Postcards of the World Activity

In order to better understand the geographic concept of PLACE, each student is going to create a postcard.  The place you select should have specific human andphysical characteristics that make it unique.  You may chose to make a postcard based on a place that you have actually visited, a place that holds special meaning, or a place that you have always wanted to travel to.  Try to think globally, but if you absolutely want to do a place in the US, you can.  You should decide what characteristics you want to include in your written description and what images you want to include to help identify this place before you start on the final product, which will be made on an 8×5 index card given to you in class.  The one rule about this postcard is that it cannot contain the name of your place anywhere in the images or in the written description.

Your postcard should be creative and look authentic and professional.  The lined side should be the side where you write to someone about your experience in this place. Describe what it is like there and what makes it unique? Use your senses to help characterize this place: What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste? The lined side should look authentic so part of the back should include the name and address of the person you are writing to. The front (blank side) should include images, either hand-drawn or cut out, that help identify what makes this place unique.  Avoid obvious images like the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Lincoln Memorial, and the like.

You will be graded on the quality of the postcard as well as your ability to articulate human and physical characteristics, through your written description and your images, without using the name of this place.  Avoid being too vague in your description. Avoid being too obscure.

Due Thursday 3/19

Mental Mapping Activity

Mental mapping is by far one of the most important geographic skills you need to acquire. This skill will allow you to find their way in the world as well as respond with understanding to political, cultural, and environmental events. For example, how concerned should you be about the accident on 95 S this afternoon? Depends on where your house is located, right?  On a more global level, how concerned should you be about a coup in Mexico? As a US citizen, you should realize Mexico’s proximity to the US makes their instability a problem for us.
You are going to create two mental maps to help illustrate the concept of relative location. Mental maps are created from memory and not from copying an atlas.
  • Large scale map – draw a map of a location you are familiar with using as much detail of the surroundings as possible. Include important landmarks, roads, parks, bodies of water with labels. (To be done for homework – due Friday, March 13)
  • Small scale map – draw a map of the world using major lines of latitude and longitude. Include major landmasses, bodies of water, and landforms.  You should also include country names & major cities you are familiar with.  (To be done in class on Wednesday, March 11)
Refer to your notes-geography skills handbook pg 8. Title your maps.  The titles should refect what the map is of and not just “small or large scale map.”  Include a compass rose. Use labels & color where appropriate. Use a key or legend to explain symbols and color.
Helpful tip: Sketch your map on a scrap sheet of paper before drawing the final version on the blank sheet of computer paper.

Geography Skills Handbook & Chapter 1 Assignment

  1. Cover (cloth or paper) the World Geography textbook you were assigned in class by Wednesday 3/11
  2. Start a new section in your ISS binder titled GEOGRAPHY (or GEO) – in class 3/9
  3. Review the information in the Geography Skills Handbook on pages 2-15. These are skills that you should have already been introduced to.  If you find that there is information in this section you are unfamiliar with, add it to your notes. I will expect, for example you to understand the difference between large and small scale, what the different types of maps are used for and how to read them,  and the common geography vocabulary terms at the end. – in class 3/9
  4. Read and outline Chapter 1 Section 1 – outlines should include main ideas from each paragraph & vocabulary words with their definitions (blue words in text); DO NOT REWRITE THE TEXT; then read Section 2 & do vocab only – add blue terms to vocabulary list – finish for homework by Wednesday 3/11 (You can begin this assignment at home today using this link for an online textbook).
  5. Download the Themes of Geography Notes – this information will go with the outline you create from reading Chapter 1.1 – read through the powerpoint and be prepared to discuss it in class on March 11

The Federal Reserve System

Current Event: Janet Yellen Testifies Before Congress Tuesday, February 24


Understanding the Federal Reserve System: In Plain English


Monetary Policy Simulator – This website will help you better see the economic effects of increasing or decreasing the federal funds rate. To begin the simulator, click PLAY GAME.  This site also provides a good review of the Fed’s Toolkit by clicking LEARN MORE.

Assignment: After playing the game, summarize your strategy by explaining how you manipulated the federal funds rate, why you did it (what headlines were you reacting too), and what the results were.  You will have 16 weeks of decision making to endure.  Pressure’s on!  As the Fed Chairman, did you get dismissed or were you able to successfully manipulate the interest rate to keep the economy on track?  If you got dismissed, you may want to give it another shot!  Good luck!  Due Friday 2/27

Federal Reserve Comic Book Assignment

The Story of Monetary Policy  & The Story of the Federal Reserve System

Read these comic books and then answer these questions on a sheet of paper:

  1. What is monetary policy?
  2. What is the Federal Reserve?
  3. What is the FEDs relationship with the US government?  Why is this important?
  4. What are open market operations and how can the FED use this tool to influence the economy?
  5. What are reserve requirements and how can the FED use this tool to influence the economy?
  6. What are discount rates and how can the FED use this tool to influence the economy?
  7. What data influences the FED to make changes in monetary policy?

Due Tuesday 2/17

Gather Macro Data for 2014

Please research and document the following economic data for 2014.  Track the following leading indicators from January to December, either month to month or for each business quarter.  Need to show trends for the year.  You are looking for rate of change, so your answers should be in percentages, if possible.

Provide your source by name and URL

  • Real GDP
  • Inflation
  • Unemployment
  • Stocks Markets (Dow Jones & NASDAQ) – select 1 year (it will be Feb 2014 – Feb 2015)

Due Wednesday 2/11

Here’s a starting point…,,



Wealth Inequality in America


  1. Watch the video (as many times as you need to).
  2. Take your own personal notes.  I want to see how thoroughly you are taking notes. What you focus on and what you don’t.
  3. In addition to your notes, you are to also write up a half page reaction to the video.  I want to know what you think about what you just viewed.  At this point you have quite a bit more of economic knowledge, and your reaction should draw on that knowledge.

Due Thursday 2/5