I this case, the map came before the adventure story. Robert Louis Stevenson drew it with his father and stepson, and only afterward thought to write a pirate story to go with his treasure map…. The island itself, that perfectly possessable geographic object, displaces the treasure as the reader’s object of desire.
This morning, the finals of the National Geographic Bee were held at NG headquarters here in Washington, D.C., as once again, the capital city became the site of a middle school brain drain. So, am I smarter than a 10-yr-old (the youngest age of the Bee finalists)? Well, let’s find out. The final question was: Timiş County
shares its name with a tributary of the Danube
and is located in the western part of which European country? My answer: No clue! Well okay, I could make an educated guess. Hungary? The correct response: Romania. Looks like this college grad’s knowledge of world geography pales in comparison to the arsenal those whiz kids are packin’!
The Bee was entertaining and enlightening, as any event hosted by quiz show legend Alex Trebek is destined to be. For instance, when questioned as to why he failed to qualify for the 2008 finals following a berth in 2007, Kennen Sparks of Utah matter-of-factly replied to Trebek–whose greatest accomplishment of the morning was pronouncing the contestants’ names correctly, mind you–“I got nervous.” Good answer!
Kerry Jones is a homeschooling mom of two teenagers and a freelance writer who writes chiefly about educational and assistive technology–particularly for homeschoolers. You can read more of her articles and check out her blog by visiting her website.
I stink at geography. That’s not an exaggeration. I never laugh at those derisive news stories about children (or adults) who are unable to tell you the capital of Nebraska or figure out whether Slovakia is in Europe or Asia. For some reason, the geography I was taught in school simply never “took.” Most likely because I never took a personal interest in the subject, but also because it was always taught with so little creativity. My geography education basically consisted of filling in blank map outlines and memorizing mnemonic devices that would help me remember that People Attack Irritating Stinging Ants (those are the five oceans, by the way: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, Arctic).
When I began homeschooling, I was determined that my children would never come near a blank map outline or memorize a single acronym.
Here’s a fun use of Google Earth’s 3-D imagery: Send someone a geo-greeting, with your message spelled out by letter-shaped buildings. Send a greeting now and happy Thanksgiving! My Wonderful World Home | About My Wonderful World | Sign Up for Updates Continue reading Send a Geo-Greeting
Just this week, Google Earth released a fascinating new Featured Content layer: sixteen historical maps from the David Rumsey Map Collection. Scanned at very high resolution, the maps show more detail as you zoom in closer. You can see the world as it appeared to cartographers in 1790, follow Lewis and Clark’s 1814 journey, visit the New York of 1836, time-travel to 1710’s Asia, and … Continue reading Rumsey Historical Maps in Google Earth