Specific US Geography Topics?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Doug_HSTeach_07, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2009

    Hey everyone,

    So I'm currently getting ready to teach a subunit on the United States for my Geography class. I plan on:

    - showing a documentary that provides a nice overview of the US
    - maps, of course
    - Analyzing Wal-Mart's impact on Idaho potato farmers
    - Alternative Energy
    - Trans-Texas Corridor proposal/North American Union
    - Survey of our national parks and project

    But outside of that, I am kind of at a loss as far as specific issues. I would really like to cover more but the country is so broad that I'm having trouble narrowing the content down. I would appreciate some help, like- is Niagra Falls in danger? Or Manhattan in need of drastic changes? Las Vegas facing a water shortage? stuff like that. Are there any topics of discussion you think would benefit this class? Thanks in advance for your help.
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2009

    How about

    *corporation farms vs family farms
    *population issues - ethnicity, population density, changing population
    *opening Alaska for drilling
    *enviromental issues - reforestation, hazardous spills,
    *where is all the garbage going to go - landfills

    Hope this helps
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 25, 2009

    You know about the Ken Burns series, The National Parks, right? It starts Sun., Sept. 27, 8 PM, on PBS.

    www.pbs.org/nationalparks

    9/27 Episode 1: The Scripture of Nature, 1851-1890
    9/28 Episode 2: The Last Refuge, 1890-1915
    9/29 Episode 3: The Empire of Grandeur, 1915-1919
    9/30 Episode 4: Going Home, 1920-1933
    10/1 Episode 5: Great Nature, 1933-1945
    10/2 Episode 6: The Morning of Creation, 1946-1980
     
  5. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Thank you so much! I had no idea about the series. Wow, can you ask for better timing? Thanks again!!!
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I know - the timing was perfect! Hope you enjoy it. I wouldn't have known about it if I didn't get bookmarks at the library with all the info on them.
     
  7. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I used to start the year in 3rd grade teaching US geography, and by the end of the second full week the students could name all fifty states when presented w/ a blank map.
    (I think many HS students don't know where various states are located.)
    Here is a link for a Mystery State of the Day that wouldn't take much time and might lead to some interesting facts/discussions. It might be too easy for HS, but take a look and see what you think.
    http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/state.shtml
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I'm so NOT a geography teacher.

    But how about something about man vs nature-- how we keep building up where Mother Nature seems to have other ideas. The examples that come to mind for me are along the oceanfront, but the shores of a major river-- say the Mississippi would probably have more meaning to your kids. Or you could talk about building a city like New Orleans below sea level and why that was a problem when Katrina happened.
     
  9. DsKp

    DsKp New Member

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    Oct 12, 2009

    WorldAtlas

    Has anyone tried to incorporate any outside online websites when teaching elementary schools about geography? Yes, I use the worksheets, yes I use the text books...but what about something like WorldAtlas. Now they can learn about the world they live in school and at home on their computers with their parents. I mean the site is really interesting. Do you think this is a good idea?
     
  10. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2009

    While I don't deal with US Geography, I had quite a bit of success using Google Earth. I also visited a government website with maps of our province, looking around at different types of maps.
     
  11. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Erosion of the coastlines and the constant collapse of homes there?

    I don't know why wildfires spread in the patterns they do. Are there some geographic features that help explain this?

    Storms are fun. You could go into why hurricanes hit the Southeast and tornados the midwest (though there have been some reports of tornados in south Jersey in recent years, I have no idea why).

    Maybe with your alternative energy unit you could also go into things like acid rain or the ozone layer, or maybe into oil drilling and why estimates of how long oil will last keep getting revised. I'm not sure how much you want to get into politics, but you could probably present the topics in such a way that multiple sides were strongly represented.
     
  12. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Take a look at the Standards National Geographic has put together. I frame all my university level prep geography courses around these strands and the NG 5 themes.
     

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