11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… why fish don’t swim upside down. Read of the week!

This tiger shark is fine—like most fish, it can swim and breathe upside down.
Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

What’s it like to swim with the world’s biggest fish?


… how taming cows and horses sparked inequality across the ancient world.

Researchers have found that inequality tended to gradually increase as societies transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming, supporting long-held hypotheses about how agriculture intensified social hierarchies. This relief of animal husbandry in Ancient Egypt dates to the early 1400s BCE.
Photograph by The Yorck Project, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

What is the history of domestication?


… kindergarten is being corporatized.

These Peruvian first-graders are stressing about tests.
Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

What are some Nat Geo memories of kindergarten?


… the first hijab-wearing Barbie is based on an American Olympian.

What is hijab?


… Fiji has identified islands lost at sea.

Fiji is home to hundreds of low-lying islets.
Photograph by Mattias Klum, National Geographic

Where else has sea level rise been connected to disappearing islands?


… how to navigate the marketplaces in one of the world’s largest refugee camps.

Kakuma Refugee Camp
The Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya is home to about 150,000 people, as well as makeshift cafes, general stores, movie theaters, and barbershops. Photograph by Randy Olson, National Geographic

What is life like in a refugee camp?


… how the Black Death caused medieval women to shrink.

Either the woman shrunk or the bird got huge.
Illustration from Nürnberger Schembart-Buch, courtesy Christian-Albrechts Universita zu Kiel

Who was the Black Death’s patient zero?


… better tests don’t necessarily lead to better teaching.

Helping students understand how ideas such as liberty and responsibility change across time and space is a key concept in civics—and geography!
Photograph by Kristen Bednarz, National Geographic

Teaching to the test can be done well, but it’s not easy. Get some tips from our educator community here.


… a glossary of library terms.

Tête-bêche refers to materials printed upside down or sideways relative to another, like this 1973 Soviet stamp.
Illustration by the USSR Post, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Follow the Nat Geo Library and Archives to keep up with the latest lingo!


… how Liberia’s investment in charter schools is working out.

Students show off dictionaries donated by U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2007.
Photograph courtesy the U.S. State Department

How is SMS helping Liberian schools?


… librarians can make the best digital mentors.

Librarians and others can help shift kids from being passive technology consumers and towards being active technology maker-creators.
Photograph by Photograph by Junaid Ahmed, National Geographic Your Shot

What are some tips for setting up tech?

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