The first choice I have is the area that used to be known as Dusseldorf Germany. The geography around Dusseldorf is ideal for a settlement location. There is a source of fresh water from the Rhine river. It has an average elevation of 45 meters over sea level, which does have advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is the area could be subjected to flooding if a settlement is setup too close to the river. The advantages are the land should be fairly easy to work and grow food as it is considered a plain, an area of flat land with little tress. There areas of forrest that could provide timber for building. It has a moderate climate with mild winters and mild summers. A pretty suitable location for a settlement.
The second choice I have is the area that used to be known as Kuwait City. The geography around Kuwait City is not ideal for a settlement in our current situation. The nearest source of fresh water is by the city formerly known as Basrah, which is around 170KM away and would take 35 hours to walk the distance. Not impossible, but not very convenient. Additionally, the area is known as a desert, having very little rain during the year making it very difficult to grow crops. Also, the area is prone to Sandstorms that make breathing very difficult and living uncomfortable. The climate is mostly dry, hot, and dusty. It has mild winters, but very hot summers with temperatures reaching above 50°! The greatest advantage is the proximity to the sea, making easy access to fish. It is located on a coastal plain, which is land that is flat and close to the sea. It is also close to a bay, which is indented area connected to water. Finally, the settlement is connected to the Arabian Gulf, which could provide easy access for trading. This is not a very suitable location to start a settlement in terms of growing crops, but could be very useful as Kuwait is rich in oil and has easy access for trading.
To try and help students with their current event presentations, I have created a model presentation that students can use to create their presentations. Students do not need to follow my format but I think it is a logical way to organize the presentation. Have a look at my work and let me know how you think I have done and what I could do to improve.
This is the source for my current event presentation. It comes from the New York Times online publication.
This is the presentation I created using Google Docs. I also used the Easy Bib add-on to add the citation at the end of the presentation.
This is the video I made of the presentation using the Swivl camera. This is a great tool to use to film presentations because the camera follows the presenter and records pretty good audio.
Here is the rubric that we use to assess current event presentations.
The stability threat that I was assigned was Avalanches. Please see the presentation below for what an avalanche is, why it occurs, consequences of an avalanche, and preventions people can take against avalanches. Finally, I think that avalanches happening in Philistine Land are very low and are not much of a threat to the settlement. And if they did happen I think that it would not have much of an impact on the settlement.
Welcome to Philistineland! The capital city is Philistina and our fearless leader is Moziq. He is a great listener and speaker and takes calculated risks. Take care when you negotiate with him, you might end up losing your watch... Philistineland is an agricultural settlement that has recently learned the technology of the wheel, interested in doing some business? Would you like to learn about the wheel? Make Moziq an offer he can't refuse!
Area of Philistineland
The area of Philistineland is about 18,000KM2. Luckily in this area there is fresh water lakes and mountains. I wonder what kinds of resources my settlement will uncover?
Location of Philistineland
Philistineland is conveniently located in between the continents of Europe and Asia. There are some major advantages of this location as there is fresh water nearby and there are mountains that offer some protection. It also appears to be very near the Black sea, Mediterranean sea, and Caspian Sea.
What's in 100KM Radius?
Looks like there are many fresh water sources along with some mountains or highlands and there are some plains. Looks like a nice place to start some farming.
Nearest water source
I think that this map connects to the theme of region because these countries are all part of the European Union and there are countries that are missing and the ones that are missing are the ones that are not in the European union. For example, look at Switzerland, it is actually missing from the map and I think that it is not 100% in the European Union.
For the Love of Maps (Cartographilia)
I love maps! I think it goes back to when I was a little kid and I would look at globes and maps and I would close my eyes and point my finger to a spot on the map and then I would open them and say "someday I will go there!" Thinking back about now I think most of the time when I would spin a globe and place my finger on that hopeful destination it was useusalyl somewhere in the ocean.
This love of maps was the focus of a lesson I taught with my 6th grade Humanities class. I had students look at the European map above and do a visible thinking routine called See-Think-Wonder.
As a class we examined the map and made shared our observations, thinking, and our wondering. The response was great a students were pretty engaged in the lesson referring back to their prior knowledge of Europe and making connections to the map.
Students then worked in pairs doing their own See-Think-Wonder with a different map of Europe. These maps come from a blog post that caught my eye when I was browsing Facebook called 38 Maps that Explain Europe.
The unit that students are working on currently focuses on the Statement of Inquiry: Absolute and relative locations have consequences for human and economic development. A great part of this unit focuses and Europe and the European Union. Hopefully this lessons provokes student thinking and generates some questions about Europe and the European Union.
2 Classes 2 different approaches for See-Think-Wonder
The first class has 14 students so the approach to using the See-Think-Wonder routine was a whole class discussion with student thinking recorded on the wonder wall. Using the wonder wall easily allows students to see what each are thinking. Also, it is easy to address student thinking in whole class setting. After the class did the first together students were able to access another 40 maps that were stored on Schoology and create their own See-Think-Wonder with a map of their choice. After they had created their document students had discussions about their thinking and tried to determine which theme of geography best connects to the map.
The second class has 22 students so the approach was to pair students up and have them record their thinking about the map displayed on an A3 paper. After they recorded their thinking they worked in groups of discussing which theme best connects to the map. Finally, students were given a paper copy of a different map were they did their own See-Think_wonder. The lesson ended with them using a post it not to decide which theme of geography best connects to the map.
Follow up lesson...
For both classes their will be a follow up lesson where all maps will be examined by the class and students will try to group the maps by theme. The hope is that by examining the maps and keeping in mind the themes of geography students will deepen their understanding of how the five themes are interrelated and how maps work. Students could also compare maps and decide how they could be improved. In addition, students could examine their wonderings and use these to guide an inquiry that focuses on answering their questions not only about the map, but also deepen their understanding of the Statement of Inquiry.
Authentic Language Connection
Interested in entering a writing competition about the European Union? Have a look at the competition details here: Writing Competition #EUEnlargement
This is a model presentation that I have created for students to assess. Please comment on the presentation and explain how the presentation can be improved and what can be done to better meet the project guidelines.
This is a questionnaire that I have created for 2 reasons. The first is I want students to give me their thoughts about feedback. The second I want to know what their specific goals are to improve in Humanities class. I will use this information to try and provide better focused feedback to students. I will start recording conversations with students to look for ways to improve my feedback. I will share these videos with other teachers and ask for suggestions on how I could improve my feedback.
Thinglink is pretty cool. It allows you to take an image and link other content to the internet to it. For example, This is the flag of Sri Lanka and all over the flag are links. These links are connections to the 7 cultural universals. Leave a comment about what you think about Thinglink or what your learned about Sri Lanka.
Prezi is a way to make presentations more interactive. In my opinion they take way more time but are way more engaging because you can insert videos and other media to help explain your ideas.
Aaron DeLane has worked in Kuwait, China, and now Germany at the International School of Dusseldorf. Every gray hair is a positive difference he's made in a child's life over the many years he's been teaching.