshot by Mr. Martin)

Image from The True Size Of… (screenshot by Mr. Martin)

Check out a new interactive map project, The True Size Of…. It lets you visualize how big countries really are, rather than how big they appear when distorted on a map. Created by James Talmage and Damon Maneice, the site uses Google Maps to show the actual size of different countries and landmasses. You can drag countries around the map, and they’ll dynamically shift to show how big they are relative to each other. For example, look how the United States, China, and India would all almost fit into Africa. It’s an interesting site. Take a look at it and compare India and your country to other regions of the world.

Introduction to Greece

3 May

Screen shot of Greece from Google Maps.

Screen shot of Greece from Google Maps.

Greece is a beautiful country and its geography shaped life there. Click on these links to learn more about how Greeks used their limited land resources and trade to prosper.

Odyssey Online – Click on the link ‘geography’ and then look at the map link and look at the British Museum to get an introduction to the geography of Greece. Click on this great link to see some maps of Greece.

Follow Odysseus’ travels to many fantastic lands with this story
Be an underwater archaeologist – take the challenge!
Enjoy these links and post a comment telling me something interesting you learned about Greece.

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