Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Geography of Food: Food and Religion

Food and religion go hand in hand across the world. Many religions have specific rituals, practices and celebrations that influence the types of foods its followers can consume. For example, many Jewish people eat special kosher foods like gefilte fish and matzo farfel during the Passover holiday. In Hinduism, the cow is traditionally considered sacred, so many followers do not eat beef.

National Geographic Education offers a fun activity to explore some of the major religious food cultures in the world. In this activity, 9th-12th graders are given the opportunity to plan a menu based on discussion and research about food rituals.

Further exploration:  CBS video that explores food and culture of Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Geography of Food: Farmers' Market

What is a farmers’ market?  According to the USDA, “a farmers' market is defined as a multi-stall market at which farmer-producers sell agricultural products directly to the general public at a central or fixed location”. Additionally, farmers’ markets provide people with an opportunity to interact with their community and their local farmers. 
Below are articles and videos about the local food movement and farmers ‘ markets throughout the world.  Additionally, if your students want to find farmers’ markets in their area, they can use the USDA’s search engine which is listed below.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Geography of Food: Geographic Groceries

Do you know where your food comes from? For many people, the answer is simple—the grocery store. While it may seem simple, the reality is that the food you buy in the grocery store has already traveled a long way before it ever makes it into your home. Getting food into the store and then your home is a complex process involving farmers, transportation systems, and retailers.

National Geographic Education offers some fun activities to explore not only how food makes its way into your home, but also how the grocery store itself can be divided into different “food regions”.

Geographic Groceries is a quick mapping activity to expose students ages 8-11 to the different regions of a conventional grocery store. This link offers a similar activity for younger students.

This is what your grocery store will look like in 2065

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Geography of Food: State Fairs

It’s that time of year again! Big Tex is back at the State Fair of Texas. State fairs can be great representations of regional differences and similarities across the country, including the food. State Fairs have even developed a food culture of their own.

In Texas, there is a long history of agriculture and cattle ranching, and that still affects how we eat today. The State Fair of Texas provides some great TEKS-based lesson plans for 3rd and 4th graders to incorporate state food and farming into the classroom.

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/BigTex-457.jpg

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FieldScope: A Tool for Sharing, Mapping, and Graphing Data

Join the National Geographic Education team for a Google Hangout introduction to FieldScope, a tool for sharing, mapping, and graphing data collected in citizen science projects on TONIGHT, SEPTEMBER 24 from 7-8 p.m. ET. You'll see a demonstration of basic FieldScope functionality, including photo and data uploads, graphing, and mapping.

The FieldScope team will also highlight existing projects you and your students can participate in, such as Project BudBurst and FrogWatch.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Hand-Harvesting is Hard Work

Mechanization has made the farming of many crops—lettuce and tomatoes among them—a lot less labor intensive. But some crops are still tended and harvested by hand, and it can be painstaking work. (NPR) Take a look through our new map layers on the world's leading food crops. Discussion Ideas Read through the NPR article… Read more

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Staple Food Crops of the World

Cassava Production
Have you visited National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive? The following activity highlights staple food crops around the world and maps layers of where these crops grow.

Staple Food Crops of the World
Where are some of the world’s staple crops grown?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Investigating Demographics through Population Pyramids in Live Web Maps

GIS Education Community
Posted on: Friday, June 13, 2014 9:00 AM
Author: Joseph Kerski
Subject: Investigating Demographics through Population Pyramids in Live Web Maps

For decades, examining population pyramids has been an essential part of geography.  And for good reason:  In a small amount of space, they illustrate the distribution of age groups in a country, region, census enumeration district, or other geographic area. Through studying them, one quickly gets some sense of the demographic characteristics of an area.  Population pyramids are a part of the "geoenrichment" capabilities in ArcGIS Online, so named because with a touch or two of the mouse, you have instant access to additional your demographic and lifestyle data that describe income, consumer behavior, market potential, and more. One easy way to get a sense for the possibilities available with ArcGIS Online for demographic study through population pyramids is through this demonstration web mapping resource.

Accessing the demonstration resource places you in Los Angeles County, but you can zoom and pan to other areas in the USA. In each case, the pyramid for the one mile buffer around your chosen point is shown, with comparison to the population pyramid for the entire county containing that point. The map must be at a medium to large scale. The pyramid for certain areas departs significantly from the characteristics for the county as a whole, as in the case below for an area in Orange County, California. What clues on the map indicate why the pyramid is so lopsided?

Population Pyramid for an area near two universities in Irvine, California
Population Pyramid for an area near two universities in Irvine, California.

Investigate areas containing college campuses, military bases, prisons, summer homes, retirement communities, and other features. As students begin to think spatially using these tools, ask them to pose hypotheses about the age structure of the population, and then test those hypotheses. Discuss the effect that scale has on age data. Discuss the impact that variables such as immigration, migration, economic conditions, local land use, and perception of place have on age structure. Discuss the past and future age structure of chosen areas. The possibilities are endless with this single web mapping tool. When you use geoenrichment in your own account, note that it does consume credits, but not in this demonstration tool.
When you're ready for more, investigate the other geoenrichment capabilities in ArcGIS Online.

View article...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Population Education's San Marcos Training Institute

Population Education will be co-sponsoring a facilitator training institute with the Texas Alliance for Geographic Education at the Texas State University San Marcos campus on September 20th, 2014. The facilitator training is open to educators who are interested in leading Population Education workshops for their colleagues at schools, universities and conferences around the region. This is an excellent opportunity for social studies educators within driving distance of San Marcos to become acquainted with innovative, interdisciplinary curricula that address a host of TEKS standards for geography, global studies and more.

Population Education will be providing breakfast and lunch on the day of the training, as well as a reimbursement of up to $200 to offset travel expenses (mileage/hotel). Participants will also receive 6 CPE hours, an extensive handbook of training materials and a variety of curriculum resources, including the latest edition of Population Education’s award-winning "dot" video, World Population. To apply, go to our website: www.PopulationEducation.org and click on “Leadership Institute” under the “Trainers Network” tab. Complete the application form by July 16th and return it with a current resumé or CV.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

NY Times: The Way North Interactive

Are you following the New York Times' The Way North? For the millions of us that live along this road, from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota, this story explores the complex communities along Interstate 35.

Currently on Day 19, start at Day 1 and travel north with this New York Times interactive.

#thewaynorth #geography