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Space vs. Place

December 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

In this installment, we explore the difference between SPACE and PLACE. We find out why having a SENSE-OF-PLACE matters, and what happens when it weakens. Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Koppen’s Climate Map

November 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

We see color make a special appearance with the KOPPEN-GEIGER CLIMATE MAP, we try to make sense of Koppen’s letters, and ask why it’s so important to characterize place traits anyway. Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Place-It’s Physical Characteristics

November 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

In this installment, we venture back to Australia to introduce the next theme of geography, PLACE. We find out how SITE is different from place characteristics, and why there’s no place like any other place, in the world. Click to [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Crappy Mappy

November 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

On this page we wrap up our introduction of maps as we come face to face with a terrifying Greenland, we find out what happens when we stay in our bubbles, and confuse the living daylights out of average-Joe map readers. No, really-all of the male characters on the page are named Joe. Click to [...]


November 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

This fun site is easy to use and visually appealing for users. A quick video gives a tutorial about CARTOGRAM MAPS and how to read it’s information. There are eleven topics that have the potential for animation: Area, Population, Wealth, Extraction, Emissions, Consumption, Historical Consumption, Reserves, People at Risk, Sea Level, and Poverty. You can kill two birds with one stone and see a ROBINSON PROJECTION in use before you distort [...]

INTERACTIVE: European Word Translator

November 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

This is a neat site that one of my students found after I had them do the work the “long” way using Google translate. I gave my students a map of Europe and had them look up a common word using Google Translate. This killed a few birds with one stone because we were able to 1) remind us where countries were in Europe, 2) had them research the predominant language in each country, 3) had them make hypothesis as to the LANGUAGE FAMILIES that each country belonged to, and 4) had them put in use the word “ISOGLOSS” to distinguish where languages diverge. Here is a picture of my finished product that the kids did for their notebook. I think I will still have them complete this assignment using the new website, the only bad thing is that it doesn’t tell them what the predominant languages are for each country. Here is the cool website: European Word [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Choropleth, Proportional Symbol, & Isoline Maps

October 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

In this next edition, we get our monochromatic color-scheme on, find out that junior high math came in handy, and that behind every isoline map is a 3D phoenix just waiting to rise.  This page begins to explore the first 3 of 6 most commonly used map types-CHOROPLETH, PROPORTIONAL SYMBOL, and ISOLINE maps. Click to [...]

VIDEO via The Economist: The Largest Migration in History

October 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

This 2:43 videographic explains the migration trends of contemporary China. This would be great to connect to Ravenstien and Zylinski’s theories when discussing INTERREGIONAL MIGRATION, PULL FACTORS, and RURAL to URBAN MIGRATION. Perhaps even give students a blank map of China and have them illustrate general arrowed trends of migration within China. Much thanks to a tip from Dustin F. on our Facebook group for this golden [...]

VIDEO: via CNN: No, Where Are You REALLY From?

October 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

The short 3:04 minute video clip on CNN about the topic of ETHNICITY and IDENTITY. The article highlights personal experiences about always being asked about their identity. Frank and honest responses are given. I include this when introducing ETHNICITY, SENSE OF PLACE, ACCULTURATION, ASSIMILATION, MULTICULTURALISM, NATIVISM, CULTURAL APPROPRIATION, and [...]

VIDEO: The Disturbing History of the Suburbs via Adam Ruins Everything

October 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you’re looking for a way to explain the long lasting effects of systemic racism (at least in terms of housing and poverty), watch the Adam Ruins Everything episode clip on REDLINING. I like to remind kids that when talking about race, the purpose is not to make someone feel guilty and implicit, it is to make people understand the roots of socio-economic disparities, and to see how white-privilage already places some at an advantage even before they are born. [...]

LESSON PLAN: Who Grows There?

October 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

LESSON PLAN: My Human Geography students are extremely fortunate to go on three field trips already. One that is NOT included is one to a variety of local food markets. We have a bunch of different ethnic groups represented in our area all with their respective food stores. So, the next best thing I can do is bring the market to them. After covering intensive/extensive, subsistence/commercial farming types in class lecture, we need to start placing these agricultural activities on the map. I plan on having kids walk around the room looking at different crops and telling me where on the map it is found (and countries), how it grows, and what type of commercial agriculture it likely is: extensive grain cropping, intensive grain cropping, market gardening, mixed crop livestock, plantation (LDC), speciality crop (MDC), Aquaculture, Ranching, and Dairying (I think I hit them all). I picked up about 15-20 items from the store that will work well in class (no dairy/meat/fish) and placed them [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Cartographic Decision #3: Data Organization

September 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

Maps continue to show us their true colors as the Professor flips the map on American incarceration rates. Find out why Dex is likely to meet someone who’s been to jail, and why statistics presented as total #’s vs. % matters….BIG TIME. Click to [...]

INTERACTIVE: The Art of Gerrymandering

September 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you want to see how voting districts have been gerrymandered over time, check out The Art of Gerrymandering. It gives you the ability to toggle through fifty years of voting district maps for each state of the union. It also gives a primer on the topic of redistricting and gerrymandering to start. Thanks to Emily C. from the Facebook group for the [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Cartographic Decisions (2)

September 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

We continue our discussion of map projections as those blasted plastic shapes (literally) make their appearance, we go TANGENT on our maps, and realize that Mina has a penchant for sharp things. Click to enjoy! Other key terms covered: CONIC PROJECTION, CYLINDRICAL PROJECTION, PLANAR (AZIMUTHAL, ZENITH) PROJECTION, and INTERRUPTED [...]

Lessons & Worksheets: Map Scale via the U.S. Department of then Interior

September 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Have students read up on map scale with information that comes straight from the professionals. The U.S. Geologic Survey has a write-up about MAP SCALE that is clear and concise. This is a great take-home read for homework, or a quick in-class popcorn read. Lexile® Measure: 900L – 1000L (8th grade reading level) Download the PDF below: Map Scale Geologic Survey Reading [...]

Illustrated Textbook: Upside-Down Maps

September 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

Dex finds out that cartographers have super-powers, how map-making is more than doodles on paper, and how the SOUTH-UP MAP ORIENTATION can flip our worlds. Click to [...]

INTERACTIVE: Boomtown Flood Town

August 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

If you want an opportunity to show how GIS can help solve real world problems and discover correlation, look no further! Boomtown, Flood Town is an interactive article with map overlays that show Houston and the many different variables that pertain to flooding.  [...]
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