Thursday, March 31, 2011

Extra Review Questions

  1. How do the events in Libya compare to U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  2. Name and describe the 5 Pillars of Islam. Then, summarize the two main reasons they were adopted.
  3. Compare and contrast the Palestinians and Israelis. Then, explain each side's argument for control of Israel. Finally, state which side you agree with and why.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The United Nations: An Introduction

This is the United Nations flag. Adopted in 1947, it
features a map of the world centered on the North Pole.
The olive branches surrounding the globe symbolize peace.
In order to send the U.S. military to assist the rebels in Libya, President Obama first had to wait for permission. The president required a resolution from the world's most important international governing organization: the United Nations.

Today, you will learn more about the UN in preparation for our upcoming Model UN project. In the project, you will work with a small group to represent a country to the United Nations.

We will talk more about the project and assign groups later. For today, we need to get some background information. Any good representative must know a little bit about the organization she is a part of.

You will work with a partner for this assignment. You will send one e-mail to me between the two of you containing your responses. The assignment is worth a total of 20 points:

  • 1 point per question, 15 points total
  • 2 points proper subject line
  • 3 points format, grammar, spelling, etc.
First, open up a new e-mail to me. In the subject line, write "Your last names -- Your Class Period -- UN Research".

Then, use the following websites provided by the United Nations to answer the 15 questions below. Start by scanning through the questions to find out what they are asking, then work with your partner to answer them. For each response, write the name of the page at which you found the information. For example, if you found your answer on a page titled "UN Organizations", this would be what you would include in your answer.

Remember to respond in complete sentences!
  1. What is the purpose of the United Nations?
  2. What does the United Nations do to promote peace?
  3. What does the United Nations do for human rights, justice and international law?
  4. Who works at the United Nations?
  5. How does the United Nations work?
  6. How many member countries are in the United Nations? What are the two newest ones? How many members were there when the Charter was signed?
  7. Examine the Structure and Organization of the United Nations. Scan through the list of UN Bodies and find two you which seem to cover topics you are interested in. Record the name of each one and briefly describe it.
  8. How many countries are members of the Security Council? Who has veto power? What do these countries with veto power have in common?
  9. What are the official languages of the United Nations?
  10. Why are the United Nations headquarters located in New York City?.
  11. What is UNICEF? What are their goals?
  12. What is the UNDP? What are their goals?
  13. What are the goals of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations?
  14. How has the United Nations system responded to the threat of terrorism?
  15. What is the United Nations doing to keep terrorists from acquiring mass destruction weapons?
For Homework, read Chapter 22, Section 3. Take Cornell Notes on the section. These are due on your desk at the start of tomorrow's class, and are worth 10 points. Don't forget to include your key points in the margin and your summary at the end!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reminders and Extra Credit

A woman wearing a hijab in a photo from CBS news.
For homework this weekend, don't forget to complete questions #2-4 on p. 515 in your textbook. Answer the questions on loose leaf paper. Have them on your desk at the start of tomorrow's class period.

Next Friday (April 1), we will have our test over Islam and the Middle East. You can expect to be tested over everything we have discussed so far, but also over any information covered next week. Topics include:
  • Japanese Earthquake
  • Middle Eastern Physical Geography
  • Middle Eastern waterways
  • Oil and the Middle East
  • Middle Eastern Political Geography (play THIS map game!)
  • The Libyan revolution and other protests in the Middle East
  • The role of Islam in the Middle East
  • The Five Pillars of Islam
  • Comparisons between Islam, Christianity and Judaism
  • (new next week) Israel and Palestine
If you've read all of this, now you can get some extra credit! Complete the steps below on loose leaf paper. Bring it in on Monday for 10 points of Extra Credit:
  1. Search for a current events article on Libya or Egypt using Gale Student Resources in Context, the NY Times (, or the Chicago Tribune (
  2. Properly cite the article following MLA format (as shown on the Purdue OWL website -- link on the right hand side of the page)
  3. Write a 5-7 sentence summary of the article. Remember to include specific information.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tracking Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa

Today we will use social media and online news sources to track the unrest and revolutions in the Arab world. You will complete the assignments below on loose leaf paper and turn it in at the end of class. It is worth a total of 10 points.

Part I: The Revolution Spreads
We will start by watching a video from The New York Times -- Egypt's Upheaval Inspires New Protests.

  1. What locations were mentioned in the video? List at least 3. The map near the top of this post might help.
  2. In your notebook, write two questions based on the information shown in the video.
Part II: A Boy Named "Twitter"?
After massive protests forced Hosni Mubarak to resign from his position of president of Egypt, a man named his newborn baby girl "Facebook". Although the name may seem silly, it is symbolic of the role social networking played in the revolution in Egypt and the role it continues to play in other Middle Eastern countries.

We will examine a mash-up created by the Guardian newspaper (England) which shows Twitter feeds attached to a map of North Africa.
  1. What are the sources for the tweets shown on the Guardian's site?
  2. Give three examples of information given in tweets. For each tweet, include the name of the country it relates to and the source.
  3. Are the tweets a valuable source of information? Can you confirm anything they say?
Part III: A Reporter's View
In a matter of weeks, the people of Tunisia and Egypt got rid of dictators who had ruled their countries for decades. No individual, group or event was solely responsible for these historic shifts in power. Yet these six turning points helped to bring people, who have long felt abused by their governments, into the streets to revolt.

David D. Kirkpatrick, the main New York Times reporter for Egypt, created a six-part web feature called "Spreading Revolution." Examine the feature and listen to the audio. Use them to answer the questions below:
  1. How does Mr. Kirkpatrick break down and categorize the events in Tunisia and Egypt?
  2. What sparked these protests, according to Mr. Kirkpatrick?
  3. What did you learn from this feature that particularly strikes you or surprises you? Why?
  4. Examine the New York Times' feature on the countries undergoing political unrest. Why and how do you think the protests in Tunisia and Egypt spread to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fun Food Facts Project: An Example

Your project is worth 15 points as described in class. It is due two days before the announcement is scheduled.

Here is an example of the format for your Fun Food Facts Project e-mail:

Subject line: Ramin -- 3/16/11 Food Facts

Dear Mr. Ramin,
Author/Source Organization. Title of Article. Title of Publication. Organization. Publication Date/Date Retrieved.
3/16/11 Food Facts Announcement: Beef and Tomato Casserole. 
Today's hot lunch menu features Beef and Tomato Casserole. Here are today's fun food facts:
Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio
The tomato is a fruit.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. More than half this amount is eaten in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.
Today’s fun facts were brought to you by

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Exam Review Questions!

Study, Study, STUDY!!!
Here are the review questions from class. If you just can't get enough review, there are additional questions below what we looked at today.

  • Define the following in your own words:
      Resource Curse
      Push/Pull Factors

  1. Name the ancient trading empire we discussed in East Africa. Describe what the empire traded. Finally, summarize how its physical location put it in a great position to trade.
  2. Why did North and South Africa generally develop separately from one another?
  3. What resources made Central Africa so valuable to European colonists?
  1. Who was King Leopold II? Where was he from? What was his significance to Africa?
  1. Identify the following people:
      Hosni Mubarak
      Muamar Gaddafi
      Rahm Emanuel
  1. Explain why the following countries have been in the news so much lately:
  1. Summarize the reasons why the United States might be interested in what happens in Egypt and Libya.
  2. Using the maps on p. 483, answer the following:
      Describe the relative location of the area in the Middle East that contains the most oil.
      Which areas in the Middle East are not mostly Muslim? What religions do they practice?
      Which country appears to have the highest rate of economic activity? How can you tell?
  1. Define “isolation”. Then, explain which two countries are isolated from the rest of the Middle East, what isolates them, and how this might affect those two countries.
  2. Define Apartheid. Explain which country it affected and how. Don’t forget to include information about Apartheid’s economic impact in your response!
  3. Define “colonization”. Then agree or disagree with the following statement: “European colonization had a positive effect on Africa.”
  4. What is the Suez Canal? Where is it located? What is its importance?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011 Homework

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with
Kenya's ambassador, Elkanah Odembo.

Complete the following on loose leaf paper. It is due on your desk at the start of tomorrow’s class.
Think back to your African Ambassadors project. Use the information you learned to complete the following questions:
1.Describe the physical geography of your country.
2.Describe the culture of your country.
3.Describe the history of your country.

Exam Review Questions from Class

These are the review questions we completed in class today. Use them to study for your exam.
1.Where do archaeologists believe humans first evolved? Explain why this was an ideal environment.
2.Define desertification. Then describe some of its causes.
3.What landform dominates North Africa? Give examples from your book showing how this landform would affect people’s lives.
4.Name the N,S, E and W water boundaries of Africa.
5.Name the longest river in Africa. How could you best describe its size/length to an American who had never heard of it?
6.Explain how this same river limited the ability of Europeans to explore Africa.
7.Describe the relative location of the country you were assigned for your African Ambassadors project.
 8.What is a rift valley? Explain specifically what this is, then give the relative location of a rift valley in Africa. Finally, explain how this could eventually affect Africa.
9.Name the three ancient West African trading kingdoms. Describe what they traded, who they traded with, and what they had to cross in order to trade.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011