‘Tis the season of All Hallows Eve(n). Did you know that the holiday name “Hallowe’en” comes from the Old English phrase “All Hallows Evening?” ” E’en is a shortened form of “even,” which is an abbreviation of “evening.” The commercialization of holidays often means that their historic and geographic origins all but disappear from the public consciousness … spooky! So channel your inner Jack-o-Lantern and … Continue reading Five Fun Ways to Teach Halloween … Geographically!
All over the United States, we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, food, parades, and flags, all supplemented by local trends and traditions. In New York, fireworks will explode over the East River. In Washington, we’ll get a free concert on a Capitol Fourth. In Santa Fe, where I’m from, we’ll take over the town Plaza to eat pancakes. But what about Americans living overseas? For … Continue reading July 4th Around the World
July 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love about sunny weather, backyard barbecues, parades, national spirit and—of course—fireworks?! FIREWORKS! While fireworks have long been a hallmark of Independence Day celebrations in the United States—the first was in Philadelphia in 1777—the explosive concoction is much older than our nation! The first fireworks probably originated in China nearly 2,000 years ago. … Continue reading Fireworks! Fun, Facts and lots of Photos for the Fourth
ENVIRONMENT Dense clusters of old-growth forests exist in patches of the Amazon basin, Southeast Asia, and the Arctic taiga. Slivers of Europe are still luxuriant with trees, too, and very old ones at that. But they’re dwindling. (Atlas Obscura) What does Europe’s land cover look like? Use our map layer to find out. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources, including today’s … Continue reading Where Are Europe’s Fairytale Forests?
ENVIRONMENT Sacred natural spaces can offer biodiversity and great opportunities for conservation. (Smithsonian) How do spiritual landscapes differ from other cultural landscapes? Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Discussion Ideas A new study examines biodiversity in sacred natural sites. What are sacred natural sites? Sacred natural sites (SNSs) are locations, natural landmarks, or natural geographic features that … Continue reading Sacred Sites Can Be Hotspots of Conservation