The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) is commited to promoting geographic education and geo-literacy in the Ocean State. You can join the Alliance for free to receive newsletters and updates. We encourage you to visit our main website as well as our various social media profiles.
The history of baseball reflects the story of expansion in the United States. New cities have emerged and modern stadiums have been built as a growing population fueled the popularity of our National Pastime. The result is an extensive network of baseball teams at every level - from the major leagues to the little leagues - that represent the communities and environments in which they play. Everything from jersey colors, names, and symbols to the foods served at ballparks reflects the local landscape and culture of baseball teams. A simple game that began with a bat and ball is now a comprehensive case study of how people and geography are interrelated.
All of the lessons and activities have been prepared to accompany "Geography: Baseball Coast to Coast." You will find that the curriculum is organized into three levels: Level 1 for elementary school students, Level 2 for middle school students, and Level 3 for high school students.
This summer, a ship named after naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry will set sail
Oliver Hazard Perry, the U.S naval officer who won a decisive victory against the Royal Navy on Lake Erie during the War of 1812—“We have met the enemy and they are ours,” he declared—would have appreciated the irony. An extraordinary new sailing ship was supposed to be a replica of a British warship that his flotilla captured. But when the Canadian group behind the venture ran out of money, enthusiasts in Rhode Island bought the unfinished 138-foot-long steel hull and named it after Perry, an Ocean State native. Six years and more than $10 million later, the three-masted, 20-sail tall ship will launch this summer from the Newport Shipyard. And while it’s the first vessel of its kind to be built in the United States since 1903, it’s also fitted with 21st-century technology, such as twin six-cylinder backup engines.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the National Weather Service and receive meteorological training? NOAA works with volunteers that are trained severe weather spotters to help keep local communities safe with timely and accurate weather reports. Training of this type will be freely offered at Rhode Island College on March 31st at 7pm in the GAIGE HALL AUDITORIUM (room 100-this is a new location from earlier announcements to accommodate a larger audience).
The Giant Traveling Map of Africa is making its way across the state; I’m glad that many more decided to avail themselves of this opportunity than did last year. For those that are not able to have the map come to your classroom, I would like to invite you to mine. This next Thursday, March 20th, I will be sharing this map with my World Regional Geography class at Rhode Island College. Students will be presenting short 5 minute lessons (on topics from mining in Central Africa to the historical/colonial influence of Portuguese in Sub-Saharan Africa) and if will be a chance to take of your shoes and get up and personal with this map. The event will be held in the RIC Student Union Ballroom at 4pm, March 20. I hope to see you there; as RIGEA is currently thinking about creating a Giant Traveling Map of Rhode Island (how cool would that be to have in your classroom!), you can see some of the resources that accompany this type of map.
I was just informed that our proposal to receive a Giant Traveling Map from National Geographic was accepted! Last year we had the South America map come to Rhode Island, and several schools found it to be a great event. We’ll be receiving the map of Africa that comes with an excellent set of resources on how to interactively teach, explore, learn and play with this specific map as a part of your curriculum. This map will soon be coming to Rhode Island March 11th to the 26th and the Alliance wants to make this accessible to as many RIGEA members as possible. For schools with 4 RIGEA members, this map can be rented for a free of charge for the first day with any additional days at a rate of $150 per day. Remember that it’s free for teachers, administrators and parents to sign up to become RIGEA members—consider this your chance to recruit them for a good cause for your school AND the Alliance. For schools without 4 RIGEA members, they can still rent the map for $150 per day. Click here for more details.
"This is a set of 13 map-based lessons developed by the Virginia Geographic Alliance. These lessons are designed to show how ancient world history (before 1500 A.D.) was influenced by geographic factors."
Seth Dixon's insight:
This is a great set of map-based lessons that used layered PDFs that teachers can download to simulate GIS layers without needing any GIS software of technical know-how.
"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."
I love living in New England and finding stonewalls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn (who grew up in Rhode Island) is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape. This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines. Yes, this is history and archaeology, but you better believe that it's geographic as well.
I recently received this question and immediately thought that this is a great geographic question, but one that geographic tools can be used to find the answer. I downloaded all the Rhode Island names listed by the United States Board on Geographic Names and filtered out all the listed Islands (108 is the answer!!). A spreadsheet of data isn't as helpful to visualize this data so I created this interactive map. Only 1 of the locations didn't have coordinates, some are scarcely more than rocks, and this is only according to the the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, but this is the most complete map of islands in the state of Rhode Island that I could produce. Additionally, here is an article about some sailors who sought to explore every island of the Narragansett Bay.
"Thanksgiving has some fascinating spatial components to it. My wife and I prepared an article for the Geography News Network on Maps101.com that shows the historical and geographic context of the first Thanksgiving and in the memorialization of Thanksgiving as a national holiday (if you don’t subscribe to Maps 101, it is also freely available as a podcast on Stitcher Radio or iTunes)."
One of my favorite combinations of maps for Thanksgiving involves the geography of food production and food consumption. When we start looking at the regional dishes on Thanksgiving plates we can see some great patterns. This ESRI storymap asks the simple question, where did your Thanksgiving Dinner come From?
This StoryMap is a great resource to combine with this New York Times article that shows the regional preferences for the most popular Thanksgiving recipes. Where are sweet potatoes grown? Where do people make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving?
Plymouth County, MA is at the heart of only 3 cranberry producing regions and is was also home to the first Thanksgiving. How has this New England local ecology and traditional food patterns influenced national traditions?
For these and more Thanksgiving resources on scoop.it, click here.
Translate any word from English to more than 30 other European languages, on a map
Seth Dixon's insight:
This is an incredible resource to visualize the linguistic similarities between European languages all on one interactive map. Just type in a word or phrase as it will translate it for you and place the results on the map. I just found this, but I think it still belongs on my list of favorite resources.
Questions to Ponder: Do you see any regions forming? How does language impact the diffusion of people, ideas and goods? Hoe do you think these languages diffused?
"RIGEA will be sponsoring a follow-up workshop on how to use online mapping in the classroom (this time with step-by-step instructions to reference later). This computer lab-based professional development workshop is designed to train someone with LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE how to use free online mapping tools in a classroom setting. This is open to educators from all grade levels and subjects. "
Seth Dixon's insight:
The registration fee is WAIVED for all RIGEA members and those that have attended previous workshops ($10 at the door otherwise); with limited seating we ask that you reserve your spot by simply emailing an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch (Pizza and soda) will be provided.
WHEN: April 19th, 2014 9am-12pm WHERE: Rhode Island College, Alger Hall 101(see campus map).
Six schools were able to host the Giant Traveling map of Africa this March. Here are some of the pictures of the Rhode Island College geography classes that participated in the event (you are never to old to take off your shoes and enjoy a giant map!!).
More books have been written about Roger Williams than any other 17th-century American, but some of the facts attributed to Williams are simply fiction said Rhode Island historian J. Stanley Lemons, RIC emeritus professor of history.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ridgway F. Shinn Jr. Study Abroad Fund at Rhode Island College, Lemons will present “In Search of Roger Williams,” a lecture, on Thursday, March 27, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Forman Center, Room C.
"As carbon pollution continues to drive global climate change and wreak havoc on our environment, the Obama Administration recently proposed limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. Here are 9 reasons why I care about climate change and why I support President Obama’s plan to address it."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Rhode Island has a great advocate in environmental management and sustainability in U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. In his public outreach to convince people to believe climate change science, he produced this Buzzfeed list. The beauty of this list is that is both locally nuanced and globally aware that's practical usage of scale, a key geographic concept that shows us how to think about local impacts from global patterns.
"Ben Schmidt, assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, has visualized the routes of 19th Century ships using publicly available data set from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The resulting image is a hauntingly beautiful image that outlines the continents and highlights the trade winds. It shows major ports, and even makes a strong visual case for the need for the Panama and Suez Canals."
Next week, a delegation representing RIGEA will go to Washington D.C. to advocate for geography education. On February 26th I will personally meet with Senators Whitehouse and Reed, Congressmen Cicilline and Langevin. I those meetings I will encourage them to become sponsors of the Teaching Geography is Fundamental bill. I would like to encourage you to consider voicing your support for geography education with you representatives. Did you know that Geography is the ONLY required subject that does not receive any dedicated federal funding under No Child Left Behind?
It will help our cause immensely if the Members of Congress that I meet with have already heard from constituents about the importance of geography education, and about the existence of the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act. I urge you to join me in a chorus of support for action by Congress. You don’t have to go to DC to help.
"Alliance Coordinator Seth Dixon shares over 50 of his favorite geography videos in this interactive map http://bit.ly/KDY6C2 "
Seth Dixon's insight:
Have you ever wanted to watch a video and to have a map handy at the same time? Ever since I first watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, I love the idea of combining video with maps.I produced this bare-bones map on ArcGIS online to spatially index over 50 videos that I enjoy using in my classes; all are place-specific videos (so they can be ‘located’ on the map). These videos have also been shared here earlier, but this map can function as a more user-friendly way to search for engaging video clips. Do you have a great place-based video that teaches the principles of geography that you love? Please share the URL in the comments section with a brief paragraph.
As we reflect on 2013 and prepare for 2014, I've compiled 35 posts that were helpful to me in my classroom (see page 1 and page 2). These are resources that I enjoyed curating or producing. They might not be the best or the most important for your particular interests, but I look forward to continue curating this site and sharing valuable tidbits to geography educators in 2014.
The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will provide 24 U.S. teachers and administrators with a fully-funded opportunity to travel to Japan to learn about ESD efforts and strengthen ESD curricula in both countries. You could be one of those educators! Application deadline in January 14th. ESD is “a vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
I had the shapefile of the various neighborhoods of Providence and the good folks at "Click that 'Hood" were gracious enough to upload it and make a local quiz based on the the 25 neighborhoods of Providence (as defined by the city government officials). In addition to city neighborhood quizzes, they also have quizzes for regions such as Africa, South America and Europe. This is a crowd-sourced database, so if you have the right data, you can help them to create more online quizzes.
Thank you to all participants, teachers and parents who helped to promote this mapping challenge and geo-literacy. We are pleased to announce the top two winners in our 2013 Map Challenge Contest in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week 2013 here in Rhode Island.
Mrs. Lepre's 7th Grade Geography Class (Mount Saint Charles Academy, Woonsocket) Winter Olympics 2014 MegaMap
Ms. Taglione's 6th Grade Social Studies Student Team (Barrington Middle School) Eytan Goldstein, Amit Bhatia and Nikhil Pareek--Revolutionary War Map of RI's Struggle for Freedom
Sophia and Benjamin Lepre--Walt Disney Map of Favorite Characters.