Here’s an advance look at some of the “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events coming up this week. For each date, we’ve matched it with a map or visual, background information, and a classroom activity so you can plan ahead.
Monday, May 28
This act led to the brutal forced relocation of 46,000 Native Americans, in order to make room for white settlement and slavery in the West.
Activity: Watch the short video “Trail of Tears: Are the Cherokee an Independent Nation?” Ask students to share their view on President Jackson’s decision.
Tuesday, May 29
Mountaineers from different parts of the globe were the first to make it to the highest elevation in the world.
Activity: Tashi Tenzing, Tenzing Norgay’s grandson, said it was wrong that Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, had been knighted by the U.K. while his grandfather received only relatively minor decorations. An agreement between Hillary and Norgay kept the true identity of Everest’s first climber a secret until the 1980s. Why do students think Hillary was decorated while expedition’s indigenous Sherpa mountain guides, like Norgay, were not?
Thursday, May 31
The man-made flood resulted in more than 2,000 deaths and changed how lawsuits are handled.
Activity: Use this terrific lesson from Teaching with Historic Places to study the rise of American industrialization and the Gilded Age or on understanding the relationship of technology and the environment.
Saturday, June 2
Prior to his release of the groundbreaking Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, both country and soul musicians encouraged Charles not to integrate musical styles from different genres. Charles ignored them, saying “There’s only two kinds of music as far as I’m concerned: good and bad.”
Media: “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was written by country singer/songwriter Don Gibson. Compare and contrast Ray Charles’ version, above, with versions by Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Engelbert Humperdinck, Frank Sinatra, and Count Basie.
Activity: Can students think of other artists who work in multiple genres of popular music? What musical and social challenges do they face? Discuss the criticism of Beyonce at the Country Music Awards, and the lack of criticism at Justin Timberlake at the same event the year before.
Sunday, June 3
Los Angeles was rocked as white police and military servicemen engaged in a series of violent conflicts with Latinos.
Visual: Watch a brief video about the play Zoot Suit, and try to watch the great 1981 film of the same name.
Activity: Read and discuss this article about police brutality toward Latinos. Or read through this article on the cultural significance of zoot suit fashion. Can students think of other fashions or clothing choices that may contribute to racial profiling?