Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years. Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years.
Five Themes of Geography

posted on: April 10, 2007

Maps and Atlases

History of Cartography

Brief History of Maps and Cartography

Map and Globe Skills games

posted on: April 10, 2007

Click here to listen to China's national anthem. Download file

Tiananmenindex Opera2 Great_wall

China's geographical size, population, and spheres of cultural and political influence are too vast to be ignored. The People's Republic of China has the world's third largest land area and is the world's most populous nation. The various dialects of Chinese are spoken by more people than any other language, and Chinese culture has left an indelible imprint on East Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.

Chinese immigrants and their descendants have made substantial contributions to American society and culture. Chinese laborers participated in the construction of the transcontinental railroad which hastened the settlement of the American West. Chinese immigrants worked in mining operations in the West and on Southern plantations during Reconstruction. Chinese food has become as "American" as spaghetti or tacos. Today Chinese Americans are prominent in our culture. The works of Chinese American writers, have won critical acclaim and are consistently on best seller lists.

In an era in which we are coming to recognize the fact of global interdependence and the finite nature of the earth's resources, the complete integration of the PRC's one billion producer-consumers into the world economy poses a novel developmental challenge.
(ERIC Digest)

Click here to check out The Silk Road Research Project Download file

Click here to download a map of the Silk Road Trade Route Download file Click here to play a Jeopardy Game on China Download file Click here to learn about an interesting project in China Click here to see China's history in Political Cartoons.

posted on: April 10, 2007



Our study of India will highlight and showcase contributions the peoples of India have made in the arts and sciences. The geography of India will be taught in concert with its history. India is the largest country of the South Asian subcontinent. Its terrain, climate, and natural resources have greatly influenced conditions of life and development of cultures in the vast expanse of India. It is a nation with a multitude of cultural differences. Many Indians are descendants of Indo-European or Aryan peoples; Dravidians, or peoples of central Asian or southeast Asian backgrounds. In addition, a small number of modern European settlers call India their home. Students will explore India as an emerging nation in a complex, interdependent world community. ( ERIC Digest )

The study of the Indian subcontinent includes investigating Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

posted on: April 10, 2007


India Links

Mr. Dowling

posted on: April 10, 2007

Longitude and Latitude

The International Date Line

The Story of Longitude and Latitude

NASA on Longitude and Latitude
Latitude and Longitude Crossword Puzzle

National Geographic: Crack the Code

How Latitude Changed the World

posted on: April 10, 2007

Welcome to the Middle East

We'll be studying the Middle East and North Africa for the next six weeks! As part of this study, student will have an Anchor Activity of reading journal articles about the Middle East conflict, they'll complete a book report, and create a map. There are separate entries below explaining each assignment.
The unit will culminate in the Middle East Mayhem Final Exam. Stay tuned for history and conflict in this land where three major world religions had their birth!
We'll be studying SIX THEMES of the Middle East.
Click here for a PBS link about Muslims
This PBS link talks about Muslims in America since 9/11 and a group of Muslims against terrorism.
Girls, you may want to read about Queen Noor of Jordan at this link. She's an American (of American-Arabian descent and Yale graduate)who married King Hussein of Jordan in 1978.

posted on: January 30, 2007

Middle East Links


Middle East Webquests

Middle East References


posted on: January 30, 2007

December 18-21

Monday We'll discuss the unique laws in Singapore.
We'll review Chapter complete a PERSIA organizer on Chapter 28. Our Chapter 28 quiz will be WEDNESDAY! You can practice by going to the GIA game page below and trying the Chapter 28 Review games.
Tuesday We'll discuss the roles of the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the Asian economy. Don't forget, quiz tomorrow!
Wednesday: CHAPTER 28 QUIZ. DEAR today!
Thursday: ) Our topic is Human Rights. We'll look at the humanitarian efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Theresa, but explore the very devastating abuses to those rights in the Southeast Asia region. We'll continue by looking at the child labor issue in the area.


posted on: December 17, 2006

December 11-15

Technology Integration: Cobb Virtual Library and Excel!
Download file
Click above for a detail map of Mongolia.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY: MONGOLIA MADNESS! Students will use the Cobb Virtual Library to complete a mini-study of MONGOLIA. They'll specifically explore CultureGrams and may also use online encyclopedia references. This is a two day mini-unit on a very interesting area that is not included in our textbook! Which KHAN do you think is the coolest? Genghis or Kublai?
I also have 45 books on India or Southeast Asia you can borrow for your next book report due in late January. 5th and 6th periods have priority for these books since I am rotating the opportunities to borrow among classes.

WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: We'll the Microsoft Excel program as South Asia Statisticians!
We'll read the WORLD AFFAIRS ANNUAL issue of Upfront Magazine to examine a variety of statistics about the Asian region. When students have completed their statistical review and prediction/conclusion work, they are free to read their book on Southeast Asia. We'll use the laptops today to complete our work. Students, don't forget to LOG IN all the articles you read in this class! We'll have enough magazine articles by the end of the year to count as one book!

FRIDAY: We'll have DEAR today since we missed it on Wednesday. Time to have your SOUTHEAST ASIA book for that book report due at the end of January! ( I gave out 45 books on Monday!) I'll go over book report details today.



COBB VIRTUAL LIBRARY (Culturegrams and encylopedia sources!)





posted on: December 06, 2006

Southeast Asia

Seasia Vietnam20map2_1

Southeast Asia encompasses Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, as well as the island countries of Malaysia, Singapore, The Phillipines and Indonesia. Our study of these areas will include physical and cultural geography, the economy, history, and government.

posted on: December 02, 2006

December 4-8


Refer to specific blog entries for the directions for these assignments!!!
MONDAY: We'll review Thursday's assignment of SE Asian governments. Then we'll begin our study of SOUTHEAST ASIA by reviewing Chapter 28.
TUESDAY: We'll discuss the Chapter Review and view a fabulous DVD on Southeast Asia.
WEDNESDAY: DEAR. We have two articles to read about CHINA, then students will have free reading. It's EARLY RELEASE DAY, so if we don't finish the articles, we will tomorrow.
THURSDAY: Many countries in Southeast and East Asia have been shattered by wars. Today we'll learn about the Korean War and the Vietnam War, which resulted in these divided nations. DON'T FORGET!!! Your CHINA book report brochure is due tomorrow!!! If you have borrowed a book from me it MUST be returned so I can give you credit for your report.
FRIDAY: We have Performing Arts today and 5th and 6th periods will only be 30 minutes, we'll postpone our economics lesson until after the holidays! Today students will present brochures and have an opportunity to discuss the books available for report #3 due in January. It's a Literary Cuisine menu with choices in each learning style. The book will be on Southeast Asia or India. I have 45 books to loan-5th and 6th periods have first choice this time.
Any remaining time will be spent in DEAR since students read China articles during DEAR time on Wednesday.
Have a great weekend and STAY WARM!!!

posted on: December 01, 2006

Tiananmen Square

Your Tiananmen Square news article should be TYPED and single spaced with a font size of 10 to 12. The font is your choice, but should be clearly legible (for example, no old English script).
This should be written in the third person (no " I think" or "what would YOU do?", just the facts!)
Your article should answer the questions what, who, when, where, why and the results or effects of this event. This should be in column form, with the title of the article, author, date, at least one and not more than two, pictures. You can also use a title for your newspaper. The use of color would be effective, suggested Vince!
Please turn in your notes with the newsletter. You should have taken notes from your "Journalist's Notes handout and read at least one online article about the event for further clarification.
WORD, Publisher and other software programs have a newsletter format you may wish to follow.


posted on: November 25, 2006

November 27-December 1

The Mabry Middle School GEOGRAPHY BEE is scheduled for Thursday, December 14. Most students took the qualifying exam last Monday, makeups will be given Monday and Tuesday for interested students.
MONDAY: Challenges for China. We'll discuss the challenges that Chinese Communists have faced such as overpopulation, wars in Korea and Vietnam, food shortages, the Chinese Nationalists, etc. Students will be introduced to the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 through journalist's notes. They'll have a writing assignment of creating a newspaper article from their notes. This assignment was originally due to be presented last week, but because of high absenteeism it was postponed. This assignment is due Friday, December 1.
TUESDAY: We'll discuss overpopulation and the one-child policy in China.
We'll also discuss HONG KONG's status as a government within another government.
Chapter 26 Quiz tomorrow! Study your chapter review and your Persia Organizer.
WEDNESDAY: DEAR. Students will read an article entitled, " North Korea Goes Nuclear" in UPFRONT magazine, published by the New York Times. Chapter 26 Quiz today!
THURSDAY: Students will use the WORLD AFFAIRS edition of UPFRONT magazine to identify the variety of governments in Southeast Asia. They'll create a MAP KEY and color in the various governments on a map.
FRIDAY: Today we'll use the differentiation strategy of cubing to answer a variety of probing questions about communism and socialism.
Don't forget to finish your news article on Tiananmen Sqaure for Monday, December 4. Your book report brochure is due Friday, December 8.

posted on: November 25, 2006

Folk Tales

Click to listen to a Chinese Folk Song

Download file

Japanese Folk Tales

Chinese Folk Tales

Indian Folk Tales

Vietnamese FolkTales

National Geographic Grimms' Fairy Tales

posted on: November 12, 2006

November 13-17, 20, 21

Countdown to Turkey Day!
MONDAY: Today students will have the opportunity to view one another's JAPAN scrapbooks and comment on them for the author to view. They are FABULOUS! Peer review is a great experience in that students will garner ideas from others, and that the "constructive" comments often back what I have said as well. We'll continue our discussion of the Chapter 26 Review.
TUESDAY: Students will share the Inspiration webs they made on Ancient China and we will review the outlines created. Students will work on other activities using the Essential Readings on China book.
WEDNESDAY: Students will have a brief lesson on the languages of South Asia.
DEAR-Drop Everything and READ. Students should be reading their historical fiction novels about CHINA. Notebooks should be organized for the next three units to come: CHINA, SOUTHEAST ASIA (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc, and INDIA. Students should store their Japan information in a folder for CRCT review in the spring.
THURSDAY: We'll discuss the various dynasties in CHINA and their contributions and influences in the lesson DYNASTIES RULE. Continued study of Chapter 26 on China. Students will use a PERSIA organizer to select important points on CHINA's Political Influence, Economic Influence, Religious Influence, Social Influence,etc.for homework.
Homework: Finish PERSIA organizer.
FRIDAY: Review of PERSIA organizer. Students will read about the history of the SILK ROAD and make notations on the Silk Road Record.
MONDAY: We'll explore the Cultural Revolution in China, focusing on the Tiananmen Square events in 1989. Students will take notes on an organizer and will write a news article about the event after Thanksgiving.
TUESDAY: Students will view a video about China which will serve as a basis for further discussion about the problems and challenges that face China. IMPORTANT NOTE...DUE DATE FOR CHINA BROCHURE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 12/8 BECAUSE OF MEDIA CENTER CIRCULATION CHANGES.

posted on: November 12, 2006

November 6-10

WOW! Students have worked diligently in the last six weeks to conduct research and produce intelligently written essays, study tremendous amounts of information for finals and create gorgeous Japan scrapbooks that have left me speechless. What a brilliant group of agents!
Friday we began our study of CHINA in the MAC lab where students are paired to create INSPIRATION webs as they notetake. This software program allow students to add clip art, pictures,notes,links, and WORD Art while creating their own beautiful web,then with the click of a mouse, the information turns into outline form for study. Cool, eh?
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY we'll be in the lab working on this project.
TUESDAY is not only ELECTION DAY, but a day off for students as teachers have a staff development day.
MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY HOMEWORK: Students will begin review of the CHINA chapter by completing the CHAPTER REVIEW
FRIDAY: The scrapbook grades include a presentation grade and we will work through the week student by student to make a couple of presentations daily. We'll finish the presentations today and students will have the opportunity for peer review on their classmates' work.
All scrapbooks will have been graded by then, but I would like to display them at school for a while before sending them home.

posted on: November 04, 2006

October 30-November 3

MONDAY: The GREAT JAPAN EXAM! GIA agents who are familiar with this "intelligence" should be able to finish this exam within the class time limit of 70 minutes. Good luck! There is an option of taking the history and geography section today and the culture and government section on Wednesday.

TUESDAY: MEMORY TRICKS! And treats! Please read the special section regarding this yearly holiday treat planned in the GIA.

WEDNESDAY: Students who opted to take the second part of the exam will do so today, and there is also DEAR.

THURSDAY: Japan scrapbooks are due today. Students will make presentations which are a portion of their grade.

FRIDAY: Gracious extension, but LAST day to turn in Japan scrapbooks....BUT we'll be in the MAC LAB beginning our study of China!. So, please turn in your scrapbooks on Thursday if at all possible.
These dates just sneak up on me in my old age! Thought we were going to be in the lab beginning next week, but it's TODAY!

posted on: October 30, 2006

October 23-27

Please note that students should be receiving a grade on their five paragraph essay by the end of this week. It takes a while to go read 85 papers, rough drafts, bibliographies and notecards.
PLEASE NOTE ALSO...It seems as if we have a great deal going on...paper, 1st book report and final. Students have had at least 5 days support in class to research and write their paper. Students have every Wednesday in class to read their book during DEAR. Students have been given every question which will be on their extensive Japan final. All they have to do is study and they are also being given time in class for that with games, memory tricks and review. There has been NO homework for the last few weeks except for working on the paper, the report and studying for the test. Students were given the opportunity to receive a completion grade of 100 for a successful MON crest. GIA agent should be under duress right now!
CHECK OUT THE LINKS FOR EXAM INFORMATION! We'll add a few more questions and tips before the end of the week.
MONDAY: We have laptops today and tomorrow and today we'll review Dr. Tyson's blog in groups and share information. He has been in Japan for the last three weeks on a Fulbright Memorial Teacher Fund excursion. Click here to read about Dr.T's Great Adventure!
TUESDAY: Mrs. Baylor has posted some awesome Japan links on her blog, so we'll explore some of those via a scavenger hunt as we wrap up our study of Japan.
And, we'll continue to check the updates on Dr. Tyson's blog. Click here to look at these gorgeous pictures he took in Japan.
WEDNESDAY: Book reports are due on November 2. Today each student will have to provide evidence for a prep grade (Classwork/Notebook 15%)that they have indeed read their book and are working on their book report. This has been assigned for over a month and students have been aware since August that they are to read a book for each area we study. Scroll down and find the Japan Book Report blog entry for all the information. Click here for a preview of the mini-chat I'll have with each student today about their report. Download file
THURSDAY:Study time! Games, review and hot seat opportunities abound.
Check out the links for each section of the test that we're reviewing.
FRIDAY: Essential Readings on Japan. Further study and investigation. Some of these questions will be included on the final. Check the TEST REVIEW LINKS for updates!
Here's a look at next week in the GIA.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, students will take the history and geography exam.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 we have a special treat in store!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, students will take the economics, culture and goverment portions of the exam.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2. This is the original date for the Japan book reports, but I will accept them tomorrow with out penalty.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3 LAST DAY students can turn in their Japan book reports. This is a one day extension.

posted on: October 23, 2006

October 16-20

It's CONFERENCE WEEK! This week we'll have an early release schedule! The BOOK FAIR is here! This morning classes are viewing the Book Fair video, a preview of the exciting books and resources available. Students will be visiting the BOOK FAIR with their Language Arts teachers this week. Parents, don't forget that your students' teachers may have a "wish list" of books they'd like for their classrooms.
FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAYS are due TUESDAY, October 17. These are on the topic of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Check below for information on the MON Crest...this is a mini-project due Friday, October 20.
This week we will REVIEW the government, economy, culture, history, arts and recreation of Japan in preparation for our final exam. The tentative date for the exam is Monday, October 30.
Students should be organizing their notebooks in preparation for the exam...especially the intelligence section. It will be helpful to organize HISTORY, GOVERNMENT, ECONOMICS, CULTURE, ARTS AND RECREATION notes together. All the "summary" pieces such as the chapter review, inductive learning, etc. should be placed together also. Students will be receiving notes this week including the GIA STUDY Guide to Japan to supplement their materials to study for the test.

posted on: October 16, 2006

October 9-12

This week students will work in class on their five paragraph essay on the bombing of Hirshima and Nagasaki. This is not an essay on the events, but on the decision itself.
Students researched the background of these events and took notes in the Media Center last week.
Each student's rough draft should be finished by Thursday. After the rough draft has been approved, students may type their papers. The essays are due on Monday, October 16.
There will be one grade for notecards and research and one grade for the paper itself.
Information regarding this project should be in the MISSIONS section of the students' GIA notebooks.
Research links are on the blog, but students also explored COBB ONLINE RESOURCES to write their papers.
Continued discussion of the history of these events and the controversy surrounding them will be ongoing in class as students develop their papers.

posted on: October 08, 2006

October 2-6

MONDAY: Breaking Bread, Bridging Cultures. Today we'll celebrate with our Bread project. Come prepared with your bread and a description to type in for our slide show to be viewed on Friday. Today we'll snack on bread as we read an article from Jr. Scholastic about Japan, " Where Ancient Meets Modern" and participate in a short play about Matthew Perry's voyage into Edo Bay in the 1800's.

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY: Media Center. We're getting serious about research! We'll be "gathering intelligence" these three days, using all the resources the Media Center has to offer. Our topic is TOP SECRET right now...but here's a hint! We're checking out research sites for our late October i-movie project, honing our research skills, and learning how to appropriately site sources for research papers to come!

FRIDAY: Students will present their TANKAS to the Empress (moi)! Then students will present lessons the technology projects they worked on LAST week.

posted on: October 01, 2006

September 25-29

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we'll be in the MAC LAB exploring KIDS' Web Japan and completing a THINK TAC TOE activity in partners.
Click here to download your assignment for THINK TAC TOE this week! It is also on Kids Web Japan site.


We DO have homework each night as the Think Tac Toe assignment is done in class.

MONDAY homework is to begin work on a TANKA, a Japanese poem, which will be due on FRIDAY, October 6.

Click here to download instructions for your TANKA in case you misplaced the instructions you received in class!


TUESDAY homework is fun with Japanese numbers and compare/contrast Japan and U.S. education.

WEDNESDAY homework is fun with the Japanese language.

PLEASE NOTE, occasionally we lose our server so if we have a technology glitch, we'll have time to work in class. We won't present these projects until the end of NEXT week, so we will be ready!

THURSDAY: Japanese Cultural Encounters is a very interesting activity taken from a book I purchased in Japan. Students will read a scenario of a social or business situation involving Japanese and Americans and choose from several solutions. It is readily apparent that Japanese customs are extremely different from ours!

Homework: We'll take a look at Japanese proverbs and try to interpret them!

Friday: Women's Roles in Japan


posted on: September 14, 2006

September 18-22

MONDAY: PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY TEST TODAY! We'll discuss the Chapter 27 Review today which introduces the people, government, economy, arts and recreation of Japan. Students will begin to take CORNELL notes on the history of Japan. Homework: Label a map of Japan identifying the four islands, important cities, bodies of water. Students will be tested on this map on Friday.
TUESDAY: We'll continue exploring the history of Japan by creating a Cornell Note timeline from the Feudal period to post WWII Japan. Homework: Reading on Ancient Japan and Samurai/Shogun Venn diagram.
WEDNESDAY: Discuss the homework from last night. We'll also finish out discussion of the brief timeline of Japanese history. Students, put those NOTES in your notebook! You will need them for the Japanese final in several weeks.
THURSDAY: We'll explore the Japanese economy through a lesson entitled JAPANESE GIANT, reviewing economic concepts such as globalization, interdependence, trade surplus and GDP. Students will use the "yen" to make purchases and homework will be to research a Japanese product for purchase. This becomes detailed, so this homework will be due on Monday,
FRIDAY: Japan map test is POSTPONED until further notice. We have a number of students will be out of town, plus we may add a few physical features to that map.
The Japanese economy will be further examined today through discussion and notetaking about the current economic status of Japan. Students will complete an inductive learning activity where they group and label vocabulary learned as they read the Japan chapter. They will then generate sentence summaries using that vocabulary.
Today students will be assigned their first book report, which counts toward the 25 books they'll read in the 7th grade. Their assignment is involved and counts as a major project. Read the special section below on the book report information!


Click the link above to download your instructions for the Japan Book report. This is an exciting project with beautiful results! Please do not overspend buying scrapbook some students have done in the past! Students can draw or use color graphics. Interesting paper for the covers, or for the pages, is very effective. ALL scrapbooks must be word processed. We'll thoroughly review the assignment in class and look at some examples from last year's projects.

I have a few novels I will lend to students, the media center has a few, or you can order a copy of a novel of your student's choice at Chapter 11 in the Publix shopping center or other nearby bookstores. This is the first of five historical fiction/biographical novels students will read this year, and counts toward their total of 25 books.

DUE DATE: Thursday, November 2!!

posted on: September 14, 2006

Geography Games


posted on: August 15, 2006

Reading and Writing in the Content Area
Shabanu "Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." John Locke "Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers." Steven Spielberg At Mabry, every teacher is a reading and writing teacher. The GIA will have parallel readings to enhance their global investigations. Writing will also be an integral part of the Social Studies experience. Our first novel will be an historical fiction selection about Japan. Students will create a beautiful scrapbook to document their learning from this rich reading experience. Click here to download instructions for the scrapbook To review a suggested reading list,click here. Download file

posted on: July 26, 2006

Click here to listen to Japan's National Anthem. Download file AH1 near Mr Fuji Japan.jpe Japan provides an example of modernization without extreme westernization. As a Fulbright Memorial Scholar, I spent a month in Japan, privvy to touring, training, and briefings on history, culture, government, economics, and education. I hope to bring students a first hand view of the marvelous culture and history of this unique country.

Click here to visit the awesome site KIDS WEB JAPAN Click here to learn about the geography of Japan Click here to retrieve the Chapter 27 Review Download file Click here to Journey Through Japan sponsored by the Japan American Society. We'll explore this link during our Japan studies!

posted on: July 24, 2006

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