Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Flags of Latin America

Today, as part of the introduction to our unit on Latin America, you will get to learn a little about one country and its flag.

Part 1: Country Research
Use the CIA World Factbook to find the facts about your country required by questions 1-13 on the handout.

Part 2: Flag Research
On your country's CIA World Factbook page, click on the flag at the top of the screen. Use the information it shows you to answer questions 14-18 on your handout.

Part 3: Draw Your Flag
Work with your partner to create a full-color, full-page version of your flag on the paper provided. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Africa's Conflict Diamonds

If you missed today's class, check out the following video:

Use it to answer the following questions on loose leaf paper (30 points):
  1. List the city and country where the reporter began his story.
  2. Why were the diamonds so important to the rebels?
  3. What is the “symbol” of modern Sierra Leone?
  4. What was the estimated value of the 110 carat rough cut diamond?
  5. What percentage of Sierra Leone’s diamonds are smuggled out of the country?
  6. Why have many farmers in the countryside abandoned their fields?
  7. How much earth must be removed to find a pound of diamonds?
  8. The reporter watched a man digging and sifting for diamonds.  He found one!  How many days did that man dig to find that one diamond? What was the street value of it in U.S. Dollars?
  9. Approximately how many diamond miners work in Sierra Leone? How many of them have licenses to do so?
  10. Explain how the reporters were able to film the diamond transactions without being caught?
  11. List two of the three reasons why diamonds are the world’s perfect currency.
  12. Explain why the diamond divers do not work on Fridays.
  13. Besides being bought and sold, what happens to the diamonds when the reach Antwerp, Belgium?  They undergo two steps.  What are these two steps?
  14. According to the man at Rosy Blue, it is nearly impossible to know the origins of every diamond.  Explain why.  Hint:  It has something to do with the sorting process.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

We Are All African Under The Skin

A Masai tribesman from East Africa's Rift Valley.

Over the past several months, we have examined the historical importance of two African regions: the Nile River Valley and West Africa. Today we will take a look at the shared African ancestry of all humankind.

In parts 1 and 2 of this lesson, we discussed in general the genetic roots of humanity. In the remainder of our time today, you will look at one person's attempt to trace his ancestry and evaluate the results of his inquiry.

Part 3: "In the Footsteps of My Ancestors"
  1. Visit the photo gallery produced by American journalist Donovan Webster to discover the roots of one person. Use this information to complete "Part 3" on your worksheet.
  2. Use Google Maps to locate each of the countries Webster visits.
Want More Information?
Check out National Geographic's Genographic Project to learn more about how advanced DNA analysis is being used to answer questions about human history.