Every year Americans celebrates their independence in a variety of ways, as this infographic shows. My family used to go to join my mom’s family by a lake for a picnic and then watch fireworks across the lake. My cousins would go early in the morning to get a spot right on the lake. I remember seeing people putting watermelons in the water to keep them cool for later. We would usually bring in food from home or a fast food restaurant. There would be bands and lots of celebrations.
According to this infographic, this is a typical experience for most Americans. Most Americans cook out, although I know many who do it in their backyard, watch fireworks, and/or go see a parade. What do you suppose is the reason behind most of these celebrations. Fireworks are most likely related to the remembrance of war and bombs, cooking out may be related to older cooking habits, or simply the fact that cooking out is common in America in the summer. Parades were often used to increase moral during war times, and a way to say a last goodbye to soldiers shipping out or a first hello to soldiers coming home.
How do your students families celebrate? Do you have any students who are not US citizens or were born elsewhere? What was their first impression of these festivities? Most countries have patriotic holidays, what do they entail?
Begin this class on a survey of how your students sleep. What hours do your students sleep? How much sleep do your students get per night? How do your students personal habits affect sleep patterns?
Young adults may not realize the importance of sleep, or simply choose to ignore the necessity of it. With this infographic, go into the necessity of sleep. What can your students accomplish with more sleep?
As you and your students may be able to imagine, our planet is filled with trash. Most of what we consume today is considered not to be used more than a few times, and so we throw it in a trash can and then put it on the street for the trash men to take it far away from us. Unfortunately, this is not the whole truth, it ends up in our quickly filling land fills.
But we do not only occupy this planet. For the past fifty or so years we, or things we have made, have also occupied outer space. Some of these items have been brought back, others have been destroyed reentering our atmosphere. But many are still floating in outer space. And even the tiniest object can cause major damage. Have you students imagine sand being thrown at them. Then imagine it being thrown at you at around 17,000 mph, the average speed of a space craft in low orbit. It can cause a lot of damage to you, or to a space craft.
This infographic goes through various methods being explored and tested to help clean up this debris. From giant fish nets to lasers, there are a variety of ways being explored to make space safe for continued exploration. Have you students discuss the merits of each method, and be able to defend what they think is the best method.
The ten best of anything can be a matter of opinion. Before sharing this infographic, have your students brainstorm the five or so best inventions. Then backtrack, and figure out what had to be invented in order for these items to be invented. For instance, in order to use Twitter or Facebook, the internet and the computer had to be invented. This was preceded by the typewriter and the printing press, which were preceded by paper and ink. We have come a long way since carving the ten commandments in stone.
Discuss who invented these and what kind of recognition they received. Had this person not lived, would have have been invented? For instance, the Wright brothers weren’t the only men working on flight, if they hadn’t flown, someone else would have developed the technology. What did others think of the men who created these? Can you imagine living your life by candle light, and hearing about a man trying to create light without fire? Witchcraft!
It is commonly taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Now this is not accurate in multiple ways. Not only were there people residing in current day America before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Bahamas, but he was also not the first European to land off the coast. There is evidence that Europeans had unknowingly found these lands, but are not celebrated because it was not the Age of Exploration.
This infographic goes through lands (mostly small islands) actually discovered by Europeans (and America). However, there was evidence of prior habitation and of prior knowledge before they were “discovered” by Europeans. So it is difficult to say what was discovered by Europeans.
Some questions that need to be answered include: What began the “Age of Exploration”? Why did previous inhabitants, or those who knew of islands, not inhabit the areas? What are we working on that can be compared to this excitement? While it is not very expensive to charter a boat and sail around the world today, what were the costs then as compared to present day? What was the life like of one of these explorers? What was involved in preparing and expedition and life on the ship? What is left to be discovered here on Earth (beneath ice, within jungle, and in other uninhabitable areas)?
There is so much information that could be further studied in this single infographic. It is fascinating to find out that so little of the Earth is usable the way it is now, the difference between life now and life when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and some of the effects we have on the planet.
Have each of your students choose one or two facts portrayed in the infographic from different categories, and provide more information about it. For instance, the fact that the Earth is smoother than a bowling ball. When you rub your hands on a 3d globe, one would have to disagree. So what is the difference between these globes and the truth? Why can’t we get to all that gold beneath the Earth’s surface, and what can we do to work on getting to it? And what can we do to try to clean up the plastic in our oceans. Encourage your students to have fun and study something that truly interests them.
A health craze has seemed to take over this country, finally. With obesity at epidemic levels, and America being the least healthy developed country, it is about time we begin trying to take better care of ourselves. Meat is a staple in the diets of many Americans, and their social lives. The all American past time is centered around hot dogs. Most summer holidays involve a cook out. And there is an national debate as to what the best hot dog, hamburger, or barbecue is. Could this be the cause of our ill health?
According to this infographic, there are other ways to get the protein and Vitamin D necessary to sustain ourselves. Meat eaters also, on average, have higher cholesterol, and is a major cause of cancer. Raising the animals we use for meat also takes a lot of grain and water.
Have your students do research into various diet plans and try to create a meal plan for one day that follows this diet. This diet must give a person everything necessary to live, in a healthy way, with no excess. Have you students compare their diets with those they find.
Fact: the moon hangs in the sky (or circulates the Earth if you would like to be completely correct), every night, and in fact every day as well. Fact: it cannot be seen every night, depending up on when it rose and fell in your region, as well as depending upon the weather in your area. Fact: it is the same size and shape at every time, but the shadow of the Earth makes it appear to be in a crescent shape, and the distance from the Earth makes it appear larger or smaller. One example of it appearing larger in the night sky was on June 23, 2013. Did any of your students witness this?
This infographic shares information about the upcoming Supermoon (since this infographic was created before the Supermoon). According to this infographic, it was about 30,000 km (ask your students to figure out how many miles that is), closer to the Earth than on an average day. There are also about three to four Supermoons per annum.
Hypothesize with your students why this Supermoon is exceptional, if there are several each year. Also, how does it affect the tide? It is a fact that the moon affects the tide, but what is it about the moon that affects the tide. Have your students explain this phenomena in their own way, by drawing, video, using words, or any way that makes sense to them and may help other students understand.
Argumentatively, more has changed in the past 100 years, than in any 100 year period before, as this infographic shows. The first step in teaching this infographic, and teaching any part of history, is to consider the cause and impact of these changes. While most students, and many administrators, may argue the unimportance of studying history, at least in comparison to other subjects related to technology. However, these technologies have shaped the past 100 years, and it is important to understand the past impact of these technologies, in order to understand the future impact of other technologies.
In addition to the importance of history, it is important to teach it in the best way. Aside from citing the year 1913 to compare (being exactly 100 years ago), there are no dates mentioned in this infographic, and yet the importance of this infographic is still obvious. It shows the impact that 100 years has made. When I was in grade school, just 10 years ago, The most important things I was taught were the dates of major events, and a little bit about the impact. While a general idea of the dates is important (knowing that The Civil War happened after The Missouri Compromise) the exact dates are not terrible important. The most important part of history is understanding the importance of a certain event (that The Missouri Compromise put off The Civil War, but recognized the increasing tensions).
While a the knowledge of a detailed history of the United States is not important for many fields, understanding the impact that people and events have made on this country is very important. If one of your students decides to go into software development of some sort, in order for them to develop the best software possible, they must understand the past impact of other technologies. What was the impact of the discovery of electricity and the following development of the lightbulb? How have people’s lives changed for good, and for bad, as electronic devices increasingly took over our lives? How can this particular student develop software that can mend the transgressions of previous technologies, but still create a positive impact on our future?
Constructing a building takes into consideration a great deal as this infographic shares. To begin with, the materials, climate, and foundation must sustain the structure, there must be enough men and women to complete the project with enough knowledge to put into the construction, finances are a major consideration, and of course time.
These construction projects take these into consideration, and a great deal more. Do research into various construction projects your students find interesting and find out how these ideas were factored in. For instance, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, what could have been done then, and what can be done now to prevent a building from leaning.
What other things must be considered during construction? What simple machines are used during construction? How is the climate and the soil under the building a factor when choosing a location? How do people finance the building of these massive projects?
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