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High School — Social Studies


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      Activities: Advanced Work

      These activities can help your students reach the next level in their understanding.

      Use Data to Compare Countries or Regions

      Choose one country or region and research available geographic data to define and describe that country/region culturally, physically, economically and politically. Have students use the data to explain:

      • How can birth rates, death rates, infant mortality rates and Gross Domestic Product be used to compare this region/country to the U.S.?
      • Which other countries might be economically similar? Which might be extremely different?
      • Which other countries might be culturally similar? Which might be culturally different?
      • Which other countries might be politically similar? Which might be politically different?
      • Why might this country want to cooperate with another economically or politically?
      • Why might this country conflict with another country economically or politically?

      As an extension, ask students to identify and explain geographic changes to particular regions over time. Divide the world into regions and have students research how each region changed over a particular time period. Have students focus their research on the geographic characteristics established in Benchmark A. Students can present their findings to the class.

      Create a Theory About Geographic Change

      Have students create a theory about a geographic change caused by human interaction that might be relevant in the world today. Have students research this theory and identify data that might support it. Students can follow a scientific process and report whether the data they found supports or refutes their original theory:

      1. Create a hypothesis;
      2. Gather evidence to support the hypothesis;
      3. Review the evidence for patterns, connections, and other generalizations that can be made;
      4. Draw conclusions and determine the validity of the hypothesis.

      Have students explain their research as a class presentation or create a display that shows the process of their work.

      Create an Ongoing Study

      Examine world news sources and encourage students to think critically about current events:

      • Students can ask what current conditions might lead to more movements of people. Students can identify reasons why people might want to migrate, and create a hypothesis for investigation.
      • Students can search for data to support their hypothesis;
      • Students can analyze these reasons for migrating. Are they political, economic, social, physical or cultural?
      • Students can predict the outcome of the migration they hypothesized.
      • Have students track current events in search of information that will support or refute their hypothesis. Check in periodically and have students reflect on the status of the study.
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