Tag Archives: Out of Eden Walk

Google Hangout with Paul Salopek

3 Mar

Students –

National Geographic Education hosted a live event last night where teachers and students could ask Paul Salopek questions about his journey. He got quite a few new questions in this interview from Bishkek, where he is spending the winter months. Check it out!

Paul on the Silk Road

8 Jan

In class we have been learning about the Silk Road. Here is a new article about Paul Salopek and his walk. You can also listen to the interview with him as well. Here is a script of the interview. In his article, he says this about the Silk Road and globalization, something we will discuss this week:

For the past year, Salopek has been following the ancient Silk Road trade routes that once connected China to Mediterranean. Merchants used to move precious cloths and spices. Now they move precious oil and gas. Globalization has made it possible to extract the region’s abundant natural resources, which has brought prosperity to a small but growing middle class in the region. However, that prosperity has also created resentment. Many locals are being left behind. 

“That’s happening in North America too, of course,” he tells Chattopadhyay (the interviewer). “That’s what’s driving some of these movements against globalization.”

Google Q & A – Paul Salopek

16 Dec

Image source: Photo by Kevin Crouch

I hope you enjoyed the Google Hangout with Paul Salopek today. I received many good questions via email and will save them for future ‘hangouts.’ If you want to see the places where our students asked questions, skip to 22:54 (EJ) and 41:44 (Amy). Here is an excerpt of what Paul said:

EJ: What is trade like on the New Silk Road? 

Paul: Cool! That’s a really good question. That’s a great question because when you mention the two words Silk Road together you have images of camels…and yet the Silk Roads continue today and that’s something I am writing about now. China has invested trillions of dollars in something called the “One Road, One Belt” project. It’s the most expensive infrastructure project in the history of the world, and it’s designed to tie Europe and Asia together with shipping routes, highways, and railroads throughout the Eurasian continent. From foot level today, it looks like Turkish trucks roaring past on a highway built by South Koreans. It looks like railroads built partly by Australian technology that are being plied by trains from Belarus. So what it is…is a miniature snapshot of globalization….”   

Google Hangout with Paul Salopek – Tomorrow!

15 Dec

Image source: Screen from Google Maps

Students –  We have an exciting opportunity tomorrow at 10:30am in the CIC. Paul Salopek and Out of Eden Learn will be hosting a LIVE Google Hangout Question and Answer (Q & A) session for students and teachers. He is in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Please comment here or send me a question you would like to ask. He has been walking the the ancient routes of the Silk Roads, so this is also a great opportunity to ask him questions about this topic. Your A block teacher will release you to go to the CIC. Here is a great CNN story about the Silk Roads today with interactive maps and stories about the countries along the present day ancient networks for the Silk Roads. Click HERE to see the stories. 

Samarkand fast food: plov, bread, rice soup. #Uzbekistan.

A post shared by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

"Tamerlane’s Gate"—an ancient pass north to China. Near Jizak, #Uzbekistan.

A post shared by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

Watch Paul’s Interview!

17 Sep

Thank you to the students who wrote questions and watched the LIVE interview with Paul Salopek from Uzbekistan. If you missed the interview, you can watch it here! I feel fortunate that I was invited to be among a small group (five!) that was able to be on screen and to ask questions on behalf of you. There were many good questions for Paul, but I was able to ask two (at the beginning and near the end). Several of the questions that you asked and posted on our ‘wondering wall’ were among the questions asked by other students around the world.

I learned many new things about Paul, his guide (Aziz), and his journey: the power of storytelling, borders, why he walks, his role in helping others, schools he visits in other countries, what keeps him going, his family, plans for writing a book, the funniest moments on the trail, countries and regions he looks forward to visiting, crossing large bodies of water, and whether or not he listens to music while walking. There were several other topics he discussed. Watch the video and comment on something you learned or thought was interesting.

Some personal takeaways that I made connections to:

Some comments by Paul in his interview: The walk is his work. His workplace is the road, the trail, the mountain pass he must cross. Many strangers he meets have been kind. People are compassionate. Compassion erodes (or defeats) fear. It is important to be curious about the world. It is important to engage in the world and to learn it. Walking gives him a sense of confidence and he has become calmer and more peaceful. He will most remember the people he meets on his journey.

Mr. Martin

LIVE interview tonight with Paul Salopek (Out of Eden Walk)

16 Sep

Image source: Out of Eden Walk Instagram page


Photo taken by John Stanmeyer (@johnstanmeyer) – Out of Eden Walk Instagram

The interview with Paul Salopek is tonight. I have sent you a link where you can watch it live. The local time for the interview will be 8:30pm and it will end at 9:30pm. I hope he will answer one of our questions!


Photo by Rob Martin



Paul Responds to Class Tweet!

12 Sep

In our classes today and last Friday, we created a mind map to review the Who, What, Where, When, and Why about Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk. We heard many great questions that we will soon share on our ‘wondering wall.’ During H Block, I tweeted two questions to Paul that came from our class and he responded. Here are two screenshots of his responses:


Screenshot by Rob Martin @DigitalNomadRob

Screenshot by Rob Martin @DigitalNomadRobscreen-shot-2016-09-12-at-4-23-44-pm

A Busy Week!

11 Sep


Students –

We learned about Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk last week. Next, you will join our walking party for Out of Eden Learn and start your first footstep. Here are the towns or cities who will be in our walking party:

Location:  from the U.S.A. Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Danville, California; Marblehead, Massachusetts; Oak Hill, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Oxnard, California; Hockessin, Deleware. From other countries: Accra, Ghana

Here are two photos of students learning about Paul Salopek and his journey.


Photo by Rob Martin


Photo by Rob Martin

Finally, students shared their Egypt and Mesopotamia mind maps in a gallery walk and we worked on developing skills in giving feedback and learning what is helpful (good) vs. Not so helpful or detailed feedback (Mmmmm….not so good). We will continue to work on this throughout the year because one thing you will be doing a lot of on Out of Eden Learn is giving feedback and asking questions to other students in our walking party.


Helpful, detailed feedback on the right vs. Not so-detailed feedback. We will continue to work on this skill. (Photo by Rob Martin)


Gallery Walk for our Mind Maps


Gallery Walk

Paul Follows the Footsteps of Silk Road Traders

2 May

Three years ago, Pulitzer-winning journalist Paul Salopek embarked on a decade-long walk around the world, charting the path of the original human emigrants who left their birthplace in eastern Africa to spread across the globe. As he prepares to follow the Silk Road from Central Asia into China, Salopek checks in with Hari Sreenivasan to reflect on his journey thus far and what lies ahead. Watch the video and/or read the interview from PBS news and see what is next for the Out of Eden Walk.


Google Hangout with Paul Salopek

26 Apr

Students – I watched the live Google Hangout with Paul Salopek, hosted by NatGeo Education. He answered one of our questions and you can hear it if you skip to 43:30 in this video. I encourage you to watch and listen to Paul’s entire talk and to learn more about him and the Out of Eden Walk. We will be doing another footstep project as soon as we finish our ancient Egypt project.

Take a Walk, Take a Photo

6 Apr

A message from Paul:

Dear Friends,

We’re happy to be back in touch to share an update and invite you to celebrate National Walking Day with the Out of Eden Walk.

Tomorrow, April 6, is National Walking Day across the US. Celebrate with Paul in the spirit of the Out of Eden Walk—wherever you are—by taking 30 minutes out of your day to go for a stroll. While on your walk, take a photo of an interesting detail you spot. Then share it on Twitter or Instagram using #EdenWalk, for a chance to be featured in the National Geographic #EdenWalk Walking Day Timeline.

Need some inspiration? Feel free to come up with your own creative message or reference our sample Tweet:

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 8.23.28 AM

Students, if you choose to do this, send me your photo by Friday and I will Tweet it out under my name and use your Out of Eden Learn Username. I really enjoyed your photos you took of your neighborhoods. I hope to see some more examples. I will also share them on my class blog too. 

Milestone 33: Night Crossing — Aboard the MV Fikret Emirov on the Caspian Sea

24 Mar

Paul has left Baku and is crossing the Caspian Sea in his latest milestone video, released yesterday. To learn more about this milestone, click HERE and read more. 

Milestone 32 – Dry Well

16 Mar

Here is the most recent ‘milestone’ video that Paul created for his walk. He is currently in Azerbaijan. Check out the map of this location, Gobustan. Click HERE to learn more about this location. I will add more milestone to the blog as he completes them (every 100 miles or approx. 160 km.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.11.44 PM

Learning Journey 2 Starts Soon!

17 Feb
Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 10.56.35 AM

Screenshot of Pauls’s current location.

This week we are completing Learning Journey 1 for Out of Eden Learn. All students should be finished with Footstep #6, and it should be added to Out of Eden Learn as soon as possible. Please take some time to comment and see what other students in our walking party have done. Learning Journey 2 (with a NEW walking party!) starts soon. More details will be shared soon!

Where is Paul? 

Paul Salopek is currently in Azerbaijan and recently updated his Facebook Page and Instragram page with some images. You can also follow his blog and stories HERE and on the RSS feed from my class blog. 

Out of Eden Walk

First glimpse of the Caspian Sea (Image source: Paul Salopek/Out of Eden Walk)


Near Lahich, Azerbaijan (Image source: Paul Salopek/Out of Eden Walk) 
Beautiful scenery and landscape!

Share your photo on National Geographic

12 Feb

Chennai, India (Photo by Rob Martin)


Kashmir, India (Photo by Rob Martin)


Everest Base Camp Trek (Photo by Rob Martin)

Why do we move? Why can’t we sit still? What makes human beings seek out new horizons? Out of Eden Walk wants you to share a photo. The deadline for doing this is February 15th. Please see Paul Salopek’s most recent blog post for information. The assignment is called Built to Walk and you can find out more information here. The hashtag is #Yourshot. 

You can upload your photos which show human movement. There are so many things you can share just from Chennai alone. Here are three photos from India and Nepal that I have taken. If you have a photo and want help, save it and come and see me on Monday. I will help you. Have a nice weekend!

Mesopotamia Final Reflections, Out of Eden in the News, & Twitter Chat

12 Nov

Paul Salopek has been out for a walk — a very long walk — since 2013. His route stretches from Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley to the very southern tip of South America, tracing the path of humanity from its African origins, across deserts and mountains. Hari Sreenivasan from PBS News caught up with the two-time Pulitzer-winning foreign correspondent in the nation of Georgia to discuss his journey so far. Watch the 2nd and 3rd video in this playlist to watch this very interesting story about Paul (It’s new this week!). The first story was done, prior to his walk.

Tomorrow night there will be a Twitter Chat where Paul will answer questions. I plan on joining this chat and will ask any questions on your behalf, if you email me them or put them in the comment section here.

Finally, you need to make sure you have completed your Do Now #9 reflection on our last unit, Mesopotamia. Please add your image of your mind map and add your blog link to the document I will share with you in class. This activity and Out of Eden Learn Footstep #3 need to be done by this weekend at the latest. We will begin our next unit – India – next week.

Updated (November 17): Paul responded to one of the questions I asked him on behalf of the class. He answered Michelle’s. Congratulations!

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 12.22.03 AM

Screenshot of Michelle’s question.

Guest Speakers Share Some Photography Tips

4 Nov
Mr. Knudsen introduces his photos (Photo by Rob Martin)

Mr. Knudsen introduces his photos (Photo by Rob Martin)

Aneesh reviewing the key ideas (Photo by Rob Martin)

Aneesh reviewing the key ideas (Photo by Rob Martin)

The importance of color (Photo by Rob Martin)

The importance of color (Photo by Rob Martin)

Takes lots of photos, lots and lots and lots...(Photo by Rob Martin)

Takes lots of photos, lots and lots and lots…(Photo by Rob Martin)

A great message from Mr. K (Photo by Rob Martin)

A great message from Mr. K (Photo by Rob Martin)

Grade 6 social studies had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about photography and how to capture a great photograph. As you prepare to take photos for Out of Eden Footstep #3, remember the advice you learned and read in the slides that Mr. Aneesh and Mr. Knudsen (Mr. K). The biggest piece of advice I heard in both of their talks – takes lots of photos before you narrow down to your two favorite ones. The directions and rubric are on the Moodle page under Out of Eden Learn. It has also been shared with you. If you click on the hyperlinks for Mr. Aneesh and Mr. K, you will see their slide shows.

Mr. Aneesh also shared some photo from Steve McCurry, a fantastic photographer who has taken many photos in India and the region. His work has been featured in magazines and galleries around the world. I will go see an exhibit of his photos in New York City in December at the Rubin Museum of Art. I look forward to seeing your photos. – Mr. Martin

Footstep #3

3 Nov

Continue taking photos this week and prepare to finish Footstep #3 for Out of Eden Learn either this week or during Diwali. The directions are on Out of Eden Learn, but I have also shared them via Google Documents (check your email), along with a rubric and some sentence stems that can help you when you write your story. Here is a video I created that shows some samples of the excellent photos that some students took last year. We are excited to see your photos! I will be out of the country for a conference on Thursday and Friday, but Ms. Jaya will be teaching you. Have a good week.

Mr. Martin

Rubber legs in the Caucasus

21 Oct

Paul has started his walk! He left Tbilisi and is heading to the Caspian Sea. Click on any of these maps to make them bigger.

Political Map of the region where Paul is walking (Google Maps)

Political Map of the region where Paul is walking (Google Maps)

Physical Map of the region (Google Maps)

Physical Map of the region (Google Maps)

Screenshot of the terrain (land) that Paul will be walking across to reach the Caspian Sea (Google Maps)

Screenshot of the terrain (land) that Paul will be walking across to reach the Caspian Sea (Google Maps)

On the Trail with Paul & Tips to Help You

17 Oct


This video is one of Paul walking with a group of students in the country of Georgia. He teaches them how to slow down and notice things in their neighborhoods. You will find this helpful as you work on all of your “Footsteps” for Out of Eden Learn. Here are are some tips:

  • Notice 10 things about your neighborhood as you walk (or use the See -Think-Wonder routine we do)

  • Use your senses as you notice things – seeing, touching, etc.

  • You really need to look for things you might not have noticed before. You are not going to do that if you do not go outside and explore.

Footstep #2 – Neighborhood Map

14 Oct

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week we launch Footstep #2 in our Out of Eden Learn project. Students will learn what a “milestone” is in the Out of Eden Walk, and they can look at some of Paul’s milestones during his journey in part #1 in Footstep #2. The first project for Footstep #2 is to create a neighborhood map and to write a story about your neighborhood or the area where you live.

Directions for the project will be shared in class and they will be posted  on our Moodle page by tomorrow. The due dates and expectations, along with a rubric are in on the document in Moodle. Please look at some of the examples from other students in our walking party. They may be a helpful model as you prepare your map ands story. Remember to write the rough draft of your story on your Out of Eden Learn Google Document. I found a link to old photos of Chennai (Madras) on this link. Check out the pictures, old maps, and art.

Old map of Chennai (Madras)

Old map of Chennai (Madras)

A Personal Message from Paul Salopek, Twitter Chat questions answered, and More…

8 Oct


We are finishing our first footstep this week, and you all have a good understanding of the purpose of Out of Eden Learn and how the platform works. Today was a really great day and it ended on an even greater note when I received a message from Mr. Salopek saying:

“Your class is one of the most active in the OOEL program, and I am deeply gratified that the walk has found an echo among your students. Their work is astonishing–the photo gray that I’ve seen of a woman’s hands crafting a floral crown seem almost professional quality. Kudos to you and your students. Thanks again for walking along.”
Big nature, puny borders: the Georgia-Turkey frontier. Photo by Paul Salopek.

Big nature, puny borders: the Georgia-Turkey frontier. Photo by Paul Salopek.

The photo that Paul refers to in his message that seems “almost professional quality” is from Kennedy, a student of mine from last year. It is an amazing photo by a very talented girl. I am confident that you will also produce great maps, take beautiful photos, and learn much about Chennai, India while sharing things about your own culture.

Photo by Kennedy (aka Amazon Box Guy)

Photo by Kennedy (aka Amazon Box Guy) – CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO MAKE IT BIGGER.

It filled me with great pride when I received this message, and it made me think about the great work my students did last year and the great work you are doing during this first footstep. The next footsteps will get really exciting, as you get to create some cool projects, while sharing your work with other students in our walking party.

Last night, I joined a Twitter ‘chat’ or online discussion with Paul (currently in the country of Georgia) and other people around the world. I asked him some questions on behalf of our class. His answer can be found above my question (My Twitter ‘handle’ is @DigitalNomadRob). Twitter, the the way, has a 140 character limit, so you need to keep questions and replies brief. I have only done one other Twitter Chat, so this was exciting and something new for me as far as social media goes. Here are screenshots of his responses:

Screenshot of Twitter chat (October 7, 2015)

Screenshot of Twitter chat (October 7, 2015)

Screenshot of Twitter chat (October 7, 2015)

Screenshot of Twitter chat (October 7, 2015)

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Another way you can engage with or follow Paul’s journey is through his excellent blog, Out of Eden Walk, where he posts dispatches (messages). I have added a direct link here, but I also have an RSS feed on the right side of our blog, so you can see updates from him. Read his stories there; if you want, post questions or comments as well. Please understand that he cannot answer everyone’s question or respond to everyone’s comment. In other forms of social media, he is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and you can find videos and other information on Out of Eden’s Youtube channel and some great Milestone or Glimpse videos on Vimeo.

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

Photo by Rob Martin

“Sole Brothers” – Out of Eden Learn (G/H)

5 Oct

This week we launched our first “footstep” for the Out of Eden Learn Project. Students watched videos to learn more about Paul Salopek’s journey following the path of human migration. They learned about ‘slow journalism’ and his reasons for taking this trip.G/H block students read Paul’s blog post Sole Brothers. Think about these questions and comment. Our first ‘footstep’ and Part 1 (Get Inspired) is a practice one and it asks you to engage in Paul’s journey and to respond to these questions:

1) What caught your attention or interested you about Paul’s article (Sole Brothers)? Here is an EAL-friendly version.

2) What questions or wonders do you now have (about this article or Paul’s journey)?

Comment below and copy and paste your message to your Out of Eden Learn Google Document (Footstep #1, Part 1) Also, reflect on the beginning of Paul’s story:

“Footwear is a hallmark of modern identity. How best to glimpse an individual’s core values at the start of the 21st century? Look down at their feet—not into their eyes.”

3) What can you learn about someone, or their values from their footwear (see photos of grade 6 footwear)?

In Ethiopia, many people where wear the inexpensive sandals that Paul noticed. Check out the poll question below and vote.

What is Out of Eden Walk/Learn?

22 Sep

Watch several of the short video clips on Out of Eden Learn and Out of Eden Walk. Think about:

  • Who is Paul Salopek?

  • What is the purpose of his journey?

  • What is slow journalism?

  • What is Out of Eden Learn?

  • What do you think will make Out of Eden Learn interesting?

  • What questions do you have about Out of Eden Learn?

Share your ideas in the comment section! Due date: Friday, September 25th (G/H) and Saturday, September 26th (B/D). All comments will be moderated and published by Saturday night at 8:00pm. 

Celebrating Out of Eden Footstep #5

2 Jun

Traditional recipes, games, art and crafts, memories of places, and descriptions of processes were things that we focused on in Footstep #5, Documenting the Everyday. We were very impressed with the quality of your work and the effort you put into sharing the local culture or your own. We saw a wide range of ways you responded, including storytelling, photography, sketching, and the creation of videos similar to Paul Salopek’s Glances. We hope you enjoyed this activity and took the time to notice new things which might seem normal to you, but not to someone in our walking party.

There is one final footstep, #6. While we have run out of time in our school year, we encourage you to complete it for fun. You can also go on Out of Eden during the summer to explore what students are doing. You can also follow Paul’s walk through the RSS feed on our blog. While our school year ends Friday, some students are still going to school for a couple of more weeks. Check out some of the videos some students made for Footstep #5. Great work everyone.