Classwork Portfolio
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Classwork Portfolio
Regional Geogaphy
Curated by Matt Mallinson
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Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Classwork Portfolio |

The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us " tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind."  Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary.  The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.  


Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG. 

Via Seth Dixon
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Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar | Classwork Portfolio |
The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world.


This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent.   While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions.  This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:25 PM
I like that the Sikh religion allows people of all religions to visit their holy temple. These people seem like good people.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:18 AM

I was impressed by the fact that the people of the Sikh religion are very accepting of people who remain outside their system of beliefs.  They acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and don't see any reason to treat them with anything but respect.  These people are most definitely good people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:46 AM

This temple is amazing because it is not only a place of worship but also a huge free eatery. This temple plays a role in the poor relief of the area because all poor people are welcome to come and eat. The fact they welcome those of different faiths as well into this temple of worship is something that is really remarkable because of the fear and distrust many faiths seem to have of one another. If only more places of worship acts as this one.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Ghosts Of Rwanda

This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death.  To learn more about the documentary, see:

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 12:30 PM
In this situation I look at America and I can't help but ask "Why didn't you help?" These people were getting killed for no good reason, and we as a nation knew this and did nothing. I'm ashamed that we didn't aid them, my heart goes out for the Rwandan people.
Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:08 PM

while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle.  The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area.  It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem. 

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Religious architecture of Islam

Religious architecture of Islam | Classwork Portfolio |
Read Religious architecture of Islam for travel tips, advice, news and articles from all around the world by Lonely Planet...


This is an excellent article that can be used in a thematic class for analyzing religion, the human landscape, the urban environment and cultural iconography.  For a regional geography class, this show great images from Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine.  

Via Seth Dixon
andrew desrochers's curator insight, October 28, 2014 2:47 PM

These architectural designs in Israel show religious meanings, what other factors inspire architectural creativity? Who uses these different styles of creativity?

Lily and Cami's curator insight, November 5, 2014 5:18 PM

Israel Religion: I scooped this because the picture really stood out to me because the golden dome stands over the rock on Temple Mount. you also can see great images of Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria, and Israel/Palestine. Not only are these sacred buildings but they are also big religious and tourist attractions.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:20 PM

Although all part of the same religion these buildings are influenced heavily by their location. I think this is important to note because it challenges our assumptions on Islam. When I think of a mosque a certain image pops into my head, these images shows how the same religion can still have local influences.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

NPR: In The Hills Of Rio, Shantytowns Get A Makeover

Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, is trying to remake its hundreds of favelas.


There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?   

Via Seth Dixon
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:02 PM

The facelift that Rio de Janeiro is receiving in anticipation of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 is sapping up a large amount of Brazil's resources, resources that some lower class Brazilians argue should be allocated to improving roads or schools. The government led make-over reminds me of the upper-class driven gentrification of urban areas in places like NYC that were previously neighborhoods for lower-class residents. I don't think we will be able to understand the effects of this remodeling until after the Cup and the Olympics have come and gone. If Brazil keeps it up and continues to "improve" outlier areas, what will Brazil look like in 20 years?

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 1:04 PM

There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:21 AM

I find it sad that although Rio de Janiero obviously has a huge socioeconomic gap between the wealthy and the poor, it takes the prospect of the World Cup and Olympics for them to act. Furthermore their solution to cover up their slums is short sighted and they refuse to look at the deep seeded roots of the issue.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Classwork Portfolio |
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.


Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.


Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 


Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.

Via Seth Dixon
Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Classwork Portfolio |

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."


In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   

Via Seth Dixon
Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.
Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Selling condoms in the Congo

TED Talks HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why?


This video highlights why some well-intending NGOs with excellent plans for the developing world don't have the impact they are hoping for. Cultural barriers to diffusion abound and finding a way to make your idea resonate with your target audience takes some preparation. This also addresses some important demographic and health-related issues, so the clip could be used in a variety of places within the curriculum. FYI: this clip briefly shows some steamy condom ads.

Via Seth Dixon
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:45 PM

Marketing is not something I would have thought about when trying to get people in the Kongo to use condoms. Her research into the brands they use and why may save many lives.

Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:27 PM

I was surprised actually that it took this long for someone to think of this, given the fact that the AIDS crisis in Africa is practically a pandemic.However it is a good idea that someone had finally started to do something about it.  

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 13, 2014 5:37 PM

This video explains the errors that a lot of NGOs make when attempting to help the developing world. While the NGOs have done a service providing condoms in the DRC, they lack appropriate marketing and merchandising for the product itself. In a way, the organizations need to eliminate their egos in the situation and allow for the product to be marketed appropriately.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Slideshare: Middle east flags

 Looking for an easy online method of sharing and using powerpoint presentations?  Slideshare is made just for that.  Here is one I made of Middle Eastern flags a while back, showing the cultural patterns and similarities among the flags.  Students are quick to note that the Israeli flag sticks out and "doesn't fit in well visually."  

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 29, 2013 4:11 PM

Many of these countries share similar backgrounds and cultures, as well as flags which is seen above.  The color patterns show red, black,  white, and green on almost every flag except Israel's which is blue and white.  It shows that most of the countries within the region are all linked somehow whether it be through language, identity, or other reasons, though there is still room for conflict and change as time passes.  After looking at flags from other countries such as Iraq and Iran, the graphics on them change, sometimes reflecting government changes.  It is sometimes difficult to remember and notice so many flags, yet some of these flags have changed within the last 2 to 3 decades to accompany the change of government.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:06 PM

This goes to show how a flag is supposed to represent the people who live in their country. And the flag of Israel really does stick out like a sore thumb. We have the crescent moon, the typical Arabic colors of green, red, black, and white, and the blue and white really doesn't have much to do with the history of the people who live in Israel, only the new Jewish community who live there, but not the Palestinians. 

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:36 AM

Representation of middle eastern flags,

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library | Classwork Portfolio |

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."   This video really resonates with my students.  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 2:03 PM

This is a good example of the use of soft power in areas where American culture is not popular. Instead of using military force to exert western Ideals on the people of Afghanistan. This Australian may have found a way to close the gap towards bringing our cultures  closer together.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:01 PM

In a society that is seen by most of the world as strict and rigid, it was interesting to see these children having fun and breaking the mold of traditional afghan kids. What makes this even more fascinating is that female children are doing some of the skating. With gender issues a hot topic in some Middle Eastern countries, letting kids have fun before being made to conform to tradition is a nice experience for them. While they still respect the culture to they belong to, it is a break from that and a breathe of fresh air for them. These youth are not seen primarily as men and woman, but as children.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:33 AM

Who could have imagined, that Skateboards could be used as a geopolitical tool? Over a decade ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan with the aim of rooting out and destroying the terrorist who attacked the nation on 911. As with most of our military campaigns in the Middle East, the mission quickly became bogged down in a nation building campaign. The people of Afghanistan have long been wary of foreign influence. Empire after empire has attempted to conquer this nation, only to suffer humiliating defeats. For any chance at sustained success, the United States must win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. This skateboard program is a perfect tool in accomplishing that objective. The parks bring all types of youths together in the spirit of fun. They are a unifying factor amongst the youth in Afghanistan.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans

Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans | Classwork Portfolio |
Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers.


The migration from Mexico to the USA has slowed tremendously in the 21st century, but due to the drug violence, the demographic profile of the migrants has changed significantly. 

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:22 PM

Despite Mexico making improvements to make Mexicans want to stay below the border. The drug trafficking violence does make people want to leave. Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans, wealthy businessmen and average Mexicans are fleeing Mexico and have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus, and they're being warmly welcomed, unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants. Mexicans are fleeing cartel wars that have left more than 37,000 Mexicans dead in just 4 years, 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:12 PM

This article is interesting because we were used to seeing poorer immigrants from Mexico looking for work and a new way of life.  However, the more affluent communities are migrating North to the U.S. and legally because of the turmoil of the drug wars in their country.  It is disappointing to see that drugs, violence and murder are pushing away people from their own country

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:23 PM

For more affluent Mexicans the ability to migrate north is much easier than for the poor. They have the money and the skills to move into the United States. Also with the open lines of communication and ease of flux with business over the border make moving to the U.S. an excellent way to avoid being caught in the cross fire among drug cartels. For the poor however they are either forced to find work with the cartel or risk being an innocent bystander. It also makes you think about the terminology we use to describe Mexican immigrants, are they not refugees of this drug war?