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Illustrated Textbook: Location’s Three Types of Distribution

August 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

We continue to discuss spatial distribution with our example of traffic fatalities in the state of Wyoming. This page deals with critical fundamentals-SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, and it’s three types: PATTERN, DENSITY, and CONCENTRATION. We also talk about what it means to be CLUSTERED and DISPERSED, and the differences between LINEAR PATTERN, CENTRALIZED PATTERN, and RANDOM PATTERN (the oxymoron). Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: GIS, GPS, and the Clumping of “Things”

August 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Greetings! In this installation GIS and GPS make an appearance, we find out about about the AGGREGATE of “things”, and find out how geography can help us solve the cause of traffic fatalities in Wyoming (or anywhere for that matter). Click below to access the [...]

Illustrated Textbook: The Importance of the Spatial Perspective

August 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

Alright! This is what all of you John Snow geeks have been waiting for. Oh, you thought I was talking about Game of Thrones!… …No no…. Dr. John Snow of the London cholera epidemic-the father of epidemiology. This is one of my favorite pages so far and I am very excited to share it with you, and hopefully your students. We learn why the SPATIAL PERSPECTIVE is so darn important and what maps and toilet paper have in common. Click below to read the newest page. In my hunting for my favorite John Snow materials, I found this interactive game where students need to guess which pump was tainted (it is very basic, but does the job). If you are into primary source documents, you can have your students read Dr. Snow’s report on the cholera outbreak here. And if you are into pre-made worksheets, I found a great one from Oregon State. More recently, I saw a video going around about how cholera spreads from the Global Health Media Project, it is very well done and I think [...]

Lessons & Worksheets: Site & Situation Factors

August 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

Greetings! It’s nap time in the house so I whipped up a site and situation worksheet for you to enjoy. Topics cover SITE, SITUATION, ABSOLUTE LOCATION, and RELATIVE LOCATION. If you haven’t also checked out the Stratfor-Geographic Challenges Youtube channel-GET ON IT! These are two-minute video clips on a bunch of countries, explaining their geographic sites and situations. I use it in this worksheet. If your kids aren’t 1:1, you could complete the Youtube task as a class. Download Worksheet Key and Worksheet Blank HERE:  Site and Situation Worksheet Now check out Stratfor’s Youtube Channel! [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Location-It’s All Relative

July 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

The whole gang make an appearance on this page and flex their skills on everything that is relative. RELATIVE LOCATION, RELATIVE DIRECTION, and RELATIVE DISTANCE are the centers of attention. Click the image to enjoy. Click to read! [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Location-Site and Situation

July 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you’ve ever wanted to know the distance between Reykjavik, Iceland and Timbuktu, Mali, this page is for you. ABSOLUTE and RELATIVE LOCATION are covered, as well as ABSOLUTE DISTANCE. I would also like to dedicate this page to the countless number of AP Reading colleagues who are / have traveled to Iceland for professional development. It is definitely on my bucket list. Click the image to enjoy! [...]

LESSONS AND WORKSHEETS: Enclaves and Exclaves-ESRI Storymap

July 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you haven’t checked out ESRI’s collection of story maps yet, now is the time! These are great little interactive stories that are fun to scroll through-including this one on the topic of ENCLAVES and EXCLAVES. Have you ever lectured on this topic and students always ask, “Well, can an enclave touch water? Is an exclave still an exclave if there is a lake in it? How about if it is touching another country?” If I had a dollar for every… But luckily, this storymap answers their most burning questions. The best part is, students can go at their own pace! ESRI Storymap Exclave Enclave Attached is a worksheet I whipped up that goes with the ESRI Storymap. Use or refuse. Enjoy the worksheet here: Enclaves and Exclaves ESRI Storymap Shoutout: To J. Hemmings for posting about this on [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Location-Site and Situation

July 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

In this installment, we jump into SITE and SITUATION while within the theme of LOCATION. We discover what’s so special about Chiang Mai, Thailand and how zombie deer are an example of a locational site factor. Click the image to read. Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Location-Toponyms

July 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

The next installment takes us to the 2nd of 5 Themes of Geography-Location. We find out about toponyms, the mystery that is Tesnus, Texas, and how perception matters when choosing to live in Hell on Earth. Click the image below to [...]

The Art of Making Globes

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

What I really like about this collection of short video clips is seeing how much art is incorporated in the creation of something that requires such precision. Art and science mix to create this beautiful thing that continues to draw imagination and inspiration for those aged 3-103. This first video shows the process of making globes at a North London firm of geographers circa 1955. My favorite part is where they apply the smooth layer of plaster to make the sphere, and then smooth out the image strips letting the glue smoosh out. Click to play linked video The next video show globes constructed by factory machine. It reminds of on an episode of How It’s Made. Click image to watch linked video. Of course, you can still buy a globe made the old school way, bit it will cost you! One of their modest handcrafted masterpieces costs a cool $2000.00. Bellerby & Co. Globe Makers                             [...]

Resource: All Models are Wrong

July 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

Thanks to a Facebook poster, Betsy Smalley for posting the original article. This is very relevant to all of us who teach Human Geography and teach all of the geographic models. Sometimes students (and teachers alike) don’t understand why we need to learn the models, and why there are always exceptions to the rules. This article does a great job explaining the purpose behind a model and why it is better left imperfect. The article is edited from the original to make useable in the classroom. For the complete article, follow the link HERE. Edited version below: All Models Are Wrong [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Types of Regions-The Perceptual Type

July 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

This edition wraps up the topic of perceptual regions and why the heck they matter. Where is the “South” anyway? Comments welcomed. We also get to practice our Arrernte while discovering what Crocodile Dundee and the Never-Never have in common. Click the image to [...]

Course Articulation Crowdsourced Question Bank

July 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

I would like to revive the effort to create a crowdsourced question bank based off of the current AP Human course articulation (2015 edition). We started this two years ago and then forgot about it. The best professional development (aside from the AP Reading) that I do for myself is to create multiple choice questions for my tests. Yes, it can be grueling and tedious, but I am a much better teacher and question writer because of it. Since there are now 3000 of us on the Facebook group, it would be great if everyone could contribute just ONE question! Can you imagine the magic? Inspired be your recent travels? Write a question! Want to get back at new urbanism? Write a question! Have an FRQ you’ve been dying to get off your chest? Write a question! If any of you are starting to use testing programs that require you to tag questions based on course standards, THIS IS THE GOLDMINE. Let’s help each other out. Maybe you don’t chat a lot on the Facebook group and are [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Types of Regions-The Functional Type (2)

July 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

This page wraps up the topic of functional regions while discussing the terms connectivity and accessibility. The Prints use large port cities to help explain the concepts. The page also transitions to the topic of vernacular (perceptual) regions. We also find out what a “rabbuck” is and how it’s relevant to geography. Click the image to [...]

ILLUSTRATED TEXTBOOK: Types of Regions-the Functional Type

June 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

This page tackles the functional (nodal) region and the concept of spatial interaction. Chicago and Sydney are perfect examples that I use to illustrate my point. Speaking of point….Jean Baptist Point du Sable makes an appearance. Who’s that? HA! Only the founder of one of the greatest cities in the entire known world. Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Formal Regions

June 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

This page covers the topic of formal regions and begins to tackle functional (nodal) ones. Other terms included are Node, Network, and Manuel Castells. Click to [...]

NEWS via Marketplace: Small-scale manufacturing is on the rise in American cities

June 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

Time: 3 min. 36 sec. Have students listen to a contemporary example of how one Rust-Belt city is making it’s comeback (Duluth, Minn.) This would be a great story to have students listen to for homework that would strengthen your lecture on the Rust Belt, Deindustrialization, Redevelopment, Urban Renewal/Revival, Craft Cities, and in general-Development. “Three decades ago, Duluth, Minnesota, was in the doldrums. A steel mill had just closed. Unemployment was more than 20 percent. Someone posted a billboard on the way out of town that read: “Last one out, turn out the lights.” “We were as Rust Belt as they come,” recalled Andy Goldfine, who in 1984 rented an old three-story brick building, bought a bunch of used sewing machines and started a company called Aerostich. His vision was to make motorcycle gear for hard-core riders to wear over their work clothes…..” Full transcript available at the [...]

INTERACTIVE: Compare Map Projections via

June 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you’re looking to show your students the quick difference between conic, cylindric, and planar-look no further. This great website by Tobias Jung compares 150+ different map projections. Remember that for Human Geography, our course description asks for students to: “Use and interpret maps” and understand, “All map projections (e.g., Mercator, polar) inevitably distort spatial relationships (e.g., shape, area, distance, direction).” Don’t be overwhelmed, this does not mean the goal is to memorize them all. Create a lesson showing students how cartographers attempt to show the round Earth on a projected flat surface. Students (or other interested parties), can select two maps to compare at once. You can have the kids select different aspects that you want them to compare and then write about the differences. Equidistant vs. Equal-Area? No problem! Check out the comparison website, it rocks. Thanks for the tip from our Facebook group for this [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Types of Regions

June 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

Well, if any of you were at the recent AP grading in Cincinnati, you would understand the uproar over “regions”. Africa. Is it? Or isn’t it? Well, according to AP, it is. I think this sums up many other topics within the field of geography. The ongoing discourse about how to define this social science is frustrating, yet so exciting. I love the debate and hopefully you do too. Since I plan on having students use the illustrated text one day, I used AP’s maps as reference. That doesn’t mean that I agree with everything 🙂 I mean…what the heck’s up with Siberia there? Are they saying that it is part of East Asia or not? I can’t tell. Update: I took the liberty of changing the “Middle East” the Southwest Asia. Click to read! Here is the next page on world regions and the beginning of the discussion on types of [...]

Professional Development Night at the 2017 AP Human Reading

June 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you haven’t had the chance to grade hundreds (for some of you thousands) of AP exams, I highly suggest that you do it at least once. While the reading itself can be grueling, there is no other place in the world where so many high school and college educators geek out about Human Geography, in one place. While walking to breakfast one morning, I overheard a man describe how he helped his wife give birth by candlelight in Uganda-needless to say, the stories here are unreal. And while it is difficult to squeeze in a professional development night between a Reds game and a peddle-bike tour of Cincinnati, it is an event that I never miss, because here, you will find the best of the best. The All-Americans of AP Human Geography. With 37 possible roundtable presentations, I was able to hit five, 15-minute talks. GIS, Geoinquiries, and APHG: Presented by Georgeanne Hribar of Old Dominion U. and Phillip Hare of A. C. Flora H.S. We need to make sure that our students [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Defining a Region-Continental Style

June 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

This next page begins breaking down the basic World regions for us. I used the AP Regions as my guide, which you can also find below. I also write about a way that you can download a KML file of World regions and project them into Google Earth for viewing. Enjoy! Here is a preview of the KML file that you can download into Google Earth. Follow the link to the illustrated textbook to read [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Defining a Region

May 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

Holy busy month Batman… I have no idea how I am plowing through all of the end of the year ceremonies, retirement parties, and-oh yeah-teaching. I was finally able to finish another page. This page starts to define regions, the first of the Five Themes of Geography that I talk about. In the meantime, enjoy the end of the year festivities everyone! CLICK ME to Define [...]

Google Doc: 2017 Collaborative FRQ Rubric

May 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you would like to discuss the FRQs with your students today, here is a collaborative rubric to share/review ideas.  Try not to delete the questions themselves and just add to the rubric sections if editing. Enjoy the Monday! [...]
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