NGS Daily jigsaw puzzles

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Celebrations around the World

I found a really great website that gives information about how Thanksgiving is celebrated differently around the world--Korea,
Malaysia, Africa, Australia, U.K., Canada, U.S., and India:

Thanksgiving Day Around the World
"Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival. It celebrates communal harmony. Though it is said to have been originated in America, a number of other countries celebrate harvest related festivals. They are observed with different names and in different seasons.Harvest related festivals, all the over the world are characterized with lot of fun and merrymaking. Each region has its unique customs and traditions to jubilate the occasion. Canada celebrates thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October. India also has a number of harvest related festivals in different regions. Popular regional festivals are Pongal, Baisakhi, Lohri, Onam etc. Though the underlying principle behind each of them is same, every festival is exclusive and different from the other.Other Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, Korea celebrate the festival on different dates. Each festival has a folklore attached to it. Harmony, peace, feeling gratitude is the underlying theme of the celebration all over."

(Teachers--No lesson plans @ this website, but a great "research" site for information/student reports.)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Thanksgiving holiday origins

Thanksgiving...a great holiday. But where and when did the holiday originate? The History Channel has a great video as to the holiday's beginnings:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Geography Quote

"Big Tiger had never had a map in his hand before, but he pretended to know all about maps and remarked airily: “I can’t read the names on this one because they’re in English.” Christian realized he would have to show his friend how to read a map. “The top is north,” he said. “The little circles are towns and villages. Blue means rivers and lakes, the thin lines are roads and the thick ones railways.” “There’s nothing at all here,” said Big Tiger pointing to one of the many white patches. “That means it’s just desert,” Christian explained. “You have to go into the desert to know what it looks like.”….. “That’s a fine map,” said Big Tiger. “It’s useful to be able to look up beforehand the places we reach later.”….. “Are there bandits about here?” asked Christian. “Perhaps it’s written on the map,” Big Tiger ventured. “Look and see.”…..
Big Tiger and Christian by Fritz Muhlenweg,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Celebrate Geography Awareness Week in a BIG WAY

Celebrate Geography Awareness Week (GAW) in a BIG WAY..
with a BIG MAP of the Americas! Download a FREE "toolkit"
from National Geographic's GeoAction! website that includes the individual pieces for this map project, lesson plans, and ideas for
a school-wide GAW celebration theme of "Mapping the Americas"!

GOOD NEWS!! If you missed Geography Awareness Week this year (November 16-22)-- These materials will be available at the above website for the entire year. Celebrate "Mapping the America's" in a BIG WAY with a BIG MAP any time during the year!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Earth: The Apple Of Our Eye" lesson plan

This amazing lesson plan is perfect for showing how little of our planet actually produces all the food for the world's population....and how important it is to protect these limited agricultural/ocean food producing resources. I've seen several versions of this lesson, but this one gives information about food products from the ocean as well. This Lesson plan comes from
Population Connection:

Double-click on the images to enlarge.......

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Toot & Puddle..geography/picturebook characters come alive!

Meet NOGGIN's new friends, Toot & Puddle, premiering Sunday, 11/16 at 7PM ET! Come along on the adventure every day at 5PM ET.

Toot & Puddle is a terrific series of picturebooks about the travels and adventures of two crazy little pigs...great way to introduce the younger kidlets to geography!!
See a clip from the new series:


November is the month designated to remember the nation's first peoples. Social studies lessons come to life with these projects that explore history and contemporary Native American culture.

The website has some terrific art projects to not only support American Indian Heritage Month, but Geography Awareness Week:Mapping the Americas:

Thanks, for your great art lessons!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Geography Links

" Take students on a virtual whirlwind tour of the world this November with, a National Geographic-led campaign to give kids the power of global knowledge. During Geography Awareness Week (November 16-22), experience a range of geo-activities designed to engage kids in exploring their world while they become more informed global citizens. You can take a geo-tour of global hotspots on a virtual globe, including polar regions, coral reefs, and great cities. Explore earth's marine ecosystems as you pilot an underwater vehicle. Hear from young people living and working around the world. Give kids the power of global knowledge! Find out how you can help now at to see the world in new ways!
The page, linked closely to the Geography Action! page on, is designed to educate the public about what geography has to offer, providing tools and resources for students and their families to explore.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In support of Geography Awareness Week: Mapping the Americas,
check out the following fabulous websites for teachers, kids, and parents:

(A few of the above website descriptions are direct quotes from NGS links)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

To all Teachers: Did you know that of all the subjects called out in the
ZERO FUNDING??? TRUE. National Geographic is part of a huge business coalition leading the charge to change the Federal funding status of Geography dictated by NCLB!! They have created an on-line campaign to raise 100,000 "signatures" (online registrations) in support of the coalition campaign's to include funding and requirements for teaching Geography in America!
Go to today and register your "voice/signature"....and indicate that you too believe Geography Education is not only important....but vital to the future of our country and our world. If you wish, there is also a link on the website, where you may send a ready-made email message/letter to all of your state's legislative Representatives (county and national) indicating your concern for proper funding of NCLB's geography requirements....easy! Join the coalition! Register your "voice" to improve funding for Geography at the site today!!

Geography Awareness Week: Mapping the America's

NOVEMBER 16-22, 2008!!
"For more than a century, the National Geographic Society has fostered awareness of the world’s diverse cultures and environments. The tradition continues with Geography Action! , an annual awareness program that helps educators promote geographic fluency in schools and communities across the United States and Canada."

Geography Action! Mapping the Americas
"Join schools from across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in planning celebrations during Geography Awareness Week, November 16-22, and throughout the school year. Download a free Geography Action! Mapping the Americas Toolkit filled with activities, maps, and tips for planning highly interactive, festive events for students, families, and communities to enjoy.
Find more ways to celebrate online and in your community at the Geography Awareness Week website. "

Make a "BIG MAP" for Geography Awareness Week

Make a BIG MAP for Geography Awareness Week: Mapping the Americas Nov 16-22, 2008!!!
The map shown here is composed of enlarged "map tiles". Students are given several tiles, which they need to correctly tape together, color, & add geography features as directed by the teacher. Each student then matchees their set of connected tiles to another child's set of tiles...ultimately forming a 12' x 20' map of the Americas!!
The tiles (177+key!) are FREE and can be downloaded from the National Geographic GeoAction! website toolkit:

You can download just the tiles you wish (if you only want a map of North America), and use them for any geographic topic...all ages of kids and adults love this activity! Ideas for how to use this map are available at the above website as well. This group of teachers put the North America section together (without coloring) in about 20 minutes. It will obviously take more time for kids to do this so plan accordingly, and you'll need to schedule a large room or gym, and have lots of scotch tape available!
Enjoying Mapping the Americas in a BIG WAY during Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 16-22, 2008!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Utah Atlas

FINALLY! A fabulous student-friendly, State Curriculum CORE aligned, low-cost, atlas of Utah is now available!! The Utah Atlas was developed by Cliff B. Craig , Ph.d. & M. Elijah Carr, M.S. (Geography Department, Utah State University), and is published by: Gibbs-Smith
This Atlas is particulary perfect for teaching Utah Studies subjects taught in 3rd, 4th & 7th grades where traditional world atlases do not contain enough Utah specific Geography/History maps.

"This full-color atlas boasts 32 pages of maps, including:
  • political
  • topographical
  • climate
  • population
  • historic"
For ordering information:
Price: $6.95 (with discounts for orders over 25 copies!)