Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, 11/30/10 Homework Question

Here are the video questions from today's class. These were to be completed on loose leaf paper and were worth a total of 10 points:
  1. What advantages did Russians experience under a command economy?
  2. What advantages did Russians experience under a free market economy?
  3. What characteristics of a market economy create differences between rich and poor?
  4. Will conditions for the poor get better or worse as people get used to the market economy? Explain.
You can find the video at this location if you need to review it:


Then, complete the following on the same sheet of loose leaf. Based on the information from the video, reading and class discussion, write a paragraph responding to the following question:

Why would the new, democratic Russian government want rich people to stay out of politics?

This question is worth 5 points. The assignment is 15 points total.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Extra, Extra! PSM Students Take Over Europe!

Early in November, PSM's 9th grade World Geography students created their own nation-states and took over the continent of Europe. You can see period 8's map to the left.

In period 2, Alexia, Kira, Keiana, Helen and Simone
coordinated their plans for world domination. 
To the left, the citizens of Nayr-Retnim, a new global superpower, speak in their complicated egaugnal... or what most of us would call "language."
In all classes, the fighting over Greece and Italy was fast and furious, as the picture to the right shows.

In-class Assignment for Periods 1 and 8

Hello students,

Here are the three questions from the board today. The assignment is worth a total of 5 points. Answer the questions on the same sheet of loose leaf you used for the arrival activity.
  1. How hot can the weather get in Siberia? How cold? Describe how a person might deal with these temperature extremes.
  2. Describe how the Siberian environment affects construction in the area.
  3. How did Russia's winter impact Napoleon and his army?

Siberia: Russia's Frontier

Hello class,

Today we will take a look at Siberia, the region which dominates the Asian portion of Russia. Rich in natural beauty, resources, and history, Siberia casts a great and sometimes foreboding shadow over Russia's national consciousness. As Russia's frontier, Siberia has many historical parallels with the western United States. We will learn more about this important region by examining a site created by the U.S. Library of Congress (LOC).

At the Meeting of Frontiers Web site, you can learn more about how Siberia's physical geography shaped the region's development. Information on this site is written in both Russian and English -- Russian students might be doing exactly the same thing you are doing right now!

Start at the Meeting of Frontiers Web site.

Take notes as you read through the site. All of the information on the sites you look at today is eligible for tomorrow's quiz. You may not begin answering the questions below until I announce that it is time to start answering them.

  • Click on America, Russia, and the Meeting of Frontiers.
  • Click on Development. Read this page, and then click on and read Agriculture in Siberia.
  • Return to the main screen and click on Exploration. Read this page, and then click on The Russian Discovery of Siberia and Mapping of Siberia. Read this page and look at the maps.
  • Return to the main screen and click on National Identity. Read this page, and then click on and read Tourism.
When I have announced that you may begin, use the information you gathered to answer the following questions on loose leaf paper. You must answer in complete sentences. This is a 20 point assignment, due at the end of the period.
  1. What natural resource first drew Russians to Siberia? What role did the same natural resource have in the development of the western United States? (4 points)
  2. How did Russian farmers adapt their agricultural methods to the Siberian climate? What impact did Russian farmers have on Siberian agriculture? (4 points)
  3. Why did governments throughout western Europe commission new maps of Siberia in the mid-1500s? (4 points)
  4. Following World War II, why did Siberia become a popular tourist destination? (4 points)
  5. In the 1800s major gold deposits were discovered in the western United States and Siberia. On a separate sheet of paper, create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the gold rushes on the two frontiers. (4 points)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Destination: Russia!

Hello class,

Today we have two objectives: to discover a little introductory information about our next geographic destination -- Russia -- and to become familiar with a couple of important websites for geographers.

Providence St. Mel is looking to add a new destination for SOAL participants -- St. Petersburg, Russia. As the local experts in geography, it is up to you to figure out the trip details.

The potential trip would take place from June 10-15, 2011.

In order to help plan trips for students, you must use your knowledge of geography, in addition to the websites below, to find out information about this exciting new destination.

In order to plan properly, you'll need to use the websites below:
Use the sites to answer the questions below on loose leaf paper. Note: you will probably have to look through the sites in order to find the questions. There will not, for example, be an exact link which says: "This is what Americans need to have to enter Russia." Look around the sites. Find the one with the BEST, most complete information.
  1. Explain what is required for Americans to enter Russia.
  2. What is the absolute location of St. Petersburg? What American city does it share a line of latitude with (HINT: You may have to look outside of the continental US)? You may use the maps in your book to answer this question.
  3. Describe any health and safety concerns Americans might encounter in Russia
  4. What is the name of the money in Russia? How much is $1.00 worth in Russian currency?
  5. If one took $200.00 U.S. dollars to Russia,how much that would that equal in Russian currency?
  6. What will the weather be like, on average, during this time of year in St. Petersburg? How do the temperature and precipitation compare to the same time period in Chicago?
  7. Who built St. Petersburg? Why did he choose this location specifically?
  8. Describe the physical geography around St. Petersburg. Pay particular attention to the nearby waterways and the ways in which they have affected the city. Finally, explain how the region's physical features have proved challenging in the past.
  9. Take a look at the sights and sounds of St. Petersburg. What two places should a tourist make sure she visited while in St. Petersburg, Russia? Describe the your choices, then explain why you found them so interesting.
  10. Which one of the sights/landmarks in St. Petersburg seemed most interesting to you? Name and describe it.
This assignment is a 10 point homework grade.

HOMEWORK: Read Ch. 15.1 and take Cornell Notes. Due on your desk at the start of tomorrow's class. This is a 10 point homework grade.

BINDER CHECK ON THURSDAY IN CLASS. This is a 30 point homework grade. Check your rubric to see grading procedure. Your notebook should be complete and up-to-date with all Quarter 2 assignments. I have also e-mailed the rubric to you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, 11/15/10: European Union Homework

Hello class,

For homework, read pp. 326-327 and answer the following questions on loose leaf paper. It is due at the start of tomorrow's class.
  1. Why do some people believe that Europe must unite?
  2. What was the initial purpose behind unification (for France and Germany, for example)?
  3. How could having open borders affect Europe's independent countries?
  4. What positives do countries experience by switching to the Euro? Negatives?
  5. What does the case of Joerg Haider tell you about the EU's effects on politics?
  6. What difficulties might the EU face in the future?
  7. Overall, is the EU a good or a bad idea? Explain your response.
This assignment is a 10 point homework grade.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, 11/11/10: Period 8 Homework

Answer the following question in one paragraph (5-7 sentences) on a sheet of loose leaf paper. It is due in the bin at the start of class, and is worth 5 points. You will need to use the information from pp. 303-304 and p. 290, as well as your notes, to answer the question.

Compare and contrast the British and Roman Empires. Your response should consider the area controlled by each, as well as their main form(s) of transportation. Make sure that you also explain which level of society each empire reached and why. Finally, add any other details you think might be important.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

11/3/10 Class Work: Creating a Nation-State

Hello class,

Today we will continue learning about nation-states. In order to apply what you learned in class yesterday, you will create a 1-2 slide PowerPoint presentation to illustrate your nation. In your slide show, you must include the following information:

  1. Your nation's name (2 points)
  2. Your country's name (2 points)
  3. The name of your language and at least two examples of common words in your language (how to say "hello," "goodbye," etc.). (3 points)
  4. At least three pictures and descriptive text showing the culture of your people. You might include any of the following (2 points each, 6 points total):
    1. Favorite Food
    2. Favorite Holiday
    3. Favorite Sport
    4. Favorite book/movie
    5. Favorite music
  5. A picture of your national symbol and a text box explaining why you chose this symbol. This could be an animal, plant, etc. that tells us something about the people in your nation (4 points). The U.S. symbol is the bald eagle, symbolizing the strength and majesty of our country.
  6. Your national motto. This should be something that tells us a little something about the people in your nation and their lifestyle (3 points)For example, the U.S. motto is E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One. It symbolizes the fact that although there are many states and cultures in the U.S., they all form one country.
The assignment is worth 20 points total. You should be able to complete this assignment in today's class period. Save the assignment to the following folder:

Y:\Ramin World Geography\Period _ Nations

Make sure you save in the correct folder for your class period.

Then, print a copy to turn in to me before the end of the class period. Write your names on the back of the page.

Once you've created your slide(s), label and shade in your nation's location on the map of Europe provided. You do not need to follow the real-life national borders. Be aware, however, that if you give your nation too much land, you may come into conflict with other nations.

If you finish this assignment in class today, you may move on to your homework. Answer the following question in one paragraph (5-7 sentences) on a sheet of loose leaf paper. It is due in the bin at the start of class, and is worth 5 points. You will need to use the information from pp. 303-304 and p. 290, as well as your notes, to answer the question.

Compare and contrast the British and Roman Empires. Your response should consider the area controlled by each, as well as their main form(s) of transportation. Make sure that you also explain which level of society each empire reached and why. Finally, add any other details you think might be important.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

11/4/2010 Homework: Interview a Voter

Over your long weekend, I'd like you to complete the following assignment on loose leaf paper. Answer each question in complete sentences.
  1. Identify a person you know who voted in Tuesday's election. Record his/her name. (3 points)
  2. Write 5 questions to ask this person. (5 points) These should NOT be "yes" or "no" questions. You're want to find out actual information. You should ask your chosen voter about things like:
    1. the party he/she belongs to, if any
    2. who he/she voted for (if he is comfortable telling you) and why
    3. what issues he/she is most interested in (ex: health care, the economy, etc.) and why
    4. why he/she votes
    5. is he/she happy with the results of the election and why
    6. make up your own questions, as long as they are topical!
  3. Interview your voter using the questions you wrote. Write down EXACTLY what the person says in his/her response to your question. (7 points)
  4. Bring the assignment to class on Monday. Keep it on your desk so that you can share your results.

11/3/10 Class Work: Meet Illinois' New Senator

Hello class,

Today we will examine the victors of Illinois' 2010 midterm senate election: Senator Mark Kirk. Complete this assignment on loose leaf paper.

Examine the following sites related to Mark Kirk:

Then, answer the questions below:

  1. What political party does Mark Kirk belong to?
  2. Why is the senate seat Kirk won so well known?
  3. What qualifications does Kirk have that made him a good senate candidate?
  4. What scandals has the new senator faced?
  5. Who did Kirk defeat in the race for senate?
  6. On Kirk's site, examine the box labeled "Top Issues for Illinois." These are the things that Mark Kirk thinks are most important for his state. Choose at least one of the issues and read what Kirk says. Then, write down the name of the issue and summarize his beliefs.
  7. Read the biography of Kirk's opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, on his site. Based on the information you've read, which candidate impresses you more?
  8. Would you have voted for Mark Kirk? Explain your response, giving at least two specific reasons.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/3/2010 Homework: The Midterm Elections

On Tuesday, November 2, Americans aged 18 and up voted in the Midterm Elections. In Illinois, two major offices were up for grabs: senator and governor. We will talk a little about the election results tomorrow.

For homework tonight, do the following:

Identify these four people:
  1. Pat Quinn
  2. Bill Brady
  3. Alexi Giannoulias
  4. Mark Kirk
On a sheet of loose leaf paper, write a sentence about each candidate. In your sentence, identify which position the person ran for, his party, and any background information you find. You may use newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and television news to identify each.

This assignment is worth 10 points, and is due on your desk at the start of tomorrow's class.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Test Review Questions

Here are some review questions for tomorrow's test. Complete them on loose leaf paper for 5 points extra credit. Turn them in to the bin tomorrow before class.
  1. What landform served as the center of the Roman Empire? Explain why this landform was important to Roman civilization.
  2. Compare and contrast the effects the Alps have on weather in Italy and Germany.
  3. Describe the best route for a Viking warrior to take from his homeland to the richest city in Europe.
  4. How does a civilization move from a folk society to a feudal society?
  5. What is necessary in order for a civilization to reach the modern level of society?
  6. Define "Nationalism" and "Nation-State."
  7. Explain why the Roman Empire fell.
  8. What kind of government did Perikles want Athens to have? Why?

Monday, November 1, 2010

11/1/10 Homework

Answer the following questions on loose leaf. Turn in to the bin at the start of tomorrow’s class (5
points each, 15 points total). 
What kept Athens, Sparta and Rome from reaching the MODERN level of society?
Why didn’t Athens or Sparta start empires while Rome did? (HINT: think about the surrounding physical features)
Why was Constantinople able to become the richest city in Europe?