Welcome back, and thanks for reading.
A lot has happened since I've been away. We're studying a large swath of Africa right now.
So, the Sahara desert is pretty big. We're looking at 3,320,000 sq. mi. of desert there. That's getting close to the size of the United States - in desert. Now, keeping in mind the scale we're dealing with here - the U.S. is roughly 3.79 million square miles (This is counting Alaska of course. ALASKA! YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU!) The Sahara is around 3.32 million. But if we're looking at just land, the U.S. drops to about 3.5. Some of you are arguing - quite rightly - that there's a big difference between 3.5 million and 3.3 million. Agreed. But when we're looking at a map that's drawn at a scale where 1 inch = 500 miles, you can understand what I'm saying. California's falling into the ocean soon anyway.
The Africa maps have been entered into the grade book. Chances are, the homework from last night will be added by the time you read this as well. You may want to check your grades. Just saying.
At any rate, we're also looking at Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. We've looked at how family units become villages, villages become cities, and cities become kingdoms. And a lot of it has to do with economics - which is why we studied that first. Different geographical regions produce different goods, so people meet in cities to trade. And we looked at these pictures:
I asked the question, "If someone is going to open a McDonald's, which is a better location?" Granted, most students answered, "The second one," because they thought they were being funny... But I think they all got the point.
The same rules applied in the ancient world. Rivers were used as the method of transportation, and you wanted your business where it would get the most... uh... business.
It's late. Half of you are zoning out while you're reading this. I'm sorry. Thanks for reading.
If you want the extra credit today, discuss the blog with an adult and play the African Landscapes Geography Games at least 5 times. Then either print out, or write down your scores and have that adult sign it. (Thank you, adult for taking the time to talk to my student about social studies nonsense.)