Second Year First Month Activities

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1 National Council for Geographic Education Curriculum & Instruction Committee Geography Club Submitted by: Steve Pierce Second Year First Month Activities Geography for Life: National Geography Standards The World in Spatial Terms Standard 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information Standard 2: How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments from a spatial perspective Standard 3: How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth s surface I. Warm-up Activity: Map Scraps Examine each Map Scrap and try to determine the locations. Use an atlas and other reference materials to answer the questions. Map Scrap Map: National Geographic Society Questions: 1. From which continent is this map scrap taken? 2. Which two countries are shown on the map? 3. What is the name if the isthmus shown on the map? 4. Name the two large bodies of water shown on the map. 5. What waterway located on this isthmus joins the two bodies of water? National Council for Geographic Education Page 1 of 8

2 Map Scrap Questions: 1. The tip of which European country is shown on this map scrap? 2. What island lies across the Strait of Messina? 3. Which body of water is shown on the map scrap? 4. What mountain range forms the northern border of this country? 5. What African country lies southwest of the area shown on the map scrap? Map: National Geographic Society II. Activity: Absolute Location Note to teachers/sponsors: The activities that follow are suggestions. You are encouraged to adapt them as you need to, so they are useful to the ages and abilities of your group. Feel free to pick and choose from these activities. Also, use them as springboards to other activities that fit the interests of your students. You may also want to incorporate a field study experience, if applicable. Additional Note: Latitude and longitude are rounded to the nearest whole degree in the activity that follows. Minutes and seconds of degrees of latitude and longitude are not addressed. The only exception is the half degree for the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Introduction Where is it? This is usually the first question that crosses our minds when we hear the name of an unfamiliar place. The question is answered by finding its location - the first of the Five Themes of Geography. The location of a place can be given in relative terms - where the place is located in relation to other known places, or in absolute terms. Absolute location gives the exact location of a place, using a grid coordinate system such as latitude and longitude. Absolute location gives the global address of a place. Explore latitude and longitude with the following activities. National Council for Geographic Education Page 2 of 8

3 Materials needed: World map and/or world atlas Globe Physical and political maps of the world The Basics Most textbooks give a brief overview of latitude and longitude. Depending on the knowledge of your group, you may need to teach or review the concepts of latitude and longitude. Some suggested Internet sources: About.com resources for latitude and longitude Resources for determining your latitude and longitude National Geographic Xpeditions Lesson Plans Introduction to Latitude and Longitude Latitude, Longitude and Mapmaking Latitude Latitude lines are parallel lines that run east-west across a map (or around the globe) that measure distance north or south of the Equator. The Equator is 0 (zero) degrees latitude and is the starting point for measuring distance in degrees north and south. The maximum degree of latitude is 90 degrees. 90 north of the Equator is the North Pole; 90 south of the Equator is the South Pole. Look at world map or globe and notice the lines of latitude. First, find the Equator, 0. What continents does the Equator pass through? How many degrees are there between the lines of latitude shown on the map? The number varies with different maps, although latitude lines are usually drawn 10 or 20 degrees apart. To avoid confusion, latitude is designated as North or South of the Equator. For example, Charlotte, NC lies at 35 N (north of the Equator) and Buenos Aires, Argentina lies at 35 S (south of the Equator). Look for these lines of latitude on the map or globe: The Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees North), the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees South), the Arctic Circle (66.5 degrees North), and the Antarctic Circle (23.5 degrees South). These lines of latitude mark the general climate zones of the Earth: Tropics, Mid-Latitude temperate, and Polar. Which continents do these special lines of latitude pass through? National Council for Geographic Education Page 3 of 8

4 Find your city or community. At what latitude is it located? You will need to estimate the latitude if your city lies between the latitude lines shown on your map. Be sure you indicate whether it is north or south of the Equator. Try finding the latitude for these cities: (Answers are in the Answers section) 1. New York City 2. Houston, Texas 3. Minneapolis, Minnesota 4. San Francisco, California 5. Boston, Massachusetts 6. Seattle, Washington 7. Anchorage, Alaska Longitude Knowing the latitude of a place gives us only half the global address, much like knowing the name of the street a person lives, but not the house number. If we only know the street name, the house could be anywhere on that street. Longitude lines, or meridians, run north-south from the North Pole to the South Pole and measure the distance east or west of the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is 0 degrees longitude and is the starting point for measuring distance in degrees east and west. The maximum degree of longitude is 180 degrees, exactly halfway around the Earth from the Prime Meridian. Look at world map or globe and notice the lines the lines of longitude. First find the Prime Meridian, 0. What continents does the Prime Meridian pass through? How many degrees are there between the lines of longitude shown on the map? The number varies with different maps, although longitude lines are usually drawn degrees apart. To avoid confusion, longitude is designated as East or West of the Prime Meridian. For example, 100 E (east of the Prime Meridian) passes through Asia and 100 W (west of the Prime Meridian) passes through North America. Find your city or community. At what longitude is it located? You will need to estimate the longitude if your city lies between the longitude lines shown on your map. Be sure you indicate whether it is east or west of the Prime Meridian. Try finding the longitude for these cities: (Answers are in the Answers section) 1. New Orleans, Louisiana 2. Miami, Florida 3. Denver, Colorado 4. San Francisco, California 5. Boston, Massachusetts 6. Seattle, Washington 7. Anchorage, Alaska National Council for Geographic Education Page 4 of 8

5 Putting It All Together Together, latitude and longitude give us the complete global address of a place. The latitude tells us how far north or south of the Equator the place is located, and the longitude tells us how far east or west of the prime meridian the place is located. For example, the country of Sri Lanka is located 8 north of the Equator and 81 east of the Prime Meridian; therefore Sri Lanka s absolute location is 8 N / 81 E. As a rule latitude is given first. Use latitude and longitude to identify these places that lie closest to: 1. city 60 N / 30 E 2. city 42 N / 12 E 3. country 17 N / 88 W 4. city 30 N / 32 E 5. country 30 S / 25 E See the Using Latitude and Longitude Student Activity on the Geography Club website for more latitude and longitude questions. Map a Body Activity In this activity students will approximate lines of latitude for select parts of the body. Materials: paper (3 ft. x 5 ft.) markers Procedure: Divide the class into small groups and tell them they are going to map a body. One student in the group lies on the paper and the group traces the outline of the body on the paper. Each group is to determine where on the body outline the following lines and points of latitude should be located: (provide the list only, not the other information) Name Latitude Suggested body part North Pole 90 N top of head South Pole 90 S bottom of feet Equator 0 waist Tropic of Cancer 23.5 N shoulders Tropic of Capricorn 23.5 S knees Arctic Circle 66.5 N eyebrows Antarctic Circle 66.5 S ankles These latitudes should be labeled by name and degrees north or south. Discuss why students selected a body part for each latitude. Another latitude activity can be found on About.com National Council for Geographic Education Page 5 of 8

6 Antipodes The antipode is the point on the opposite side of the earth from another point - the place you'd end up if you were able to dig directly through the earth. An antipode is found by converting the latitude and longitude. Take the latitude of the place you want to find the antipode of and convert it to the opposite hemisphere. For example, Memphis is located at approximately 35 N latitude. The antipode of Memphis is 35 S latitude. Take the longitude of the place you want to find the antipode of and subtract it from 180. Antipodes are always 180 of longitude away. Memphis is located at approximately 90 W longitude so we take = 90. This new 90 we convert to degrees East and we have our location of Memphis' antipode: 35 S / 90 E, in the Indian Ocean to the west of Australia. Find the antipode for your town or community. First, get your latitude and longitude. See the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, to find your latitude and longitude. Follow the steps above to find the antipode. Is the antipode on land or in the ocean? Why might the antipodes for Northern Hemisphere locations be more likely to be in the ocean? (There is less land in the Southern Hemisphere and 70% of the Earth is covered by oceans.) Sometimes antipodes are close to other cities. Locate the city that is closest to the antipode for: Buenos Aires, Argentina Bogotá, Colombia III. Geo-Questions Subsaharan Africa is the focus of this month s questions. 1. While boating on Lake Victoria, you can dock in any of three different countries. Name them. 2. What is the largest country in Africa? 3. Tanzania formed in 1964 from two countries. Name them. 4. At 19,340 feet above sea level, this is the highest mountain in Africa. Name it and the country it is located in. 5. Name the valley that extends like a giant trough from the Dead Sea south through the Red Sea and East Africa, as far as Mozambique. 6. If you are cruising between Brazzaville and Kinshasa, on what river are you? National Council for Geographic Education Page 6 of 8

7 7. Masai herders are primarily found in two countries of East Africa. Name them. 8. What do Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles have in common? 9. What country is associated with the "Horn of Africa"? 10. Established in 1993, this country caused Ethiopia to become landlocked. Name this country. 11. Name the waterfall on the Zambezi River that straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 12. The Sahara is the largest desert in Africa. Name two other deserts located in the southern part of the continent. 13. On which coast of Africa will you find the Skeleton Coast? National Council for Geographic Education Page 7 of 8

8 ANSWERS I. Map Scraps Map North America 2. Costa Rica and Panama 3. Isthmus of Panama 4. Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean 5. Panama Canal Map Italy 2. Sicily 3. Mediterranean Sea (accept: Ionian Sea) 4. Alps 5. Tunisia II. Activity: Latitude and Longitude Latitude 1. New York City, NY 41 N 2. Houston, TX 29 N 3. Minneapolis, MN 45 N 4. San Francisco, CA 38 N 5. Boston, MA 42 N 6. Seattle, WA 47 N 7. Anchorage, AK 61 N Longitude 1. New Orleans, LA 90 W 2. Miami, FL 80 W 3. Denver, CO 105 W 4. San Francisco, CA 123 W 5. Boston, MA 71 W 6. Seattle, WA 122 W 7. Anchorage, AK 149 W Latitude and longitude 1. city 60 N / 30 E St. Petersburg, Russia 2. city 42 N / 12 E Rome, Italy 3. country 17 N / 88 W Belize 4. city 30 N / 32 E Cairo 5. country 30 S / 25 E South Africa Antipodes Buenos Aires, Argentina 34 S / 58 W Shanghai, China 34 N / 122 E Bogotá, Colombia 4 N / 74 W Jakarta, Indonesia 4 S / 106 E Using Latitude and Longitude Student Activity 1. Arabic 2. Galapagos 3. Moscow 4. Spanish 5. Flamingoes 6. Australia 7. Mexico 8. Llamas 9. Pasta 10. Penguins 11. Nairobi 12. Japanese 13. Taj Mahal 14. Amazon River 15. Chopsticks 16. Sao Paulo, Brazil 17. Indian Ocean 18. Lemur 19. Beijing 20. London 21. New Zealand 22. Mt. Everest 23. Kalahari Desert 24. Cape Horn 25. Bering Strait III. Geo-Questions 1. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda 2. Sudan (966,757 square miles) 3. Tanganyika and Zanzibar 4. Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 5. Great Rift Valley 6. Congo (Zaire) River 7. Kenya and Tanzania 8. they are island countries in the Indian Ocean 9. Somalia 10. Eritrea 11. Victoria Falls 12. the Namib Desert and the Kalahari Desert 13. the Atlantic coast along the Namib desert National Council for Geographic Education Page 8 of 8

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