Mrs. Watson's Class
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Gullah Culture

"While Gullah was not originally a written language and has never had a governing authority or dictionary, linguistic scholars have found that the language is internally consistent and in some ways more efficient and expressive than standard English. Elements of the language have seeped into African-American Vernacular English across the country."

 

For the first time in recent memory, the Charleston County School Board is discussing how to address the specific needs of Gullah and Geechee students, children of a culture whose linguistic origins trace back to the west coast of Africa via the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Some teachers have said the students' way of speaking — whether in the heavily West African-influenced Gullah language or in the more Anglicized dialects sometimes known as Geechee — can present an obstacle to understanding in the classroom. Like many Lowcountry Gullah speakers of her generation, the current head of state for the Gullah/Geechee Nation carries painful memories of adults who taught her to hold her family's way of speaking in contempt.

 

Tags: language, culture, race, education, historical.


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Alex Smiga's curator insight, May 31, 10:58 AM
A truly unique gem of American culture, absolutely fascinating.
Mr Mac's curator insight, July 10, 11:26 AM
Unit 3 - Folk Culture, Regions, Language, race/ethnicity
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Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey

"The curriculum 'Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey' traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of the Turkish Republic, and contemporary issues in Turkey. Learn more at www.choices.edu/turkey "


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 9, 2015 4:49 PM

This video is a great introduction to the Choices Program's new unit on Turkey...a country that is truly a bridge between the Middle East and Europe, without being fully in either.   This unique global position makes Turkey a very important country to understand both culturally and politically.


Tags: politicalculture, Turkeyhistorical.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:24 PM

Turkey has always been a country that I find interesting. So many amazing architectural structures and landscapes. I have two friends from high school who work there in the peace corps. I asked them what it's like and they couldn't really describe it. They said it isn't really Arabic but it certainly isn't western either. This was a good introductory video on the area.

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Alexander von Humboldt

"Have you heard of Alexander von Humboldt? Not likely. The geologist turned geographer and South American explorer was a bit of an 18th century super scientist, traveling over 24,000 miles to understand the relationship between nature and habitat. George Mehler details Humboldt’s major accomplishments and why we should care about them today. See this TED ED lesson plan that accompanies the video."


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Notable Geographer and geologist

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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 6:39 PM

I had not heard of Alexander Von Humbboldt before watching this video. He is said to be one of the most amazing scientists to ever live. More places around the world have been named after him than any other person. His name was lost in history so this is why many people are not familiar with him. He started off as a geologist, then he began a scientific five year journey from 1799-1804. His journey was long, dangerous at some times, and very interesting to hear about. He travel through mountains, across oceans, and through villages. For one thing, he was the first explorer to witness preparation of the curare plant, which was used for poison arrows. He recognized the importance of the cinchona tree, who's bark contains quinine, a malaria killer. He also discovered the ocean current which eliminates rainfall on the coast of Peru. To record air pressure, he climbed to the top of one of the tallest volcanoes, Mount Chimborazo. His total journey consisted of about 2400 miles, which is reality is equal to the circumference of the Earth.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 10, 2015 8:42 PM

This video was quite interesting because I had never heard of Alexander von Humboldt, yet this great scientist founded many different important facts that are beneficial and helped to find with the preparation of the Curare Plant which is in poisonous arrows and discovered the ocean current on South America. Without Humboldt South America might have been at a lose for some objects and geographical information. Everyone has an impact in geography and geology, yet Humboldt helped to create contour maps which happened different patterns, everyone builds off of others ideas. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 5, 2015 3:58 PM

Nope, never heard of him.  Humboldt did some extraordinary things though.  I'm surprised we don't hear more about him in education.  I've definitely heard of Darwin though.  It's interesting what we decide is relevant or who is relevant in history.  

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Track a Century of U.S. Development With a Tool That Centralizes Old Maps

Track a Century of U.S. Development With a Tool That Centralizes Old Maps | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The full catalog of USGS topographic surveys is now all on one site and searchable by city.
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Looks like a great resource for the Urban unit.

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Shifting post-colonial economic geographies

Shifting post-colonial economic geographies | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive.  After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 12, 2015 2:36 PM

This article shows that the former Spanish "New World" colonies are becoming equal with their former motherland.  Spain now relies on relationships with Latin and South America because the economic downturn of the mid-2000s hurt Spain much worse than it hit the United States.  However, some Spanish still view themselves as superior to the South Americans, and their is still resentment of Spain in countries such as Panama, because the leaders claim that the Spanish still think of them as primitive natives, referring to the region's Mayan pasts, in a pre-Columbian world.  Yet, for the most part the relationship is beneficial and it is actually helping Spain out greatly, as these former colonies are now investing into the country.  Today, Spanish young people are even going to South and Central America in search of work because of the current economic stagnation in Spain.  This shows how things can change greatly overtime, and that yesterdays imperialist power, can now be in need of help from its former subjects.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 27, 2015 8:02 PM
This phenomenon is interesting. Mainly due to the fact that in the past the Spaniards have been quoted as describing native Latin-Americans as "backwards", "barbaric", and "savages". It's funny how some people can be made to eat their own words.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 5, 2015 10:51 AM

This article provides an interesting story about the shift in economic power from colonizer (Spain) to colonized (Latin America). Of course, colonialism in the sense that many of us think of it has not truly existed for a century or so. But that doesn't mean that its effects can't still be felt around the world. Many former colonies are still economically dependent on their former colonizers and are still feeling the adverse effects of (in some cases) rapid decolonization. In some instances, however, economic, and in some sense, political power has shifted to the former colonies. This certainly seems to be the case with Latin America and its former biggest colonizer, Spain. As the numbers show, the flow of investment and goods between the two countries has reversed over the last two decades or so, with Latin America now pouring more money into Spain than the reverse. 

 

What this has created is a sort of paradigm shift not only in an economic sense, but a geographic one as well. Where Europe and the U.S. were once major economic powerhouses on the global stage, now nations in Latin America and other developing countries around the world are seeing a gain in economic power. The availability of resources, large labor markets, and industrialization have allowed these countries to strengthen their economies and engage in foreign trade and investment that they were previously locked out of. As a result, developed nations such as China and the U.S. are now forced to recognize that developing nations half a world away are potential competitors when it comes to trade and investment. That this could mean a geographic shift in the centers of economic power in the coming decades is certainly possible, and something which the wealthiest and most developed countries around the world will surely monitor with great interest. 

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Ancient Eurasiatic ‘superfamily’ found at root of European and Asian languages

Ancient Eurasiatic ‘superfamily’ found at root of European and Asian languages | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the end of the last ice age, according to research.  The claim, by scientists in Britain, points to a common origin for vocabularies as varied as English and Urdu, Japanese and Itelmen, a language spoken along the north-eastern edge of Russia.  The ancestral language, spoken at least 15,000 years ago, gave rise to seven more that formed an ancient Eurasiatic 'superfamily', the researchers say. These in turn split into languages now spoken all over Eurasia, from Portugal to Siberia."

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Rainey Vause's curator insight, March 26, 10:38 PM

Unit 3: lang.

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Time-Space Compression

Time-Space Compression | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
In this age of fast travel and instant digital communications, we tend to forget that not so long ago, distances were subjectively very different.

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geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 4:35 AM
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"This series of maps shows the great leaps and bounds that were made during the 19th century in transportation technology in the United States.  This impacted population settlement, economic interactions and functionally made the great distances seem smaller.  This is what many call the time-space compression; the friction of distance is diminished as communication and transportation technologies improve.  

 

Questions to Ponder: When someone says they live "10 minutes away," what does that say about how we think about distance, transportation infrastructure and time?  How is geography still relevant in a world where distance appears to becoming less of a factor?  "

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 1, 2014 7:54 PM

With the development of modern equipment useful in maneuvering around the world, the time it took those living in the 1800's has been reduced to getting anywhere around the world with time spanning from 30- 24hrs. This of course has been made possible due to the development of roads, better boating constructions and air travel.

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 8:12 PM

Since 1800 the rate of travel has increased exponentially through the years. From the very beginning of travel, it would take close to a week just to get from the east coast to the middle of the United States. Through the use of railroads we have overcome the "time" factor and essentially eliminated it from playing a role in the way we travel. Today's advances in transportation has made seeing others much easier and most importantly it has developed a connected world that allows for transport of goods and services possible to such an extent that as citizens of the United states we are able to access almost anything we need from a day to day basis. A technology like this will continue to expand and grow to make the life of people that much easier.

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HDC-Cemetery and Graveyard Interpretation

HDC-Cemetery and Graveyard Interpretation | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
HDC guide to interpreting graveyards and cemeteries...

 

How can cemeteries be a fertile ground for geography projects for students?  This website provides an intellectual background on how to interpret cemeteries and gravestones as a cultural landscape and a portal to local historical geographies. 


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The Very Great Alexander von Humboldt

The Very Great Alexander von Humboldt | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) is all around us. Yet he is invisible. “Alexander von Humboldt has been largely forgotten in the English-speaking world,” writes Andrea Wulf in her thrilling new biography. “It is almost as though his ideas have become so manifest that the man behind them has disappeared.” Wulf’s book is as much a history of those ideas as it is of the man. The man may be lost but his ideas have never been more alive.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 19, 2016 4:37 PM

Alexander von Humboldt has been described as the last great ancient geographer concerned with understanding an eclectic cosmography as well as the first modern geographer. He is honored far and wide throughout Europe and especially Latin America for his explorations, but given that people are confused as how to categorize him and classify his contributions, today he is under-appreciated.  Geographers need to reclaim his memory and call his extensive, globetrotting work on a wide range of subjects ‘geography.’  Here are more articles and videos on the man that I feel geographers should publicly champion as their intellectual ancestor the way that biologists point to Darwin.   

 

Tags:  historicalbiogeography, book reviews.

ROCAFORT's curator insight, July 17, 2016 2:24 AM
The Very Great Alexander von Humboldt
Matthias Henkel's comment, July 23, 2016 2:45 PM
A Man who is still a Brand
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Scotland's Decision

Scotland's Decision | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
From Catalonia to Kurdistan, nationalist and separatist movements in Europe and beyond are watching the Scottish independence referendum closely.

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Scotland, the site of nationalist and separatist movements, is one to watch as they vote. What the ramifications would be are yet to be seen

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Barbara Goebel's curator insight, September 13, 2014 12:00 PM

Compare and contrast Scotland's bid for independence with events leading to American independence. How does a culture decide to change its political geography?

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 3:01 PM

It is interesting to see how globalization does as much to bring us together as it does to rip us apart. The exchange of ideas, goods, and people has hugely impacted the lives of everyday citizens and the nations that they call home, where divisions among people are felt more keenly as the competition in today's global economy grows stronger. Catalonia, the region that has done much to keep the economy of the Spanish nation afloat, and Catalans are eager to shed the "dead weight" they feel they are carrying; the Basque region has long since demanded its independence, and we have already seen the fracturing of the Balkans. In some instances, perhaps separation is for the best. However, I feel like these movements are the result of knee-jerk reactions to the current economic climate and deep, underlying hatreds that have no place in the current world order. Spain has been one nation for hundreds of years, as has the United Kingdom; to suddenly dissolve these unions in the name of century-long feuds seems not only unnecessary, but almost child-like. There is enough hatred in the world- why let us continue to divide amongst ourselves when history has shown that people in these regions can coexist and can consistently pull through these difficult periods. It is one thing to be proud of being Scottish- it is another to ignore the economic and political realities of what Scottish independence would bring for its people for the sake of this nationalist sentiment. I, for one, was relieved to see Scotland vote to remain a member of the UK. Separatist movements across the continent have been quieted, if only for another few years.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:16 AM

The Scottish vote for independence would have broken up a modern United Kingdom. Many Scottish folks feel that it is time to separate from a parent country where there are many other countries that are involved. Becoming independent is not an easy task. There has to be a vote and a strong position for those separatists to succeed in getting a victorious vote.

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

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Both History and Geography explained in these maps

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."


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Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 2014 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

Chris Plummer's curator insight, January 11, 2015 11:46 PM

Summary- This video explains how so many languages came to be and why. By the early existence of human there was a such smaller variety of languages. Tribes that spoke one language would often split in search of new recourses. Searching tribe would develop in many new different ways than the original tribe. new foods, land, and other elements created a radically different language than the original. 

 

Insight- In unit 3 we study language as a big element of out chapter. One key question in chapter 6 was why are languages distributed the way they are. It is obvious from the video that languages are distributed they way they are is because of the breaking up from people which forced people to develop differently thus creating a different language. As this process continues, there become more and more branches of a language family.  

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American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration

American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"David Greene talks to writer Jeremy Miller about the American Centroid. That's the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 300 million of us weighed the exact same."


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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 31, 2013 2:23 AM

The centre of population in the USA has moved further inland and southward compared to Australia. Comparing urbanisation in USA and Australia.

Blake Welborn's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:33 PM

Informative, short podcast that details the changing migration of the US. This allows for the comparison of migration and time and the effects of migration over the years in the US. 

Emily Bian's curator insight, October 17, 2014 7:32 PM

The center of the U.S. population moves about every 10 years. 

In our APHUG textbook, it also talked about the center moving west. It also talks about the patterns and shifts of migration in the U.S going more west and south now, than before. I wonder if the trend will continue?  

It relates because we talked about this map in APHUG class, and it was in the textbook. The population trend is moving Southwest.

This is interesting for next year's APHUG students, because they get to see a population trend right in the US! It's a good article to think about why population trends are the way it is.

2) migration

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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Linguistic Geography: My Fair Lady

This is a most decidedly dated reference for pop culture, but a great movie for making explicit the idea that the way we speak is connected to where we've lived (also a good clip to show class differences as well as gender norms). The clip highlights many principles and patterns for understanding the geography of languages.

 

Tags: Language, class, gender, culture, historical, London, unit 3 culture and place.

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Global CO2 emissions

Animated time-lapse video of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in map form, spanning the 18th century until this current first decade of the 21st centur...

 

This is not a complete data set, but the video still shows the striking connection between CO2 emissions and  the historical geography of industrialization.


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Seth Dixon's comment, August 2, 2012 2:21 PM
I'd love to take credit for this, but I didn't create this video, but am simply sharing a resource that I found online with the broader community. Follow the YouTube link to see info about the creator there (Cuagau1).
Mark V's comment, September 4, 2012 11:41 AM
Frightening and guilt inducing. The US and Europe the biggest historical violators, plus living in the northeastern part of the country which shows the highest concentrations.
Rafael CAYUELA's curator insight, February 3, 2014 3:18 PM

Interesting and well done..