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Teacher Edition | Week 1 Map

Week of October 24, 2021

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Well, we managed to sneak out without waking Pandora. She will not have ANY clue about where we are. I am sure she will text us soon though.

I was thinking about my last blog entry, and I forgot to tell you exactly WHAT a desert is. I bet most of you know that deserts are sandy and dry. They also usually have extreme temperatures (could be extremely hot or cold), and they typically have sparse vegetation. Did you know deserts are a landform AND a biome? Meri was a bit confused about what a biome was. A biome is a community characterized by dominant forms of plant life or climates. Some examples of biomes include deserts, grasslands, forests, woodlands, and others.

Meri and I had to be at the Phoenix airport by 5:00am. Our flight took off on time at 7:00am. We arrived to a nice cool day at our Nation's Capital: 50 degrees. Meri actually needed to put on her sweater! We arrived at Uncle GT's building at 3:00pm (D.C. time), which is only 1:00pm in Phoenix. Arizona doesn't participate in Daylight Saving, so this time of year, it is two hours behind Washington, D.C. We included a link about Daylight Saving at the end of this blog entry (if you want to learn more). Daylight Saving is a little confusing, but hopefully this site and your teachers or friends can help explain it better. We are heading in now to meet GT. His office is basically empty. I guess I lot of employees are still working remotely. Masks are required inside too. We will write more once we learn about this mission.

     - Geo

The Washington Monument - we saw this from the sky.

Museum of African Art (on the way to GT's building)

Look at this beautiful view we saw during our walk


Daylight Saving
Use this link to learn more about Daylight Saving.

Tuesday Evening

Uncle GT wasted no time in briefing us on this mission. He shared an email with us that he had received from one of his colleagues requesting Uncle GT's help.

Hey GT,

Agent Ebolg here. We have a major problem on our hands. I hope you can help us before it is too late. Our agency's most talented cartographer, Louie Tollemy, has disappeared! All that I can tell you is that we really have no concern for foul play, we have received several text messages from him indicating that he was fine -- just did not WANT to be found. We honestly have no idea why he would run away. We hope that you can help us track him down. He has been working on a project for us mapping out the natural resources across the United States. We need him back to DC - ASAP!!

Agent Ebolg

Holy Idaho! I can't wait to begin. GT went immediately into his computer database and pulled up all of the information that he knew about Louie Tollemy. Here are the important facts that we found: Ever since his high school days, Louie has always been involved in grass root groups dedicated to preserving the environment. In the past several years, his passion has been to educate Americans (and those around the world) on the importance of using renewable resources for energy rather than burning fossil fuels. (Remind me to ask Geo what renewable resources and fossil fuels are). He has traveled the world, and makes many guest appearances/speeches at important conventions focused on energy awareness. GT also told us that during his travels, Louie's favorite hobby is coin collecting. Interestingly enough, my brother - Geo, also has a passion for coin collecting! Well, that was all that GT knows for now, so he sent us back to check in to our hotel, tour the city a little, and wait to hear more news. We will keep you posted on this exciting journey!

     - Meri

The White House: where our President lives!!

Abraham Lincoln Memorial statue - it is much bigger in person

Sunset over the Jefferson Memorial - beautiful


We spent the past 2 days learning more about the amazing capital of the United States. Did you know that D.C. was built on marshlands? I find it fascinating that our capital was built where there had been a combination of dense forests and low-lying marshlands! The location was actually chosen by George Washington himself. The district is surrounded by the states of Virginia and Maryland. The district also has three major naturally flowing bodies of water (the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Rock Creek). In DC, we also saw the Washington Channel. It flows into the junction of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Meri wasn't sure what a channel was, I explained to her that a channel connects two larger bodies of water. In this case, the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers. D.C. has a ton of GREAT museums (4 of which we visited today). The museums were amazing and not too crowded. We had to wear masks when indoors, but we are used to that. And of course there are also amazing monuments. We took some photos, see below. We are still waiting to hear any news from Uncle GT.

Text from Pandora - Where U 2 at?

Text to Pandora - Cap on E Coast

Sorry for the interruption, Pandora has been texting us daily! Wonder if she will figure out we are in THE capital of the entire United States? While in D.C. we have been traveling on the Metro (subway). I think it is amazing how quickly this underground train can get from one side of the district to the other (when it is on time). Meri isn't as big of a fan; she would prefer a taxi to drop her off at the door than having to walk. I am glad the Metro isn't too crowded anyway. Today while waiting for the blue line of the Metro (after visiting one of the Smithsonian Museums), we saw a man looking at a map of the metro routes. The Metro has several colored routes: orange, red, yellow, green, and blue. Sometimes you have to ride one color line to connect to another, depending on where you are going. Our train was delayed by 10 minutes. After watching this man STARE at the map for over 5 minutes straight, I asked him if I could help. He told me that he was trying to get to the Court House exit off of the Metro and had no idea how to do it. I showed him the directions to follow. He wanted to thank me and had nothing but two sticks of gum. Meri and I happily accepted the gum, and I saved the wrappers (a strange habit, I know). I have attached a map of the Metro. Can you find the Smithsonian Exit (where we were located) and the Court House Exit (where he was going)? It is a bit easier if you zoom out with the map! What cardinal direction did he travel? What color lines did he ride? If you guessed the orange or blue line, you are correct. The Court House is west of the Smithsonian exit. Did you figure it out?

Just heard from GT and we are to get on the Metro and head over to the Rosslyn exit, where we can catch a bus to Washington-Dulles Airport. We have no idea where we are going! We are currently at the Arlington Cemetery. Can you figure out which color line and cardinal direction we should travel to get to the Rosslyn exit off of the Metro? Remember, this map is easier to read if you zoom out!

     - Geo


Another one of the United States Capitol

Daytime view of the Jefferson Memorial


Washington, D.C. Metro Map
If you are having trouble finding the stops - remember to zoom out for a clearer view.

Vocabulary Terms:

biome - a community characterized by dominant forms of plant life or climates. Examples include deserts, grasslands, forests, woodlands, and others.

biomes - are communities characterized by dominant forms of plant life or climates. Examples include deserts, grasslands, forests, woodlands, and others.

cardinal direction - a term used to describe all four primary directions (north, south, east and west).

cartographer - a person who makes maps

channel - bed of a stream or river, typically the deepest part of the river or harbor. Usually a broad strait that connects two seas or other bodies of water.

daylight saving - a way states and countries change their clocks in spring and fall to make better use of daylight. It moves an extra hour of daylight to afternoon during March to October. This helps people who work outside. Daylight saving time also conserves energy, moving activities into the daylight so we do not need to use lights. Not all places participate in daylight saving time.

desert - a sandy and dry landform and biome. Deserts typically have extreme temperatures: either hot or cold.

deserts - are sandy and dry landforms and biomes. Deserts typically have extreme temperatures: either hot or cold.

district - a geographical or political division (similar to a state).

forests - an area with a lot of trees, plants, and brush

fossil fuels - non-renewable energy sources that were formed a LONG time ago (300 million years) from the remains of plants and animals. There are three main forms of fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal.

grasslands - land with a lot of grass, such as a prairie or meadow

landform - any natural formation of rock and dirt found on the Earth. Examples of landforms include mountains, deserts, plains, and many others.

marshlands - a type of wetland that has frequent or continuous floods. Marshlands typically have shallow water and include grasses and many other plants.

naturally flowing - flows without the assistance of anything. Naturally flowing rivers typically flow towards another river, sea, or ocean.

renewable resources - any natural resource that can be replenished naturally within a relatively short time. Examples include wood or solar energy.

vegetation - all of the plant life in a region

woodlands - large land area covered by trees and shrubs

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Standards for this episode:

Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographical tools and technologies.

Grade 3-5: Knows the basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend, cardinal, scale, grid, meridians, time zones, etc.).

Knows the location of places, geographical features, and patterns of the environment.

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 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).

Understands the characteristics and uses of spatial organization of Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Understands how changing transportation and communication technology has affected relationships between locations. Ease of travel between some and difficulty getting to some others because of transportation and how people move and shop from one to the other because of the ease (trains, road systems, ferries, etc...).

Understands the physical and human characteristics of a place.

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 6-8: Knows the physical characteristics of places (soil, vegetation, wildlife, etc..).

Understands the concept of regions.

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).

Understands that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

Grade 6-8: Knows how places and regions serve as cultural symbols (Opera House in Sydney or Tower Bridge in London).

Knows the physical processes that shape patterns on Earth's surfaces.

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).

Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface.

Grade 6-8: Understands the symbolic importance of capital cities (such as Canberra, a planned city, as the capital of Australia).

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