Map projection lesson planning material

September 6, 2006

Ooooh. I love maps. I like teaching about them. Projection is an issue for middle schoolers, though — they seem not quite to grasp why it’s important to show Greenland smaller than Australia.

Well, that’s an issue I have not reconciled.

But I did stumble across some cool animations on the Fuller Projection, such as that shown below.

Go see. And see an animation here.

Update: In comments, spatulated at A Bit Tasty lists a source for a poster of the Earth done in Fuller Projection.


Topaz – monument to lack of civil rights

September 6, 2006

National history standards for high school U.S. history courses say kids should demonstrate knowledge about the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II, under Executive Order 9066 in February 1942. Results from Texas’ TAKS test show that most students are not meeting the standards of knowledge.

I found an interesting presentation of photographs and audio interviews hidden away at the Salt Lake Tribune’s website. It is simply titled “Topaz” after the name of the internment camp outside of Delta, Utah.

My mother’s family lived outside of Delta, in Hinckley, Utah, for several years before 1930. It is not a pleasant place to be held captive, she said.

Utah’s Japanese population is quite large, now, and held considerable influence in the 1970s and 1980s when I was active in politics in Utah. Utah’s Japanese community sought the support of Sen. Orrin Hatch for an investigation into the violation of the civil rights of people interned during World War II, and Hatch cosponsored the bill to investigate, and then to pay reparations to victims and survivors of victims.

Some wag at the copy desk of the Provo Daily Herald took sport with our press releases; whenever we’d put “internment” in a headline, they would change it to “burial,” so that “Hatch supports probe of Japanese internment” became “Hatch supports Japanese burial probe.” I didn’t see significant humor in it, but the jest continued through the life of the investigation.

Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 appropriating money to compensate victims. President Bill Clinton signed the official apology from the United States on October 1, 1993.


Classroom tip: Marines, piracy and terrorism

September 6, 2006

How does a teacher make history interesting, especially to elementary school students? Here’s one way to make a lively discussion, from History is Elementary. You don’t need to mention Gomer Pyle.


Dan Valentine — where are you?

September 6, 2006

Readers of the Salt Lake Tribune in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s probably recall the work of Dan Valentine in his daily “Nothing Serious” column. Don’t they?

A friend recently sent an old piece of schmaltz from Valentine, “I trust you’ll treat her well,” about sending a daughter off to the first day of school. It was misattributed to Victor Buono (now you start to see my interest).

Valentine’s column was a rambling collection of not-serious observations about people the newspaper covered and events in Utah and the Intermountain states. Occasionally he would write about some event in a memorable fashion — the first day of school for his daughter, the first day of school for his son — and occasionally he’d do a tribute to some underappreciated profession, like truckers, waiters and waitresses, young mothers, secretaries. In those tributes, there was almost always a line like, ‘She’s America’s [future (teachers), heart (nurses), breakfast-tomorrow-morning (truckers)] with a smile on her face!’

Old columns appeared in paperback print collections sold in every truck stop and diner in the west — at least, that’s what it seemed like when the University of Utah debate squad travelled, and found the things everywhere we stopped. Standard breakfast behavior was for someone to grab the sample and perform one of the columns, for sport, to irritate the other debaters — but often enough to the appreciation of other breakfasters who found Valentine’s columns appropriate and touching, rather than out of place and out of time in the Vietnam era, especially at breakfast.

Dan Valentine passed, and his son, Dan Valentine, Jr., took over the column briefly. Valentine joined our writing team with Orrin Hatch for a brief time, too, later.

Query — Does anyone know: Are those collections of Dan Valentine’s old columns still available anywhere? (I don’t find them on Amazon as currently published.) Does anyone know where Dan Valentine, Jr., is these days? If any reader knows, please put a note in the comments. Read the rest of this entry »


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