Saturday, October 29, 2011

10 Ways to increase your "GQ" (geo-literacy quotient)

1. Bring the world into your home.
Do you own a globe, maps or world atlas and use them to look up places in the news? Check out the mapmaker kits from National Geographic Education.

2. Check your family's knowledge.
Test your family's global knowledge. Do you and your family know the fundamentals of geography from the local to the global? Find games and activities here that teach about the world.

3. Know what's going on.
Do you and your family watch news programs, listen to news radio, and read the newspaper? Don't forget to check the new kid-friendly web sites like BBC Newsround, Time for Kids, and National Geographic Kids News. Talk about what's going on - not just in your community but also in your state, your country, and all around the world.

4. Get out there.
Have you tried EarthCaching or geocaching? They are great outside activities. Visit new places - nearby towns, different neighborhooods, local and ntional museum exhibits, and other countries - on day trips, weekends, or vacations. Learn more here.

5. Understand your own community.
Everything is connected. Make it a family mission to know your community - why it's where it is, how it was settled, who lives there now and its connections to the world through business, arts, music, technology and sports.

6. Know where things come from.
What are the global connections in the food your family eats, the clothes you wear, the games you play and the music you listen to? Make a map that shows your interactions with the world every time you eat or get dressed.

7. Broaden your family's horizons.
Courses, research projects, and extracurricular activities expand kids' understanding of their world - as do books, magazines, videos, and games that feed their natural curiosity.

8. Support your schools.
Does your school have what it needs to teach about the world? does it offer geography courses? Does it have up-to-date maps, globes, atlases, and software? Find your local school or parents' organization and get involved. Start a geography club and celebrate Geography Awareness Week!

9. Spread the word.
Contact your state's members of Congress by sending a letter here asking them to support legislation that would fund efforts to improve geography education nationwide.

10. Sign up for National Geographic Education Compass e-newsletters. (Family or Teacher edition)
You'll get helpful tips, the latest news, links to great resources and fun gamves, information about contests and offers, and much mure. Sign up here - and discover the power of global knowledge.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bookworms 2

I went to Walmart today and picked up some more yarn for bookmarks. I couldn't find exactly what I would call "winter" but maybe a varigated color called "Shaded dusk" will work for the winter bookworms. I also picked up the Christmas colors called "mistletoe". To order bookworms, please visit my website and click on the gift page. I've got one more to add to the collection and that will be the "spring" one which I think I'm either going with the yarn called "primary" or "bikini" - those were the most spring like colors to me. I will probably pick that up tomorrow, if I sell a couple more books when I pick up my new car.

Do you think this looks like winter colors? Leave a comment and let me know -

Here is the Christmas colors bookworm:

Hope you all like them - please leave a comment and let me know what you think. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Monday, October 24, 2011


I found some red/white/blue varigated yarn at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and started making some different items. I had found a pattern years ago for a crocheted bookworm. I searched and found the pattern again. While in Walmart with the girl Friday I found this autumn looking colors of varigated yarn and picked up a skein. I made a few bookworms (4) Friday night and put them on the table Saturday morning and sold 3 of them. I also had to make up at least 1 of the red/white/blue because the previously done ones had been sent to Mr. Hughes' class for a prize for a contest I had run for the kids.

Upon returning home, I got to thinking, now would be the time to snatch up some Christmas varigated yarn and make some Christmas bookworms, and then I thought, "Why stop there? why not make some for every season?" There are many varieties of varigated yarn that the possibilities are endless. So when I get a chance, I'll snatch up several skeins of Christmas colors, pastel/Easter/spring colors and more of the autumn colors and keep using my 40% coupons for the red/white/blue skeins to get a supply of that going. I think I'll post the bookworms on my website for teachers to order as gifts for their classes.

Let me know what you think? Do you think teachers would order small gifts like these to give to kids for birthdays, Christmas or other times during the school year? Leave me a note and let me know - Mrs. E :)

Here are an autumn and a red/white/blue colored one:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sugarfoot festival and new banner

This weekend was the Sugarfoot festival, which in the past had been called the Honey Soppin' festival.  There were lots of vendors there this weekend and next year I intend to request a center of the street spot so I can do something differently with my setup since I have a screened tent (I keep referring to it as a screened in porch although there is no flooring; it's a simple screened tent) that opens front and back.  I had an idea after coming home tonight.  If Hailie continues to sell her bows and other hand painted or personalized items on a table, then we would need to utilize both front and back openings so she can have her side and I can have mine; this also means investing in a couple of smaller tables for displays and work areas.  Here are some pictures of my setup from both Friday and Saturday - enjoy - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

One of my two new banners (and I have an idea for my banners at the Savannah Children's book festival so that both my banners will be visible around the park, but don't tell Benjamin)

For other images and non-JGDS related info about the Sugarfoot festival, please visit my other blog - E :)


What is Geo-Literacy?

Geo-literacy is the ability to apply geographic knowledge and skills to make important decisions.

The three components of geo-literacy are:
1. Systems understanding. An understanding of human and environmental systems and human-environment interactions.
2. Geographic reasoning. The ability to reason about location and make connections between places.
3. Systemic decision-making. The ability to systematically collect, evaluate, and weigh the tradeoffs in decision making.

Geo-literacy is important because it empowers people to steer away from choices that will be costly for themselves, other people, and the environment. While the impacts of any particular far-reaching decision may be small, the cumulative impact of the decisions made by millions of people is enormous. In order to make these decisions, people must understand:
- how our world works
- how our world is connected
- how to make well-reasoned decisions

Geo-literacy provides the tools that enable communities to protect natural and cultural resources, reduce conflict and improve quality of life worldwide.

Schools are not the only place to learn. Part of becoming geo-literate is exploring the world around you. Get out and explore!.

For more information visit the NatGeo Educational site.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Geography?

In preparing for Geography Awareness Week events, I thought I would define and build up some activities towards the goal of Geography Awareness Week.

As a series that is tauted as being a Geography series (United States), I should have an explanation of what geography is.

I received a brochure and poster for National Geography Awareness week in the mail on Friday, September 9, from the Georgia Geographic Alliance. The brochure has one flap dedicated to what geography is and why it is important.

Let's explore what geography is (dictionary definition versus GGA brochure definition).

Dictionary definition:
1. The study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries
2. The nature and relative arrangement of places and physical features

Web definitions:
study of the earth's surface; includes people's responses to topography and climate and soil and vegetation

Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geographia, lit. "earth describe-write" ) is the study of the Earth and its lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". ...

the region of the Earth where we live that includes our natural environment, climate, vegetation and landforms.

From the GGA brochure:
What is Geography Anyway? For most people, for far too long, geography has meant memorizing facts, but it doesn't have to! The potential for geography is endless for exploring and explaining our world. More than physical, human and biological systems, more than a perspective or way to look at the world, geography is something to do. Geographers identify relationships, explain spatial distributions, analyze patterns and locations, solve problems, and make decisions. Geographers predict and plan for the future. Geography is something you do, not just something you know. Geography helps you understand how the world works. It explores different systems, the physical, human and biological, through space. However, geography is more than just systems. Geography helps you to examine the world using a spatial perspective. For example, an ecologist might study how individual species depend on one another, while a biogeographer might study how those dependencies influence and are influenced by location.

Why is it important? We live in an increasingly globalized society. Geographic knowledge, skills and technology provide a means to understand the rapidly changing physical and cultural environments of the world. Geography allows us to comprehen the complex connectivity and interdependence of peoples and places of our world. Geography prepares us all to be better global citizens in a globalized world.

Basically, what geography is is the study of people and places and how they act and react and interact with each other. Although my series doesn't go into depth in the study of people and places, it does provide a small window of insight in how geography has evolved just in the United States alone.

Stay tuned for Geography Awareness week activities and ways to earn some badges - Mrs. E :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week press release



HONEA PATH (October 13, 2011)—(SC) will participate in several community activities as well as online activities as part of Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19. “Geography: The Adventure in Your Community” is the theme of Geography Awareness Week 2011, which is supported by National Geographic and partner organizations. This year’s sponsor is the Geo-literacy Coalition Founding Council, composed of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, CH2M HILL, Esri and the National Geographic Society.

Established by presidential proclamation in 1987, Geography Awareness Week is an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs that encourages citizens young and old to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to geo-literacy, the interconnectedness of our world and the importance of geography education.

“This year’s theme explores the idea of community geography and promotes geo-literacy by showing one can discover a nearly unlimited amount of new and amazing things, right in one’s own backyard, just by using geographic skills and perspectives,” said Danny Edelson, National Geographic’s vice president for education.

The Geography Awareness Week Web page hosted on National Geographic Education Programs’ new award-winning website offers access to activities, lesson plans, games and more, relating to community geography. The site features contributions from National Geographic and partner organizations such as Newspapers in Education, World Savvy and National Council for Geographic Education. Educators and parents will find valuable lists of recommended books, videos, geographer profiles and family-friendly games. The website also features opportunities to join nearly 100,000 geography supporters in promoting geo-literacy. Resources are provided on how to host a local Geography Awareness Week event, such as a community festival or a Geography Trivia Night.

Site visitors also can read and contribute to a Geography Awareness Week Blog-a-Thon, updated multiple times daily with commentary and multimedia features.

A link to National Geographic’s Global Action Atlas offers connections to people and organizations that are improving their local areas through community-based projects. Another link, to Speak Up for Geography, invites visitors to write to their senators and representatives to request federal funding for geography education.

To celebrate Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic is partnering with the U.K.-based nonprofit organization The Geography Collective, a group of geography teachers, academics and activists who are encouraging young people to see the world in new ways. Through the group’s customized Geography Awareness Week website, kids of all ages will find home- or community-based activities to explore how photography, storytelling, mapping and taking action can open new worlds. By completing a series of “missions,” individuals or teams can earn badges in each of these categories. Earning all four badges will show they are able to see their community and the rest of the world with deeper understanding.

Additionally, during Geography Awareness Week, grassroots organizers around the country will host events, workshops and contests at local schools and community centers.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit National Geographic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Geography Awareness week is coming

Over the next four weeks, through the 19th of November,  there will be several posts about Geography Awareness week coming.  This year, the week of November 13 through the 19th is dedicated to GA week.  I've received the same poster twice with some cool ideas about getting involved in GA week and things you can do with your family or in school with classes.  The theme this year is "The Adventure in Your Community."  What better way to get involved in your community awareness than checking out the JGDS series and learn about different states.  Community is not just your immediate town or state; it is world-wide.  Take the challenge and become more aware of the adventure in your own backyard as well as places a bit outside of your town.  Read a geography based book.  Do some activities.  Earn some badges from the National Geography Educational website.  Remember to have fun and share what you learn during this week of "Adventure in your Community."  See you all in the postings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Vistaprint is always running special deals (read as freebies) on many of their business related items (business cards, flyers, banners, et cetera). I had ordered a banner last year for events and have gotten my money's worth. Yesterday, I received another email from vistaprint and of course the banners are "free". I decided it was time to upgrade my banner; actually the thinking was creating a new banner for use in their stand to place at my table or in my booths when I do events for my new YA novel (see my other blog for that banner). In the process, I thought why not do two banners I can get both for free by placing the order at different times and that way I have new signage for either side I am promoting or both.

So here is the old banner, which is a hanging banner but if you have seen my pictures of previous events, I've taped it on a foam board and placed on my tripod since it seems I've not had many places to really hang it:

Although I love the design of this one, when going from horizontal to vertical, the same designs are not offered for the banners, so I have decided to go with this one:

                                  (#1 - banner with logo)

or maybe this version - I'm going to leave it up to my readers - voting ends Thursday night, October 6, at midnight.

                                (#2 - banner without logo)

Leave a comment on which you prefer - 1 or 2 and don't forget to check out my other blog for the banner for my other stories. See you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS

UPDATE: Mr. Hughes commented saying he liked the 2nd one but then asked if I could add the logo under the wording, so here is the revised banner - with the logo:

                           (#3 - banner with wording and logo)

Don't forget to vote by leaving a comment which is the one you like the best - thanks - see you all in the postings - Ma America

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How many states can you name in under 10 minutes?

I found this quiz online (well it was actually posted from a friend on plurk) and since I'm writing about the states, I couldn't not take the quiz. I answered all 50 in 5 minutes 36 seconds. Do you think you can do it in the same or better? - Let me know

I named 50 US states in 10 minutes How many US states can you name in 10 minutes?

On the same side, how about how many state capitals can you name?

I named 49 US capitals in 10 minutes How many US capitals can you name in 10 minutes?

This one isn't as accurate as it should be as you have to add words like South, North and West to those states that start like that and it doesn't let you add City on some of the capitals or a second word (ex: Santa Fe will only be Santa) - so have fun and see how many you can name. I probably could have named all 50 if it had let me enter just the capital without all the extras - How well can you do? Leave a message - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Web Page Hit Counter