NGS Daily jigsaw puzzles

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

To see other interesting sky views:




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Video for elementary teachers

This is TOOO FUNNY....and SPOT ON!!! Enjoy!!
(Turn off background music in dashboard widget before viewing
so you can truly enjoy this video clip!)

This is from the show The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Educators. Wavelength trains teachers. Learn more at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Animaniacs: Nations of the World song

Animaniac's: Nations of the world song
(turn down the music from the dashboard music widget
so you can hear this....)

geography songs

If you ever needed or wanted a list of geography songs....try this HUGE geography song blog by
Eric Riback:

also see his great blog: MAPVILLE !!!!!

Using children's literature to teach geography

  • Minn of the Mississippi
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea
  • Seabird

"These books are by Holling Clancy Holling....and are very geography content laden.... it is appropriate to be used from grade 4-9. "

Book available at

James Michener on Geography

James Michener on Geography
The Queenly Science

(A geography quote from

"The more I work in the social-studies field the more convinced I become that Geography is the foundation of all. When I call it the queenly science, I do not visualize a bright-eyed young woman recently a princess but rather an elderly, somewhat beat-up dowager, knowing in the way of power.
When I begin work on a new area – something I have been called upon to do rather frequently in my adult life – I invariably start with the best geography I can find. This take precedence over everything else, even history, because I need to ground myself in the fundamentals which have governed and in a sense limited human development. … Most geography books, like most geography courses, are drab affairs and a waste of time. I have dissipated many hours looking at geographies that were not worth the reading, but when you come upon something like Preston James' speculative works on South America the philosophical returns are apt to be high. However, even the poorest regional geography is better than none at all; it at least delimits the field, fixes certain relationships, and drives the reader to a contemplation of his own.

With growing emphasis on ecology and related problems of the environment, geography will undoubtedly grow in importance and relevance. I wish that the teaching of it were going to improve commensurately; most of the geography courses I have known were rather poorly taught and repelled the general student like me.

I could make the same wish about geographical writing. It ought to be much better than it is, with more emphasis upon generalization and philosophical meaning. Television has done much to awaken the general viewer to geographical matters – but this is merely a pleasant tourism, sight-seeing. What is required is the perceptive analysis of the land and man's relationship to it. If one has this solid footing, then the television travelogue can be of enormous additional value. Without it, the television program is harmless entertainment and provides little evident for reaching conclusion on major problems.

If I were a young man with any talent for expressing myself, and if I wanted to make myself indispensable to my society, I would devote eight to ten years to the real mastery of one of the earth's major regions. I would learn languages, the religions, the customs, the value systems, the history, the nationalisms, and above all the geography, and when that was completed I would be in position to write about that region, and I would be invaluable to my nation, for I would be the bridge of understanding to the alien culture. We have seen how crucial such bridges can be.

Believe me, if I were well schooled in one of these vital areas and if I had even a modest gift for writing I would have an insurance policy for the rest of my life, because we need perceptive books about these cultures."

Extract from "The Mature Social Studies Teacher," Social Education, November, 1970. pp. 760-767 -- Geography podcasts

Listen to FREE, ONLINE ,daily, podcasts...fascinating science, space and geography subjects! You may download the daily/weekly 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...)

Not a geography topic, but a great inspirational video:

It's the struggles in life that help us to become greater individuals!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

See other exciting skyviews:

It was a dark and dreary winter morning...menacing clouds piled up against the Wasatch Mountains in Utah County. For a brief moment the sun attempted to scatter a few rays of light onto those of us waiting so desperately for spring to arrive. This picture made me a feel a little less snowbound and a lot more springy... Cheers and Happy Sky Watching!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Storm could mean snow on ground in all 50 states -

Several articles and news items have shown up today talking about all 50 states having snow on the ground.
Here's the article from

Storm could mean snow on ground in all 50 states -

This same website/article above has a great interactive map showing snow in all the States:

2010 Olympic Medal Tracker

Lots of opportunities to teach geography during the Winter Olympics!!
Start by downloading this free widget from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics site:
Give each student a large black-line world map to use during the Olympics...students can begin by identifying on the world map the countries participating in the Winter Olympics..then marking tally marks on countries winning medals.

The official Vancouver Winter Olympics has a interactive online world map showing all of the participating countries that will show an ongoing tally of medals for each country....THANK YOU VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS FOR ADDING A GEOGRAPHY COMPONENT TO YOUR OLYMPICS!!!

Another idea that I have used with my students in the past:
Record,download,watch online from the websites, the opening ceremony of the Olympics...especially where the teams enter the stadium with their country's flags. Show the recording to students...(you can leave the sound off)..and as each country's flag pass...students identify the flag and identify the country on a black-line map of the world. (Current World Almanacs will help with flag identification).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

To see other interesting sky views:

A cold Utah County morning....after a big snow storm. The light on these trees made the scene very "painted' or unreal looking...brrrrr.

Bring on Spring!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010


"In his last years my father would sit on the porch of his Long Island nursing home looking out on the sea, and between long silences he would speak. “You know, sometimes I see a little dot way out there, and then it gets bigger and finally turns into a ship.” I explained that the earth was a sphere and so forth. In his 80 years he had never had time to sit and watch the sea. He had employed hundreds of people and made tens of thousands of coats and shipped them to towns and cities all over the States, and now at the end he looked out over the sea and said with happy surprise, “Oh. So it’s round!”

Arthur Miller, Timebends

Friday, February 5, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

To see other interesting sky views:

I found a cool website to help explain the following moon pictures:

*Moon halo?

*Moon dog?


*ring around the Moon?

*Moon corona?

What ever you wish to call this pretty moon site..took me quite awhile and lots of shots to capture these three pictures. Either the clouds covered the moon or the "rainbow colors" were not visible enough. I was excited to get these three!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NGChannel: "A Traveler's Guide to THE PLANETS"

"See new interactive companion site to NGS Channel program "A TRAVELER' GUIDE TO THE PLANETS"...STARTING 2/14/10 7 PM"
The Traveler's Guide to the Planets is the ultimate travel guide to the solar system.

NOVA: Ghosts of Machu Picchu

PBS/NOVA is premiering new program today : The Ghosts of Machu Picchu. The companion website is loaded with all kinds of teacher materials and resources. The entire program can be viewed online starting 2/3/10.
From the "Teacher Resource" link above see media-rich lesson plans using this program.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cross-Quarter Days

Happy Ground Hog Day ..with an
"astronomy-geography" connection!!!
Did you know that Ground Hog Day
is a cross-quarter day?
For more information about astronomy and Cross-Quarter Days, see:
A cross-quarter day is a day falling approximately halfway between a solstice and an equinox. These days originated as pagan holidays in Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom and Ireland, and survive in modern times as neopagan holidays.
The Cross-Quarter Days:
1 November
2 February
1 May )
1 August
"There are Christian and secular holidays that correspond roughly with each of these four, and some argue that historically they originated as adaptations of the pagan holidays, although the matter is not agreed upon. The corresponding holidays are:
St.Brigids Day (1 February), Groundhog Day (2 February), and Candlemas (2 or 15 February)
Walpurgis Night (30 Apr) and May Day (1 May)
Lammas (1 August)
Halloween (31 October), All Saints (1 November), and All Souls' Day (2 November)"
For more Cross-Quarter Day information see:
Cross-Quarter Day lesson plan: