Archive for May, 2011

How the States Got Their Shapes

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

A new series on the History channel, covering the ways our country’s physical geography influenced the state boundaries. Episodes can be streamed from the website or purchased via iTunes. Current episodes include a look at how water defines some states; the impact of transportation; ways geologic events and even meteors helped set the boundaries; and “rebellious” states. You and your students are sure to learn something you didn’t already know.

Seeing is believing?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

It is important to teach our students that they cannot always believe what they see in the media – all media. I have my students cut themselves out of a picture in Photoshop and insert the image into a different background. After the activity we discuss how easy it is to change an image. A recent, widely printed, photograph of the White House staff monitoring the attack on Bin Ladin provides a teachable moment. A Brooklyn based Orthodox Jewish newspaper edited the women out of the image. They did not just obscure them, but removed them all together, making it look as if they had never been there. Showing the edited image alongside an un-edited version has led to some interesting discussions.