NGS Daily jigsaw puzzles

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Gallery | New Year's around the world |

Gallery | New Year's around the world |

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SkyWatch Friday

For more interesting sky views see:

Two interesting photos.

I took the first photo this Fall from my front porch looking westward toward "West Mt." (part of the Oquirrh Mountain range that divides Tooele County N/S from Salt
Lake and Utah Counties). This "fan" cloud filled most of my view to the west....I think this is called a "gravity wave" type of cloud?

See information about the Oquirrh Mts. here:

This photo was taken Christmas Day. We were traveling north to Utah County on I-15. It was a COLD, windy, but clear day, and these clouds were being blown into the
mountains along the Wasatch Front Range mountains....example of orographic lifting. You can see the cloud stream bring driven up and backward by the mountain face.

Happy New Year!!.....Keep your eyes skyward to 2010!!!

Make a globe: pattern

This cut-out and assemble globe pattern really helps kids see why putting a map on a round surface causes distortions, and also helps teach continents, oceans, and hemispheres. Have the kids color (color pencils work best) the water and continents, cut out and assemble. Glue sticks work better than reg. glue when assembling. Also before final assembly, place crumpled/wadded paper inside to help hold the shape of the globe. It will probably help to have the students work in pairs when putting the hemispheres together...these can be hung from the ceiling, etc if you glue string on the inside and thread the string up through the "north pole"before final glue-up as well.

Thank you Janet Allen, Ellis Elementary, Logan Utah for this pattern!

(double-cick on the images to enlarge and print)


I have used this GREAT, simplified, geography, math, & art activity for many years to show students rules of coloring maps. These pages were from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NCTM Student Math Notes, 11/90.

Their website is filled with many other geography/math links, but I did not find this one that I've posted. However, page 4 gives permission to reproduce the activity for classroom use!

(double click on each image to enlarge and print)

More information on the 4-color theorem for coloring maps:

additional examples (worksheets):

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"SPICE" up your holidays (world spices) RE-POST

WORLD SPICES: For those teachers looking for a fun geography activity to start the new year--"spice" up your curriculum by studying spices from around the world!
I found many really great websites with terrific lesson plans, mapping activities, art activities, research sites, books/texts, games, teacher and student information sites, and webquests all about world spice locations. I also found many websites about how spices effected history, the spice trades, and Christopher Columbus connections.
Assign your students a spice, and fill up your room with "scent-sational" geography reports about where spices come from around the world....
Some of the better sites are listed below with brief descriptions:
(website loaded with links about spice facts, history, geography, suggestions for activities, information for teachers and students!)
(board game involves collecting and trading spices from around the world)
(website for “Spices--a global history” by Fred Czarra.
(spice history essay)
(Xpeditions/National Geographic, K-3 lesson plan, “Spices of the world”)
(Xpeditions/National Geographic, gr 3-5 lesson plan, “Spices in your favorite food”)
Xpeditions/National Geographic, lesson plan, “Spice world”)
(many spice websites, lesson plans, and teacher/student resources)
(essay, how spices effected world history)
(lengthy, but wonderful lesson plans and activities involving the travels and trading of Marco Polo)
(class activity/webquest to research foods and spices of countries)
(multiple lessons with literature connections concerning the spice trade routes)
(webquest/lesson plans for spice and silk routes)
Title: Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination
Author: Paul Freedman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780 3001 1199 6
(GREAT lesson plans for beginning of European spice trade routes)
(spice information per continent)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Visit Santa at his North Pole site and track his wanderings from the NORAD Tracks Santa link starting Dec. 24th!!!

This Must be Utah! - UEN

This Must be Utah! - UEN

This is a FREE Teacher's guide of WONDERFUL lesson plans written by the Utah League of Cities and Towns for 4th and 7th graders to show how Utah Municipalities develop over time. "These lesson will provide an understanding of the way in which geography, history, culture and tradition have made Utah such a unique & fascinating place in which to live."

These lesson plans have been adopted for use as example lesson plans for use with the Utah State Core Curriculum and are available online through the UEN (Utah Education Network) link above:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Storm Buries the U.S. East Coast
From NASA Earth Observatory website:

The Mid-Atlantic states were completely white on Sunday, December 20, 2009, in the wake of a record-breaking snow storm. The storm deposited between 12 and 30 inches of snow in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. on December 19, according to the National Weather Service. For many locations, the snowfall totals broke records for the most snow to fall in a single December day.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this view of the Chesapeake Bay region as the clouds were clearing on December 20. The snow highlights the courses of the Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers from the Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. The ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains are similarly highlighted. The forested peaks are darker than the snow-covered valleys.
The massive snow storm was a Nor’easter, a powerful storm characterized by a strong low-pressure center that forms in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean and moves northward up the Eastern seaboard. In the Northern Hemisphere, winds flow in toward the center of a low-pressure area in a counter-clockwise spiral, which means that as the storm heads north, the leading winds come in off the ocean from the northeast.
CNN. (2009, December 20). East Coast storm heads north, leaving snowfall records in its wake. Accessed December 21, 2009.
National Weather Service Forecast Office. Preliminary totals ending December 19, 2009. Accessed December 21, 2009.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
Instrument: Aqua - MODIS Image Location

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? using music to teach geography

A YouTube video "enhancing" the original game/tv/cartoon series....great way to use a theme song such as 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' for a geography lesson!

(background information about the TV series)

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?..lyrics:

Well she sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina,
She's a sticky-fingered filcher from Berlin down to Belize,
She'll take you for a ride on a slow boat to China,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry Uncle,
From the Red Sea to Greenland they'll be singing the blues,
Well they never Arkansas her steal the Mekong from the jungle,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

She go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe,
Chicago to Czechoslovakia and back!

Well she'll ransack Pakistan and run a scam in Scandinavia,
Then she'll stick 'em up Down Under and go pick-pocket Perth,
She put the Miss in misdemeanor when she stole the beans from Lima,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Oh tell me where in the world is... Oh tell me where can she be?

Ooh, Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam,
Mali to Bali, Ohio, Oahu...!

Well she glides around the globe and she'll flimflam every nation,
She's a double-dealing diva with a taste for thievery,
Her itinerary's loaded up with moving violations,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Check out this great MSN Video: Mayon volcano turns up the heat

Check out this great MSN Video: Mayon volcano turns up the heat

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

See other interesting sky views at:

These photos maybe a bit of a stretch for SkyWatch, but hope you enjoy the humor here anyway. I was recently traveling on "old" highway 91 from Santa Clara, Utah (south west corner of Utah) connecting to I-15 southbound in Nevada. Highway 91 goes through some really desolate, dry, mountainous desert terrain. The vegetation of area is mostly, pinion pine, dry grasses and juniper trees, and an area near the Shivwits Paiute Indian Reservation...was pretty much burned to the ground from a "forest" fire. However, as we came around one hill, there was an area that had escaped the fires and trees were preserved....Someone had decorated with Christmas the middle of almost nowhere... a pinion pine-- spared from fire--on the hill. I had to stop and take a was priceless!! Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Under water oceanic volcano discovered

South East of Samoa, a new spectacular underwater oceanic volcano is currently errupting and showing scientists real "fireworks" under the sea!

SkyWatch Friday

See other interesting sky views:
I have a large flowering pear tree that is frequently visited by woodpeckers during the winter months...This noisy guy was chasing all the other birds out of "his tree".
(Lehi, Utah County, No./central Utah, USA)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

California as an island, utopia in the shape of a skull, and other strange maps. - By Frank Jacobs - Slate Magazine

I saw a great article and slide show from Slate Magazine today reviewing some really strange..but cool maps:

California as an island, utopia in the shape of a skull, and other strange maps. - By Frank Jacobs - Slate Magazine

The maps for the article are from the most interesting, crazy, map lovers blogsite: STRANGE MAPS

The maps from above blogsite are now in an atlas: "Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities" by Frank Jacobs

Friday, December 4, 2009

Geography podcasts

Listen to FREE, ONLINE ,daily, podcasts...fascinating science, space and geography subjects! You may download the podcasts or embed their podcasts into a blog, etc.

I used them every morning with my 6th grades classes as a "listening" (comprehension) class starter. The kids listened to the podcast, jotted down a few notes about what they heard and we discussed the topic for a few minutes. The kids turned in their "Earth&Sky" notes every Friday...I was able to give them a comprehension and class participation grade from their work.

(turn off the music gadget in the sidebar if you wish to listen to the podcasts now...)

Up Pompeii, courtesy of Google Streetview

Studying about the Ancient Roman Civilization? Take your students on a tour of Ancient Pompeii...NEW & now available courtesy of Google Streetview!

Up Pompeii, courtesy of Google Streetview

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Google Earth/Sketchup Competition

PLACE, one of the important 5 themes of teaching geography, is sometimes a daunting subject. What characteristics make a town, city, community, state, country or region unique or different from any other similar location on earth? City architecture and building designs often distinguish a location....and Google Earth/Sketchup has a competition that may inspire your students to create 3D portraits of places in their communities that make them unique.
Information about the GOOGLE Model Your Town Competition follows (from the Google Sketchup site):


"Get Started Entries accepted until March 1, 2010

Google Model Your Town Competition

What makes your town an incredible place to live?
Show your civic pride (and maybe win a prize) by creating a 3D portrait of your community and sharing it with the world. You have the power to get your town on the map – and there's no bigger map than Google Earth.

See what other towns have done (Google Earth file)
The Google Model Your Town Competition is open to people from all over the world.
All you have to do is build 3D models of the buildings in your community. Model whichever structures you think are necessary to show the planet what's special about your town. Be recognized by your community for doing something great. Having a 3D model of your town in Google Earth helps residents and visitors understand it in a way that flat maps and photographs can't. You can be a local hero by making a contribution to your town's future.

Getting started is easy.
You can enter on your own or recruit up to five of your fellow citizens to help you form a team, and the software tools you need are free.

Get started today
Details, details . You can model as many structures as you like – which types of buildings you choose to include is entirely up to you. The important thing is that your choices say something about the character and history of your town. Modeling teams may include up to six members.
Buildings can be modeled with SketchUp, a free and relatively easy-to-use 3D modeling program from Google. You use SketchUp in combination with Google Earth to give models a precise geographic location. Buildings can also be modeled with Google Building Maker if your town is located in an area where Building Maker data is available. These models can also be edited and improved with Google SketchUp. Each completed building model should be uploaded to a dedicated town collection on the Google 3D Warehouse"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

See other exciting sky views at:

I was returning home the other night, and saw these lovely, dusky, sun rays peaking over the Oquirrh Mts...west of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Geography of Aids

December 1, 1009:
World AIDS day


THE AGE OF AIDS...excellent informative website from PBS:Frontline.

This 2006 website is loaded with lots of information about the worldwide AIDS epidemic: Country and global maps/statistics, online video segments of the entire program discussing AIDS information, AIDS timeline, interviews, discussion groups, & a Reality Check Quiz. (above map not from PBS site)

AIDS in Africa I: ThevScope of the problem (for grades 9-12)
AIDS in Africa II: More than Sympathy (for grades 9-12)
A Geographic Prospective of Africa (for grades 9-12)