National History Day finalists posted

June 12, 2007

If you’re in the Washington, D.C., area, get on over to the University of Maryland tonight for the junior performance and documentary finals, or tomorrow morning for the senior performance and documentary finals of the National History Day competitions.

Finalists, and their scheduled project presentations, are listed here at the National History Day site.  Winners will be announced Thursday evening.

A few of the entries in the junior, individual performance category suggest just how good high school historians can be:

  • Is the Night too Dark?
  • The Triumph and Tragedy of the Ohio Canal System
  • Freedom from Fear: Triumphing over the Tragedy of Polio
  • They Called Her Tokyo Rose: The Tragedy and Triumph of Iva Toguri
  • Turning Tragedy into Triumph: The Fight to Eradicate Poliomyelitis
  • Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman: Changing Perceptions of Their Triumphs and Tragedies
  • Philippines
  • Taking the Lid Off a National Scandal: Teapot Dome and the Politics of Power
  • Play Ball! A Triumph for Women Begins Amidst the Tragedy of World War II
  • “Deterred But Not Defeated:” The Duluth Tragedy and Triumph Over Racial Hatred
  • The Color of Blood: The Tragic Effect of Racial Barriers on Dr. Charles R. Drew’s Triumphant Innovations
  • One Woman’s Voice From the Oregon Trail: Abigail Scott Duniway’s Traumatic Journey and Triumphant Fight for Women’s Suffrage in the New Frontier
  • Operation Dynamo: Transforming Tragedy to Triumph on the Beaches of Dunkirk
  • Hershey’s Bittersweet Legacy

In that list is two semesters’ worth of enrichment for any classroom.

The National History Day webcast is also scheduled for Thursday, but I’m not sure when.

Typewriter of the Moment: Marjorie Rawlings

June 12, 2007

Marjorie Rawlings' Royal Typewriter, FCIT


Typewriter used by Marjorie Rawlings to write books such as South Moon Under, The Yearling, and The Sojourner.

Photo credit: The Florida Center for Instructional Technology, University of South Florida; click here for larger picture at FCIT site

Stranger maps: Flights of fancy

June 12, 2007

How could you use these maps in your classroom?

Aaron Kobin maps documentation

Image and film from Aaron Koblin Design|Media Arts, UCLA; “Flightpatterns”

Remember the old World Book maps of states that featured oil drilling derricks and cows in Texas, and shocks of wheat in Kansas? This is just that kind of map, updated for commerce connected with air travel, showing commerce density and direction hour by hour.

I’m thinking, one quiz would be to name the sites of most action. Another would be to calculate how many people are in the air at any given time (notice the count of the number of airplanes; you’ll have to assume about 100 people per aircraft, or more if you can find figures; notice there are no fewer than 4,000 aircraft in the air at any time over the U.S. — ponder that figure for a while, considering an average cost of more than $10 million per aircraft, the miles covered, and compare it to the maps showing the voyages of European explorers to America . . .)

What other maps can your kids make? Water flows of rivers? Train commerce? Highway commerce? Food transportation?

Geography should be an awfully fun topic to teach, and even more fun topic to learn, no?

Check out Koblin’s other work — see the crystals dissolve, science teachers?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Stranger Fruit, via Pharyngula.

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