Mrs. Watson's Class
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Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century

Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

“The Midwest is this big nebulous part of the country and it's kind of what's left over after all the other regions of the country are defined. Those regions have much stronger identities if you think of the East Coast or maybe New England or the Pacific Northwest or certainly the South. The Midwest is kind of the catchall for what's left.  We [Minnesota] should be called the North.”


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 1:48 PM

Whether I agree or not with the ideas being discussed, I simply love that this discussion is taking place and how intensely geographical the ideas and evidences being brought forward are.  


Questions to Ponder: So what region do you live in?  What defines that region?  Are there other regions that you can claim to be a part of also?  How would you divide the United States into various regions?  How come?


Tagsplaceregions, culture

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Topography of Religion

Topography of Religion | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"The Pew survey sorts people into major groupings--Christians; other religions, including Jewish and Muslim; and 'unaffiliated,' which includes atheist, agnostic and 'nothing in particular.'  Roll your cursor over the map to see how faiths and traditions break down by state."


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Great resource for the religion unit.

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Ignacio Quintana's curator insight, December 1, 2014 6:56 PM

Even though this is just an info-graphic, this is very interesting. What we can see from this map is the spatial organization of religion specifically in the U.S. It's interesting to see how protestant makes up the majority (but apparently not according to the article above this from Haak's page) and how drastically these views can change from coast to coast, and state to state. What I find particularly interesting is that you can clearly find hearths of many of these religions, for example, Utah has an extremely out-numbering amount of Mormons. For obvious reasons that is, but still very educational to see the centers of many of the big religions in the United States.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 8:46 PM

Looking at the map, it looks like the Northeast is predominately Catholic while the further South you go along the Eastern coast, you find more Protestants, mostly Evangelical, especially in the from Confederate States. The Mid and Northwest seems to hold a healthy mix of all the Christian denominations while places in the Southwest have a higher Catholic percentage, my guess would be from immigration from Mexico. The one odd ball out in the Southwest is Utah with its 58% of Mormons.

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:04 PM

Different cultural religions and senses of place in America. This graph shows the diversity of religion around the united states as it varies from place to place. 

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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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Online Quizzes for Regional Geography

Online Quizzes for Regional Geography | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders.  Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar.  Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."


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Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, February 2, 2014 6:52 PM

Exámenes en línea para Geografía.

SFDSLibrary's curator insight, May 13, 2014 8:16 AM

Quizzes to test a students knowledge of places and countries.

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 22, 2014 12:20 PM

I hope the lizard point Geography tests are enough. I have sent you my screenshots for the ones I have taken.

 

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Not All English is the Same

Not All English is the Same | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other"


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Lena Minassian's curator insight, January 27, 2015 5:58 PM

This article was actually funny and interesting. You do not really pay attention to the pronunciation of words just because we are surrounded by the same people who say a particular word the same way. Many individuals in the US are in for a culture shock if they leave their respected homes. One word that you have grown up with may be a completely different word in another area. We tend to not focus a lot of attention on the smaller details like this type of grammar and pronunciation so this caught my eye because it was interesting to think about and realize how you say words compared to the rest of the United States.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 11:53 AM

to me this is not so shocking but definitely entertaining. i mean between my family their is pronunciation differences. some say tomato others say toma`to right? not all English is the same is a concept that makes perfect sense to me. in other countries such as Italy, a person from the north cannot understand a person from the south because they speak in different dialects. perhaps it has to their with their location, or job types. but it holds true that different parts of a country can speak the same language in different ways. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, April 8, 2015 3:04 PM

I've seen this collection of maps a number of times before, but they are just as interesting and informative every time I look at them. It's really a fun exercise in seeing what phrases you use or how you pronounce certain words as opposed to the rest of the country. As a Rhode Islander, the bubbler/water fountain divide was of particular interest to me. I also found it funny that I have the vaguely Western/Midwestern tendency of calling "rotaries" (or what are traditionally called rotaries in my area), "roundabouts". This is especially curious to me, because I generally tend to think of that term as a British one. Could this possibly mean that a lot of British immigrants settled in the Western/Midwestern United States? Or am I just mistaken and buying into a poorly informed stereotype about British people?

 

Whatever the case, these maps are very informative and say a lot about the linguistic differences that occur even within one country. Now granted, the United States is a large country, so there is bound to be a good amount of variation. But it's still fascinating to me just how much variety there can be. The fact that when traveling, your use or pronunciation of a certain word or phrase can immediately identify you as an out-of-towner is very interesting. This is yet another example of the importance of doing your own research in order to avoid making incorrect assumptions. Just because all of the people within a geographic border may live in the same country, it does not mean that their dialects or colloquialisms are all the same. It does not even necessarily mean that they speak the same language. Different immigrant groups (because almost no country is impervious to immigration) settle in different areas and this ends up contributing (in part) to the different dialects and expressions that one finds within geographic borders. 

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American English Dialects

American English Dialects | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

There are 8 major English dialect areas in North America, presented on the map. These are shown in blue, each with its number, on the map and in the Dialect Description Chart below, and are also outlined with blue lines on the map.  The many subdialects are shown in red on the map and in the chart, and are outlined with red lines on the map. All of these are listed in the margins of the map as well.


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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, May 22, 2013 12:16 PM

Very cool map with links to video/audio of the local dialect.

Leslie Creath's curator insight, May 27, 2013 1:41 PM

This is fascinating to me

Alex Smiga's curator insight, November 15, 2015 11:47 AM

Looky thurrr

 

Funky American English dialects 

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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:49 PM

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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VIDEO: TED Talk by Hans Rosling on global population growth

TED Talks The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth.

 

TED talks are great resources, and this one about global population growth, is a great link with Hans Roslings trademark data visualizations that simplifiy complex data and 'tell the story,' but this time using far more common visual aids.


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Ken Morrison's comment, September 29, 2012 10:01 PM
Hello. Sorry about the suggestion. I thought I was posting that to my site. Have a great day. I really like your site. Ken
Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 21, 2014 11:28 PM

Unit 2

MissPatel's curator insight, December 16, 2014 3:25 AM

This is a brilliant video to help you understand the QoL and SoL linked to population. 

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Why Democrats Can’t Win the House

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Thanks to demographics, the Republicans have a virtual stranglehold on the House of Representatives.

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Demographics and political geography affect elections.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 8, 2014 12:39 AM

The first reaction might be to blame partisan redistricting (a.k.a. gerrymandering) for the the political gridlock between the presidential results and House of Representatives.  Gerrymandering does play a role, but the spatial concentrations and distributions of voting constituencies explain why the Democrats have recently won the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, but can't control the House of Representatives.  Metro areas are highly left-leaning, currently creating a national majority for Democrats, but that high concentration is a drawback when trying to win a majority of the seats in the House.  This is a good article as a primer for electoral geography.  


Tags: political, regions, spatial, unit 4 political.

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Do you know Africa?

Do you know Africa? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

Many of Africa’s leaders will be in town next week attending a White House summit. The continent’s land is shared among 49 countries — many of which rarely make U.S. headlines. How familiar are you with Africa’s geography?


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This is a good practice.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 9, 2015 3:41 PM

http://lizardpoint.com/geography/africa-quiz.php

This is easier because it shows you the shape of the countries. As for this quiz, I can locate any African country but some of them, not precisely. I'm able to locate Ethiopia, Libya and Angola obviously because they're bigger but not Togo, Eritrea and Rwanda. However, I can closely locate the smaller countries but not precisely.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 5:21 PM

I love interactive maps like this.  These are the best way to learn where things are in the world geographically.  Africa is the toughest, for myself, continent in the world to be able to locate and identify where certain countries are.  This is in part because Africa has so many countries and also Africa is a part of the world that is not often taught in school, therefore you have limited thoughts and ideas about these types of areas.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 22, 2015 1:54 PM

I have always been fascinated with Africa and its history. Through its history one can understand why Africa is the way it is today. Its a shame that Africa does not have more of a focus in the Public School Curriculum. Its played a huge part in developing western civilization, whether it be in ancient Alexandria providing grain for the Roman Republic or the coltan extracted through inhumane means in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Africa is a continent that has been raped and torn in a repetitive manor under a variety of foul experiences brought upon by western countries. These are the same western countries that are held of high interest and regards in subject manor instituted in the Public School System. Africa has also been apart of amazing developments of human civilization, for example the Trans Saharan Trade Route which linked Kingdoms such as Ancient Ghana to dynasties far in the Middle East. It is also the birthplace of man (no big deal). In either case there needs to be a stronger push on teaching/molding "Africa" (yes, I know... broad) into the curriculum. It is important in both understanding the history of the world, specifically western civilization and how it coined itself  “civilized.” Through introducing basic aspects, history, and dilemmas (both old and modern) it could inspire more interest and an expansion of knowledge from student to student. School is and will most likely continue to be Euro-centric and have large flares of Americana and other “themes” of North America. 

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The 20 year history of NAFTA

The 20 year history of NAFTA | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States. But to properly assess NAFTA’s record, it is important to first be clear about what the agreement has actually done. Economically speaking, the answer is a lot.


NAFTA was the first comprehensive free-trade agreement to join developed and developing nations, and it achieved broader and deeper market openings than any trade agreement had before.

NAFTA did that by eliminating tariffs on all industrial goods, guaranteeing unrestricted agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico, opening up a broad range of service sectors, and instituting national treatment for cross-border service providers. It also set high standards of protection for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

NAFTA ignited an explosion in cross-border economic activity. Today, Canada ranks as the United States’ largest single export market, and it sends 98 percent of its total energy exports to the United States, making Canada the United States’ largest supplier of energy products and services. Mexico is the United States’ second-largest single export market. Over the past two decades, a highly efficient and integrated supply chain has developed among the three North American economies.  Intraregional trade flows have increased by roughly 400 percent.

North Americans not only sell more things to one another; they also make more things together. About half of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico takes place between related companies, and the resulting specialization has boosted productivity in all three economies. NAFTA has also caused cross-border investment to soar.

In spite of this impressive economic record, NAFTA has its critics. Most of those who attack it on economic grounds focus on Mexico, not Canada, and claim that the partnership is one-sided: that NAFTA is Mexico’s gain and America’s pain. But the economic data prove otherwise.


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Gary Yarus's curator insight, February 19, 2014 8:24 AM

A good review for those concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 7:42 PM

It is interesting to see exactly what NAFTA has done for North America.  Making trade easier and free between the three countries helps all the economies included.  Free trade between each other means less costly goods.  Also resources can be used from different countries and manufactured in steps not all in one place.  All of the negative comments about it being a one sided deal between the United States and Mexico can be argued with numbers about how it is in fact not a one sided agreement and both countries are benefiting from NAFTA being put in place.

David Lizotte's curator insight, January 24, 2015 3:55 PM

I found this to be an extremely interesting article. I'd say I have a basic comprehension of economics, so I am trying to expand my horizons and learn more about the topic. This article was clear, well-written/structured, and was a good read for someone not so experienced in Economics. 

I find the NAFTA agreement to be quite useful. The article did a good job at portraying many of the pros the agreement puts forth. It is clear that the three nations involved benefit. Throughout the article I was wondering if the agreement had been modified to accommodate todays new technology, trade goods, etc... The article then went and discussed this topic.The article did so through stating the importance in NAFTA branching out in other trade agreements, with nations in the Pacific as well as Nations in the EU. What's neat about this is how whether Mexico or Canada making the trade... all nations involved in the NAFTA agreement benefit. 

What I want to know however is where do these jobs, that this agreement creates are set geographically? I can only assume they are predominately in the South West (in regards to Mexico) and in the North/mid North West (in regards to Canada). Who are the people working these jobs? It seems like they'd be the immigrants themselves, not so much existing citizens. Does this create a problem amongst the masses? 

It seems as if NAFTA could benefit from expanding its trade market. This is something I am interested in reading more about and perhaps keeping up to date with. Side note... in regards to USA being able to buy capital in the countries "cross-border investment," and vis versa, I find it extremely useful and creative. 

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How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
What does the way you speak say about where you’re from? Answer the questions to see your personal dialect map.
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Twenty-five question survey on regional dialects

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Baby Name Regions?

Baby Name Regions? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"The Social Security Administration this week released its list of 2012’s most popular baby names by state, and maybe explained why there are so many Jacobs and Sophias in your kids’ schools. Do you see your kids’ names here?"


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Regions of Interaction

Regions of Interaction | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Put away that old Rand McNally map — it's time for a new way to see what America really looks like.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 17, 2013 6:25 PM

There is a great series of maps in this NPR article that show that internal political divisions do not always line up with actual regional interactions.  The map of the United States shows the what money flows within regions that do not always follow state borders (see Wisconsin, Idaho and Pennsylvania).  The map of Great Britain shows the connections based on telephone calls.

 

TagsUSA, UK, borders, mapping, regions.

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Following 'Geography Education'

Following 'Geography Education' | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

Finding Materials: This site is designed for geography students and teachers to find interesting, current supplemental materials.  To search for place-specific posts, browse this interactive map.  To search for thematic posts, see http://geographyeducation.org/thematic/ (organized by the APHG curriculum).  Also you can search for a keyword by clicking on the filter tab above.

 

Staying Connected: You can receive post updates in the way that best fits how you use social media.

Update Notifications: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+.

              Email: Click 'follow' button at top right of this page.

Sites with Content: Wordpress, Scoop.it.


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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, January 24, 2013 5:34 PM

A great interactive map to learn about different regions of the world.

chris tobin's curator insight, January 24, 2013 5:35 PM

This is a really cool map from class

Marie Schoeman's curator insight, February 20, 2013 4:07 AM

This site collects interesting sites on Geography Teaching. It is anticipated that there will also be articles on differentiation which could assist teachers to present Geography in an inclusive way.