Week of October 23, 2016
Mexico has two large bodies of water that surround most of the country. Can you look at the map (I pasted the link below) and figure out what the two large bodies of water are? On the eastern coast, you will find the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. On the western coast, you will find the equally breath-taking Pacific Ocean. A small part of Mexico (called the Yucatan Peninsula) is also bordered by another large body of water - the Caribbean Sea. Can you find Phoenix on this map? Holy Idaho! I never realized that I lived so close to Mexico.
See the map
Pandora to us: RUOK? WAYN - Mexico? Saw your blog. U2 at the beach?
Us to Pandora: ABT2 go to beach. Yes, in Mexico. GGN BBBG
We arrived on the Caribbean Coast after a LONG ride in a taxi van. The Caribbean Coast of Mexico is on the Yucatan Peninsula. A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three or more sides (but is not an island). The Yucatan Peninsula is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. We just arrived in Cancun (one of the more popular coastal cities). Our hotel is amazing - there are 4 pools! I took a picture of the city and pasted it at the end of this entry. The tropical area of Cancun is one of the world's most sunny climates. During the months of September, October, and November the Yucatan Peninsula does have occasional strong winds and rain - sometimes even hurricanes. The yearly average temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 degrees Celsius). After taking a long swim in the sea, Meri and I decided to go visit another thing that makes Mexico amazing - the ancient ruins. We took a bus tour to Chichen Itza, the largest of the Mayan ruins. The Mayans were a native civilization that was here long before Spanish explorers arrived, and their art and influence remains among the people who live in nearby regions today. The ruins are also on the Yucatan Peninsula, so it was a short ride. The ruins go back as far as the 7th century - that is the 600's! In other news, we haven't heard anything from Uncle GT yet regarding the search for Dewey. We were told to hang out in Cancun until we received a text message advising us where to go. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place to wait.
Text Message from Uncle GT: HT - have news on Dewey. Head to the cap. of Guatemala ASAP. HAGD
So what is the capital city of Guatemala? Geo figured that out quickly - the capital city of Guatemala is Guatemala City. Unfortunately, Guatemala City is towards the southern end of Guatemala. So our ride is going to be a bit longer than we had anticipated. I have been researching Guatemala in a travel magazine that I bought (my laptop doesn't have Internet access right now). Did you know Guatemala has active volcanoes, Mayan ruins, and even earthquakes! Wow, this is one busy country.
Okay - we are so excited. As we pulled up to our hotel we saw another taxi drive by us. Guess who was in that taxi - a dog with a striking resemblance to Dewey, and he was with a woman in some sort of uniform! About 5-minutes later we received a phone call on our cell from an unknown number. The female caller said, "I know that you two geography sleuths saw Dewey. We are on our way out of the city and heading to the ocean waves. Stop following us - Dewey is in no danger. He is necessary for our current project. GO BACK HOME." And then she hung up the phone.
Holy Idaho! The first thing we did was called Uncle GT. He said to travel west towards the coast. He had reason to believe they are heading to South America. We are taking a cruise, I can't wait - I have never been aboard a ship. The ship stops at several ports, but Uncle GT has told us that he believes that Dewey could only be in Brazil, Argentina, or Chile. Which one should we investigate first?
We need your help - where should our investigation in South America begin?
Use Overlap Maps to compare the sizes of Mexico and Guatemala. Compare Mexico and the United States (or country that you live).
cardinal direction - a term used to describe all four primary directions (north, south, east and west).
peninsula - a piece of land that is bordered by water (on three or more sides), but is not an island. A peninsula is attached to a larger body of land but sticks out into the water.
scale - shows the relationship between the distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the earth. For example, 1 inch may equal 500 miles. This allows users to calculate the approximate distance between two locations on a map.Back to top
Additional Web Resources:
Travel for Kids
This is another great site for kids! This website includes a book list of stories that are purposeful to read to your students all about Mexico.
This website includes a wealth of information and useful maps about Mexico.
Grade 3-5: Knows the basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend, cardinal, scale, grid, meridians, time zones, etc.).
Grade 3-5: Knows major physical and human features of places as they are represented on maps and globes. Knows how to read different maps: road, relief, globe, etc..
Grade 3-5: Knows the location of major cities in North America.
Grade 3-5: Knows the approximate location of major continents, mountain ranges, and bodies of water on Earth.
Grade 6-8: Knows the relative location of, size of, and distances between places.
Grade 3-5: Knows different methods to measure data (miles, kilometers, time, etc..).
Grade 6-8: Knows the human characteristics of places (e.g., cultural characteristics such as religion, language, politics, technology, family structure, gender; population characteristics; land uses; levels of development).
Grade 3-5: Knows the characteristics of a variety of regions (climate, housing, religion, language, etc..).
Grade 6-8: Understands criteria that give a region identity (such as Amsterdam as a transportation center or the Sunbelt's warm climate and popularity with retired people).
Grade 6-8: Knows how places and regions serve as cultural symbols (Opera House in Sydney or Tower Bridge in London).
Grade 3-5: Knows the physical components of Earth's atmosphere (weather and climate), lithosphere (land forms such as mountains), hydrosphere (oceans, lakes and rivers), and biosphere (vegetation and biomes).
Grade 3-5: Knows significant historical achievements of various cultures of the world (e.g., the Hanging Gardens or Babylon, the Taj Mahal in India, pyramids in Egypt, temples in ancient Greece, bridges and aqueducts in ancient Rome).
Grade 6-8: Understands the symbolic importance of capital cities (such as Canberra, a planned city, as the capital of Australia).
Grade 3-5: Knows natural hazards that occur in the physical environment (floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc..).
Grade 6-8: Knows the location of physical and human features on maps and globes (e.g., culture hearths such as Mesopotamia, Huang Ho, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Nile Valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns; land forms; climate regions).