Synthesizing Geography and History: An analysis of Pennsylvania Standards of History Education


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Synthesizing Geography and History: An analysis of Pennsylvania Standards of History Education

  1. 1. Synthesizing Geography and History:An analysis of Pennsylvania Standards of History EducationMichael MetzAdvised by Dr. James HigginsPresented at 14th Annual Conference for Undergraduate Research & CreativeExpressionApril 27th, 2013Academic Forum
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  3. 3. 3IntroductionDuring my time at Kutztown University, I have taken several courses on secondary education. Ihave learned a fair amount about the educational process and how to teach middle school and highschool students. As I wish to be a social studies teacher, I have taken an interest in methods ofeducation deployed in the history classroom and whether it is possible to improve upon those methodsof education. In order to explore social studies education, I examined the Pennsylvania standards ofeducation and have decided that they can be improved on. I believe that geography, one of the sevensocial sciences, is an incredibly important part of history that is not properly emphasized in historycurriculum. High school students need to be given a stronger knowledge base of geographic conceptsand how geography relates to history in classroom lesson plans. Current geography standards ofeducation are inadequate. I will describe the necessity of geography to history, my analysis andevaluation of Pennsylvania state standards of education based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, the secondaryand primary research I conducted to evaluate my claims, and my proposed solution of creating newhistory standards and lesson plans that synthesize geography and history into a comprehensive manner.The final goal of this paper is to present the new geographic history standards I would propose to thePennsylvania Department of Education and to provide examples of lesson plans to demonstrate mypoints.Why is Geography so important to History?History is important because it is the story of humanity. History is a discipline that allows us toanalyze the past and help us determine how to solve problems in the future. Analysis andcomprehension requires the researcher to find the determining factors of the events. Factors thatdetermine the course of events are essential to truly learning a historical event. Unless you know whysomething happened, you are merely memorizing facts and thus storing them only in your short term
  4. 4. 4memory. By introducing the concept of determining factors to students, they will achieve a betterunderstanding of history, thus taking their education to a deeper analytical level. Teaching history as adiscipline of determining factors instead of a list of events helps students learn research skills that canbe applied to any scientific discipline, as well as in real life. What factors influenced the event? Howwould things have been differently? Why is this development the way that it is? What caused this tohappen? All of these questions are necessary to answer to truly understand historical events.Geography is a primary source of determining factors of historical events; in fact, geography is asource of determining factors for all the other aspects of social studies curriculum: history, politicalscience, economics, and anthropology. The earth’s landscape, proximity of cultures, and the trendscaused by human interaction with the land is potentially the biggest shaper of human history.Geography determines where people live, what resources and technology people needed and used,trade routes and subsequent colonization, where certain cultures spread and others were halted, howbattles were fought; the list is endless. Political lines and national lines have been and will be decideddue to geographic elements such as population centers and geographic features. Certain countries cameto dominate others due to resource allocation, thus bringing wealth to some and poverty to others.Ethnic and national tensions are often immediately determined by the proximity of opposing cultures;geography, however, shows us how those cultures developed into opposing viewpoints, thus showingtrends in history. By learning concepts of geographic awareness and analytical skills, a person will beable to look beyond the surface of current events and find the true factors beneath the tension. Apopular belief of history is that by learning the mistakes of the past, we will prevent them in the future.Geography is another tool to help students see why those mistakes were made in the first place, and ifpossible, allowing future generations to fix those mistakes.
  5. 5. 5Applying My Project to Bloom’s TaxonomyOne of the key frameworks I have built my paper around is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’sTaxonomy is a classification system of educational goals in the classroom, originating in the 1950s.Benjamin Boom created a series of questioning levels that express the level of difficulty of teachingmethods and question words. An illustration of the theory is shown below:The lower section of the pyramid represents the simplest form of cognitive processes, while thetop of the pyramid expresses the most difficult of cognitive functions. Using this system, it is clear to seethat Bloom considers memorization and comprehension as the lower forms of education, while analysis,synthesizing information, and evaluating data takes far high cognitive abilities. Bloom argues thatinformation that is merely memorized leaves the brain quickly and is thus should not be a goal ofeducators. When students have to analyze and synthesize that information, however, the informationgets ingrained into the brain at a deeper level and thus becomes more meaningful in the long term for astudent’s education.The theory behind Bloom’s Taxonomy is incredibly important to the educational process. Inorder to fully understand the theory, I applied Bloom’s Taxonomy to the process of my Fall 2011
  6. 6. 6independent study. By slowly building up my own levels of questioning, I slowly dived deeper anddeeper into Bloom’s theory. This project began with memorization. My early tasks in the semester wereto gather information, memorize of Bloom’s Taxonomy, find Pennsylvania’s standards for history andgeography, etc. The initial phase was the lowest level of my research, which demonstrates an importantpoint. The goal of this study is not to discredit the need to memorize facts. Rather, it is an attempt tofollow the “+1” teaching model, where teachers take material that students know and make it slightlyharder for them, thus increasing their students’ levels of comprehension. These facts are the baseknowledge behind any concepts in the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy; the important thing that Iemphasize is that teachers hardly move past this initial stage of learning, especially in geography.The next step of this study was to research geographic concepts and standards in order to betterunderstand the concepts I am advocating. Why is geography so important? Is history really influenced bygeography to the extent I believe? If so, to what extent is geography being taught? Are these standardsbeing upheld in Pennsylvania? These were all questions to which I had to answer after my initial phaseof gathering information. Some methods I took for tackling this part were to review concepts taught byDiamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel. In this book, Diamond goes into great detail about the geographyadvantages of Europe and central Asia, while civilizations like the Aztecs in the New World were notblessed by geography. Diamond discusses the “why” behind things happening; why certain civilizationshave success, why others did not progress to farming, how countries won wars. Reviewing his workhelped me understand which concepts of geography are particularly important to history, such asresource allocation, spatial distribution of populations, geopolitical situations, and more. There aremany long-term trends in geographic history that have caused the disparities in different areasthroughout the world today. Various Polynesian islands, for example, have less potential to grow cerealcrops and thus cause population bursts, due to resources on the island and topography of archipelagos.The answers to questions such as “why did Europe conquer Africa and not the other way around” are
  7. 7. 7not as clear cut as mere resource advantage. By all rights, Africa has more resources and a more diverseenvironment than Europe, not to mention a chronological head start in human history. Geography is adeeply analytical field of study. This is a discipline that is not simple facts and obvious answers. Many ofthe “why” factors are complicated and multi-level, enough to build a strong curriculum.During the understanding level of this project, I reviewed several books that explainedgeography standards, and why they are taught. Geography gives students a global awareness thatcannot be achieved in almost any other class. This discipline broadens students’ minds to the changesand shifts in the world, and how they affect our lives. Many students do not know the “why” behindthings. In history classes, they learn about dates and people, but why are they important? Manystudents will not be able to answer that question. The same can be applied for geography. When given amap, most students are asked to memorize where rivers, mountains, and cities are. Rarely, however, arethey asked to understand why they are memorizing those land features. Why is New York City where itis? What is important about the Great Lakes? These questions are not answered in many historycurriculums. Pennsylvania’s standards of history do not call on teachers to go over the geographicalreasons behind many locations and events.Understanding the concepts that are taught with history and geography standards helped me torealize why students are not getting what they deserve in geography. Students are not required tounderstand the basics of the knowledge in front of them; they have few chances to apply it in their lives(the 3rdlevel of Bloom’s Taxonomy). By seeing what the standards themselves are calling for, it is easy tosee why students often know geography as “point to this place on a map” and nothing else. This type ofknowledge is short term. Namely, students learn for the test itself, and forget the information shortlyafter. Unless knowledge is meaningful and used repeatedly, that knowledge fades.
  8. 8. 8Americans are not given that opportunity to apply their knowledge of language on a regularbasis. Unless application is utilized, for language and geography, the knowledge will quickly be lost. Ientered this phase of my project when I began taking geographical concepts and combining them withhistory, the early stages of the new standards I would later create. Was it possible to apply geography tohistory, to take historical facts and data and be able to incorporate geography as well? I did this byfinding a high school level American History curriculum textbook in the library and paging through thelessons presented. By understanding the core of the lessons, I found that they could be taught with ageographical spin. I would bring in elements of cultural and physical geography and decide whether ornot they were applicable, and in most cases they were.For example, take Boston and all the heat it received from Britain pre-Revolutionary War.Historically, they were subjected to strict taxes, intrusions from British soldiers, and riots such as theBoston Tea Party. I posed this question: why Boston? Why not New York, Philadelphia, or any of thecities in the south? The answer behind that is geography. Early on, Boston was one of the best port citiesin colonial America. Due to natural features that create sheltered harbors, and wind patterns of theAtlantic Ocean, Boston is a natural place for trade. Being one of the best trading harbors, Britaincracked down more forcefully than on a few farms in Virginia. By using this example, students can utilizeconcepts from physical geography to understand why Boston was such a targeted city. They can thenapply that information to future scenarios involving trade and port cities. This is but one example, butvirtually any unit lesson in the curriculum book from the library can be taught by incorporatinggeography.Reviewing PDE SAS Standards of EducationAnalyzing is the next step, level 4, in Bloom’s Taxonomy. The ability to compare, contrast,criticizes, examine, and question a concept and its different components. I performed this level of
  9. 9. 9questioning when I reviewed the standards for Pennsylvania education in both history and geography.These standards are provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards Aligned System.The first question I pose is to what extent are the standards of history and geography curriculumintegrated. There are 15 PA standards for history, with 12 of them being the same standard applied toPA, U.S., and World history. In essence, Students have 7 history standards in whatever type of class theyhave at the time, be it one of the three categories previously mentioned. Of those 7 essential standards,only 2 include geography. Even then, they are merely mentioned as a subcategory of the standard itself(Appendix A). This apparent lack of geographical information in the history standards indicates thatstudents are not learning history in a proper, geographical context, thus missing many key factors inhistory.My second question asked while analyzing the standards was how well does geography andhistory compare to each other on a ranking list of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This is done in more detail in mysection on the standards themselves, but as a brief summary, geography standards fall short. By the 12thgrade level, 6 out of the 7 standards of geography ask for nothing higher than analyzing, level 4 ofBloom’s Taxonomy. History standards, by contrast, all hit at least level 5, with one of the standards evenreaching Creating (level 6), the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. In short, students are asked to domuch less in geography classes as then they are in history classes. The standards of questioning ingeography classes do not ask students to think as hard in geography classes, as compared to historystandards. The information is applied at low levels of thinking and thus disappears shortly.Another critique I have of geography standards in Pennsylvania is that there are no standardsfor 10thand 11thgrade. Geography is lumped as an environmental science class in many school districts,and thus takes a back seat to the “harder sciences” such as biology, chemistry, and physics. Students arenot expected to have to know geography very consistently in secondary education. Furthermore, there
  10. 10. 10is a decent gap between the expectations for 9thgrade and 12thgrade geography. I illustrate this pointby comparing the expectations between the two grades, and what levels of knowledge students areexpected to supply in each perspective grade. In 9thgrade, 5 of the 7 standards are at the second level ofanalysis, Understanding. Then, after 2 years of not having geography, 12thgrade students are expectedto apply level four Analysis concepts. There is a level gap that is randomly skipped between the twoyears. The fact that there are grade levels where geography is not required is a problem in itself, but theexpectation of stepping up the level of application without properly scaffolding geography techniquesthroughout the years is inefficient. History standards, by contrast, take a slightly more gradual increasethat mirrors students’ growth throughout high school. In 9thgrade, history standards have studentsthinking at level 4, Analyzing; In 12thgrade, the majority of the standards are at level 5, Evaluating, witha few at level 6. History is required throughout all of high school, and the skills necessary to meet thestandards of history start higher up the scale of Bloom’s Taxonomy then geography do. This makes iteasier for students to transition between history classes throughout the years, because students areonly going up one level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Geography standards, by contrast, skip 10thand 11thgradeand skip the Application of Bloom.This weakness of the standards I found during the analyzing section of my progress is the core ofmy argument. I believe that the standards of geography are far too weak in the Pennsylvania schoolsystem. Geography classes as a whole do not have the same level of standards as other science andsocial studies classes and are not as consistently present in school curriculum as they should be. Inaddition to this, geography is an significant part of history and thus should be completely integrated intothe standards of history. Instead, history standards glance over geography, giving it a backseat to otherissues such as economics and religion. Geography concepts are often the true, underlying concepts andreasons behind many events in history. The discipline should not be glossed over in the classroom. Myproposal is to integrate elements of physical and cultural geography into history classes in order to give
  11. 11. 11students the proper chances to apply their knowledge of geography. This has the added benefit ofessentially combining what is currently considered an earth science class into that of a social science.Teachers will argue that they do not have enough time to teach the concepts of both history andgeography into a single class period. I argue that the concepts are integrated so well with each other(even the more “science-y” concepts) that teachers are not doing their students justice when they teachhistory without geography.How do history teachers feel about teaching geography?At this point in my project, this is all just theory. My belief that students are not being taughtproper geography, especially concepts that apply to history, had been merely speculation. The next stepin my project, following Bloom’s Taxonomy, is to evaluate the validity of my theory. Is this a study worthlooking into? Is there actual merit to my argument? I decided to test this by sending out surveys to bothteachers and students to high schools and colleges in the area. For the teachers, I created a short surveydesigned to gather how they feel about geography in the classroom. Do they agree with me? Are theyusing more than just maps? Do they truly understand what geography is? These are all questions Isought to answer when sending out this survey (please see Appendix D). The responses to the teachersurveys were somewhat varied. In particular, the results fell into two categories: older teachers andyounger teachers. Several teachers who responded had been teaching for over 25 years. While theybelieve that geography is important to social studies and use maps often in their classrooms, neither ofthem assign map quizzes or tests in their classroom. I asked if they used any of the following map typesin their classrooms: political, land features, population, economic status, transportation routes,resources, languages, war maps, religion, and ancient history. Out of those 10 categories, the olderteachers utilized less than half of these categories into their geographical analysis of the content.
  12. 12. 12Furthermore, none of the survey takers over 25 years old articulated any substantial geographical toolsor even how to use them in the classroom.The groups of younger teachers, ones who have been teaching for less than 10 years, wereslightly better versed in the use of geography in the classroom. All of the younger teachers whoanswered my survey give students map quizzes and use a variety of maps in their classroom. Myproblem, however, is that when asked to describe what geography assignments were used in theclassroom, they amounted to little more than asking the students to label land features. When askedabout how they normally assess the knowledge of their students, most teachers responded that theyask students to evaluate and synthesize information presented to them and through their own research.Why then, are these same procedures not included when it comes to geography? The teachers whoresponded to this survey also had little to say when I asked if they know of any geographical toolsbesides maps, and how to apply them in the classroom. Geography is a discipline that seeks tounderstand spatial awareness and make connections between human and environmental interactions.Some tools to utilize are maps, geographic information systems, remote systems, mathematical models,participant observations, surveys, and graphs. Almost none of these tools are applied in high schoolclassrooms. This is a problem, because students should be given all the tools needed to maximize theirpotential when understanding the world in history classes.Analysis of Geography Quizzes given to High School and College Level StudentsThe next step of my project was to create a short geography quiz to be administered to highschool students and college level students. This was done in order to see if students are receiving thelevel of education required by the PA standards. The quizzes for the students was a short, 20-minutequiz I created to test the standards of history and geography (Appendix E). I selected questions that askfor elements of geography and historical geography, questions which fulfill both current Pennsylvania
  13. 13. 13standards (please see Appendix A and Appendix B). I pulled topics from US, World, and Pennsylvaniahistory in order to follow the guidelines specified in PA’s standards of education. The quiz was givenprimarily to high school students, with 20 college student participants to note any differences betweenage groups. Appendix F is a graphical representation and notes on the results the of the student results,which will now be explained. Appendix G is a series of graphs comparing the test results that include twosets of high school freshmen, one set of high school seniors, and one set of college level students.When evaluating the high school results, there were several criteria I looked for students toaccomplish. The first level of my evaluation was how consistent student results were with the levels ofBloom’s Taxonomy. My test had 14 questions, with a certain amount of questions dedicated to eachlevel of Bloom’s Taxonomy; for example, the first 5 questions were “Remembering,” the next 3questions were “Understanding,” and so on. Out of 35 students who participated in this initial phase ofthe study, the results were as follows:Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy # of students who correctly answeredout of 35 students (age 14-18)1. Remembering 16.42. Understanding 13.673. Applying 204. Analyzing 175. Evaluating 126. Creating 3My original theory is that students would perform best from levels 1-4, with a gradual decreasein correct answers as the students’ progress through the levels of Bloom. From this numericalrepresentation of academic skills, there appears to be a bell curve, with students having top skills inApplying and Analyzing. It is good to see that students are succeeding the most in level 3 and level 4 ofBloom’s Taxonomy, but looks can be deceiving from this analysis. I believe that students scored as highas they did in level 3 because question 9 of my student test (Appendix E) was potentially the vaguest
  14. 14. 14question on the test. I accepted a wide range of answers for the question because there are manyfactors that must be considered when building a city. Students were able to take what they know fromtheir home lives and apply it to a new scenario. The high score in level 4, Analyzing, should be explainedby a printing error when sending out the surveys to the students. Question 12, the second question thatfalls into Level 4 of Bloom, did not print out correctly when being given to the high school students, thusrendering that question impossible for them to answer. I decided to supplement data collected fromcollege students and converting it to the same scale I used to evaluate the high school students. Theproblem with that method, I now see, is that college students generally did far better on this exam thanhigh school students. Many of the concepts that students must apply on this exam are used constantlyin college; college students, many of them in their junior year, were far more prepared for this test. Byviewing the graphs in Appendix G, however, it is interesting to note the similarity in the shape of thecurves of freshman, senior, and college student results.Despite this slight error in the data, one can still gather that students are being taught the skillsnecessary to answer the later questions in my test, levels 5 and 6 of Bloom. Only a third of the studentswho participated were able to properly evaluate the content on the designated questions, and only 8%of the participants were able to create a true hypothesis for level 6. This is not even a matter of correctlyanswering the question; the participants did not defend their points or create a new argument. Theylisted a bunch of facts, but lacked the skills that are required for critical thinking and creation of newmaterial. This suggests that students are not being taught the skills designated by PA history standards.Students are able to remember short term information and apply it to new scenarios, but analytical,evaluative, and creative skills are lacking.How well students responded to the various levels of Bloom was the first level I analyzed theresults from. The second level was how well students were able to understand and utilize the maps and
  15. 15. 15graphs provided with questions 1-3, 8, 12, and 14. Students performed at much lower levels when askedto analyze maps, when compared to the questions without such visual aids. Multiple professors havetold me that one skill many employers are noticing that college students lack is the ability to accessinformation on a graph. Students do not know how to organize graphical information, properly take keyconcepts, and utilize graphs to see trends and create new ideas. The data from the participant resultsindicates that students are not effectively using visual aids. While the point of my study is thatmemorization should not be the key factor of education, it is still important. Students in history classeshave been looking at maps of the US and Europe all their lives. It is impossible to watch the news or flipthrough current events without crossing a map or chart. These skills are necessary in all disciplines. Byincorporating geography into history, history curriculum will become much more capable to helpstudents learn analytical and evaluative skills in a discipline that is normally lecture based, not graphbased.The third level that I analyzed the participant results were comparing how well studentsperformed at the three aspects of history that PA standards focus on: PA history, U.S. History, and WorldHistory. Unfortunately for my first batch of participants, the question on PA history became unusabledue to printer issues, so I must wait until my next set of high school data comes in. By using the collegeresponses, however, it is clear to see that most PA students have a good awareness of what happens inPA. Students know the basic geographic layout of this state and the population, political, and economiccenters of the state. For the most part, students were next best at US history. The education systemappears to be doing a good job at teaching students early colonization of America, important landfeatures of America and how they have been historically used, and general population trends of thenation. My only critique of their knowledge is when I asked students to correctly match 10 states on amap of the United States. Almost every student was able to answer the New England states and eventhe states in the south. This may potentially be explained by their proximity to Northeastern America
  16. 16. 16and their education of the south during Civil War units. My critique stems from the fact that most highschool students were not able to match southwestern and Midwestern states of America. As a trend,the farther away from Pennsylvania those students had to match, the less likely the students werecorrect at guessing the states. I believe this comes from a general belief that “there is nothing in theMidwest,” to quote my little sister. Regardless, it is disappointing to see that 12 years of historyeducation has not properly taught students where the states are located in their own country. This isalso apparent in question 7 of my test. Every PA student knew that New York City is among the top 2biggest cities in America, but almost none knew that Los Angeles (on the other side of the country) is thesecond largest city in America.The next section of the test that I would like to look at is world geography. Student scores on theworld geography questions were poor. I asked students to match countries in the Middle Eastspecifically because it is currently a large part of the news and recent history, considering the Gulf Warand Iraq War. Only 1/5thof the students can be considered competent in Middle Eastern geography.Major land features in Asia, top world languages, necessary transportation routes; students weregenerally not able to answer questions at a global level. The one exception to this trend is how wellstudents performed when asked to label countries in Europe, but I contribute this anomaly to theintensive focus history curriculum put in European history. Students are not given enough true worldhistory in PA curriculum. Students do not know world trends and how they affect history outside ofWestern culture. I fully believe that if I had asked questions about Africa or eastern Asia, I would havehad even poorer results than I received on knowledge that students consistently receive in PAclassrooms. This trend of decreasing knowledge from PA historical geography, to U.S. and finally Worldhistory, shows that students are missing the most fundamentals of geography: spatial awareness. Ourschool systems focus so much on material that directly relates to us that students miss out on the muchlarger picture, creating an egocentric society of Western culture.
  17. 17. 17While I am attempting to analyze a lot for these results, I will acknowledge and critique themechanics of my own study. My first critique, one that I have already stated, is the printer problems thatmade question 12 unusable on the test. Until my next set of results comes in, there is not proper dataon level 4 of Bloom, analyzing. I also recognize that this initial data comes from a relatively small groupof students in a rather homogeneous school district. In an ideal study, I would have far more test resultsfrom a variety of school districts. Lack of teacher respondents and time constraints made this impossiblefor the initial phase of my study, however. I also recognize that the questions on my test tried to cover alarge amount of material (PA, US, and World history/geography), and thus is not as comprehensive ordetailed as I would like. Finally, this test was given during valuable classroom time in high schools. Assuch, I believe that most students were pressed for time and were unable to answer questions as fully asthey might have without the time constraint. This would have been difficult to overcome, because I wasalready asking a large favor of the high school teachers for taking out their time to help me with thisstudy. This was a brisk study and would need many more results to show any truly conclusive data.A Proposed SolutionFrom the application of Bloom and the geography test administered to different levels ofstudents, I argue that the current PA standards of education do not properly incorporate aspects ofgeography into history curriculum. My solution is to revise the PA standards of education. I will do thisby combining the standards of history and geography into a single comprehensive list, whilesimultaneously rewording the standards in such a way that students are required to utilize higher orderthinking skills as per Bloom’s Taxonomy. The new standards for history curriculum in Pennsylvania areoutlined in Appendix H. The new standards are combinations from both disciplines through which bothgoals can be accomplished in the same lesson. I have also added a new category of standards titledHistorical Analysis of Current Events. I added this category for two reasons. The first reason is because
  18. 18. 18the characteristics of any current society stem from a combination of historic and geographic factors,thus making the present an important part of history. The second reason is because it gives students aplace in school where they can combine their knowledge of history and apply it to the world aroundthem. From personal observations, I have found that the main reason that students who do not enjoyhistory feel that way is because they do not believe it affects the world today. By providing a standardwhich allows students to make connections between present day events and the factors of the past thathave caused them, students will have an increased awareness and a more cosmopolitan viewpoint ofthe world around them.There are several benefits to the implementation of the new history standards. The main benefitwhich I had brought up earlier in this paper is that students will be called on to think more criticallyabout information presented to them. The current standards do not challenge students to think withtheir total capacity. The new standards will ask teachers to increase the level of difficulty of materialgiven to the students. This will help students in the long run because they will enter college moreprepared to use critical, analytical, and synthetic skills that will make them more competitive in the jobmarket. For the students, an increase in geography taught in their history classrooms will be beneficialbecause geography has many visual components; graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, etc. History classesare often based in verbal teaching methods due to lecturing of stories and events. An increase ingeographic tools in the classroom will appeal to students who are visual learners who may havedifficulty in a classroom that is normally based in audio memorization.Possibly the most beneficial aspect of the new history standards is the integration of differentdisciplines into a single classroom. While geography is included in the social sciences, the discipline alsohas strong connections to the physical sciences and is often presented as earth sciences at thesecondary level. If applied effectively, history teachers would be teaching many aspects of geography
  19. 19. 19that fit into a science classroom, thus giving students knowledge from two different but connected fieldsof study. In a tough economy where school districts are tightening their belts and trying to find ways tocombine classrooms, these new standards that integrate multiple disciplines into the same lesson wouldbe ideal. History classes are currently focused on less than the other main fields of study becausestandardized testing focuses on math, English, and more recently, science. By combining the socialsciences with the earth sciences of geography, students in their history classes will be practicing for theirscience exams. Integrating different disciplines also helps students see connections between classes. Allteachers should strive for this level of integration in their lesson plans.Demonstrating This SolutionOne of the critiques of this solution is that history classes already have enough information tocover and that I am asking teachers to cover too much material in a single lesson plan. My response tothis is that it is indeed possible to fit content knowledge of geography with only a minimal sacrifice ofother information. It is more beneficial for a student to learn how to understand material from multipleperspectives and multiple disciplines than for the student to learn an intense amount of informationabout a single event in history, only to forget it once the summative exam is over. In order todemonstrate this point, I created lesson plans that align with my revised standards that could beeffectively implemented in the corresponding history classroom: Pennsylvania history, American history,World history, etc. These lesson plans should show that with a little creativity and by looking attraditional lesson plans from a geographic perspective, these revised standards can easily fit into theclassroom setting. These lessons and activities are a combination of original lesson plans of my own andmodified lesson plan activities from free educational websites such as EDSITEment I would like to show that pre-existing lesson plans can be altered to gaingeographic concepts while retaining their historical significance. I also seek to show examples of
  20. 20. 20activities of lesson plans that align with my standards, in order to demonstrate that other teachers havetaken strides to include advanced levels of geography in their lessons. Five of the fifteen lesson plansincorporate activities from educational websites; the source of those lesson plan activities is indicated atthe bottom of my lesson plans. I intend to accomplish my goal of higher level thinking in terms ofgeography with my lesson plans and their corresponding standards through my examples listed below.For each standard described below, please locate the corresponding lesson plan to see the supportingactivities. I will also note that there are no lesson plans for standards 8.1.12.A and 8.1.12.B listed inAppendix H because they were not altered in any way to incorporate an enhanced understanding ofgeography.Lesson Plan 1: GerrymanderingStandard 8.1.12.C: Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical and geographic data, using geographictools to create a product that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawnfrom researchThe goal of this standard is to teach students how to understand data and to give them thechance to manipulate that data into a new form. In this case, I decided to use a lesson plan thatincorporates the political concept of gerrymandering, the redistribution of county lines in order to breakup political parties in an area. In this lesson plan, students are given maps that show gradient of racialdiversity and political parties respectively. Students must deduce how gerrymandering would be appliedto those maps based off the numeric and graphic data presented. Students are asked to do more thanmemorize the map or find a location. They have to be able to explain what is happening on the map andhow it applies to the political injustice of gerrymandering, a concept which makes more sense to explainvisually than verbally. Furthermore, students must practice gerrymandering themselves by redrawingthe lines on the maps to accurately simulate the concept, giving students the chance to get hands-on
  21. 21. 21with modern practices of drawing census lines based of geographic data. This lesson integrates history,geography, and politics.Lesson Plan 2: Napoleon in RussiaStandard 8.1.12.D: Assess how physical changes to a region may have global impact on historicalsocietiesThere are two geographic elements in this lesson plan to address. The first is teaching studentsthe geographic term of specific heat and having students apply specific heat to the land mass of Asia.Specific heat is taught in science classes such as oceanography and chemistry, thus linking scientificlessons with historical events. The lesson on specific heat was developed to give kids an explanationbehind the well known concept of “Russia is cold.” Specific heat helps to explain this ideal in a morescholarly method. The second geographic element of this lesson plan is the analysis of the temperaturecycles graph. Students have to pull information from the graph draw conclusions from that information.This was designed to address the lacking of many students’ ability to read charts; this concern has beenvoiced by many of my professors, seeing as how the ability to accurately read data is a valuable skill inthe job market. With the temperature graph, students can understand how scientific data can helpcontribute an understanding to historical events.Lesson Plan 3: Canals in PennsylvaniaStandard 8.2.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individuals from Pennsylvania played in the social,political, cultural, environmental, and economic development of the U.S., world.This is the first of several standards that will address Pennsylvania History classrooms. This is thefirst attempt to increase the level of geography standard 7.4.12.B. This new standard focuses the regionof study in the original geography standard as well as pushes the level of thinking from analyzing human
  22. 22. 22activity to evaluating human activity. This lesson plan in particular asks students to evaluate the impactof entrepreneurs on the transportation network in Pennsylvania and their manipulation of theenvironment to suit their needs. In the 19thcentury, entrepreneurs tried to create manmade waterwaysto lower the costs of transportation and bridge the gap between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Studentsare put into groups and must answer questions on a community Google Doc that call students to judgethe impact of these entrepreneurs on the history of Pennsylvania. Students are introduced to the topicby having them evaluate the pros and cons of various transportation methods that run historic andmodern economies.Lesson Plan 4: Iron SmeltingStandard 8.2.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processes ofplaces and regions in Pennsylvania which are critical to U.S. history and the worldThis standard was altered from its original form to include “physical processes” as a factor toconsider when assessing impacts on history. Historical documents and artifacts can indeed have aprofound effect on history, but the landscape itself has been overlooked as a factor that determines thecharacter of an area. In this lesson plan, students examine images of coal mining furnaces and exploreone of the most well known industries in Pennsylvania. Students discuss the impact of Appalachia andthe natural resources provided by the land itself to the industry. The students are also asked to look atcensus data on the current job market breakdown in Pennsylvania and decide if the coal industry is stillimportant to the state’s character. Once again, students are given maps that require analysis of naturalresources instead of memorization of locations.
  23. 23. 23Lesson Plan 5: Influenza in PhiladelphiaStandard 8.2.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of physical processes of regions in Pennsylvaniaare interrelated to the U.S. and the world: Physical and human geography of population andsettlementThis lesson plan discusses the influenza epidemic of 1917-1918 and its effect on Philadelphia.Students will learn about the different types of diseases and how they are spread throughout apopulation. Students will discuss the origins of the influenza disease and note its spatial diffusion acrosscontinents. They are given several charts to analyze; one chart shows the death curves of the virus, andanother chart compares the death rates of casualties of war and disease, showing how the environmentis an even deadlier killer than humans are to each other. Students also have to make decisions based ona map of their own school and create what they think is the best way to prevent transmitted diseases inthe school. This activity forces students to think critically about disease diffusion in their own setting andmake decisions that school boards must make on a regular basis about keeping their population safe.Lesson Plan 6: History of Philadelphia8.2.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups and organizations inPennsylvania and how they have influenced the growth and development of the US and the world.This lesson plan addresses the first of my standards that deals with determining factors: factorsthat explain the origins or reason behind a historical event, usually a decision made. In this case,students explore the origins of Philadelphia’s location and why it is located at its current spot. Studentswill create a map and then be asked to assess the connection between the location of “fall line” cities onthe East Coast of America. While students will at first be doing the rote activity of filling out a map, thecore of the activity is the analysis afterwards. Students will compare the maps they created with an
  24. 24. 24elevation chart to see how well their work matches up with professional data. Students will discuss theconnection between the elevation of landmasses in Pennsylvania and how that contributes to thecooperation of early settlers of the Philadelphia region. Students should gain an understanding of howthe land itself plays an important role in determining settlement location.Lesson 7: A New Deal DamsStandard 8.3.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individual played in the social, political, cultural,environmental, and economic development of the U.S., world.Standard 8.3.12.A is the same standard as 8.2.12.A (Lesson Plan 3); the difference is that this isthe first of the standards that addresses United States history instead of Pennsylvania history. In thislesson, students are directed to take a closer looks at programs created by the government during theNew Deal to help American citizens with the Depression. Students will split up into groups, research oneof the New Deal programs, and create a brochure detailing the effectiveness of the program. Studentsmust also review another group’s brochure. My focus behind this lesson plan is less about geographyand more about the level of questioning being asked. In this lesson, students must synthesize factsabout a government program in order to create a marketable product, essentially “selling” theirprogram. Students have to judge what information is necessary as well as judge the effectiveness of theprogram itself, using evidence to support their conclusion. This requires more than listing information. Istill throw in a bit of geography by providing an example of a brochure for the students to look at. Myexample explains the benefits and consequences of the dams built by the Tennessee Valley Authorityand its effect on the local environment. Many of the programs that the students have to choose fromalso involve Americans changing their environment, which would likely come up in the students’research.
  25. 25. 25Lesson 8: Life on the Plains8.3.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processes of places andregions which are critical to U.S. history and the world.This lesson plan is focused completely on the land itself in the Midwestern Plains region of theUnited States. This lesson plans calls on students to study pictures of the environment from theperspectives of both the Native Americans and westward expanding settlers. Students must interprethow these unique groups of people view the land and how those viewpoints shape the character of theGreat Plains. What can primary sources of sodbuster photographs and Indian tribal paintings teachstudents about culture? How does the geography of the landscape decide what this culture is? These arequestions the students will explore. Students must put themselves into the shoes of these groups andwrite a letter back to their families, describing the environment and their new life on the plains. Theymust give an opinion on life in the plains, which falls under the questioning level of evaluation andassessment. At the beginning of the lesson, students will be given a worksheet on orographic lift, thephysical process of this region of the United States that explains the dry terrain. Students must be ableto explain this process.Lesson 9: 1950s Suburbia8.3.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of regions in the U.S. are interrelated to the U.S. and theworld: Physical and human geography of population and settlementThis lesson plan introduces students to a subcategory of geography known as urban geography,the study of cities and urban growth. In this lesson plan, students must examine the effects of theautomobile on the physical layout of city development. Through readings, students will look at thepolitical, economic, and social functions of automobiles. Students will learn about President
  26. 26. 26Eisenhower’s push for the highway system across America that is still in place today. Students will haveto reconstruct Adam’s Model of urban development and be able to explain the factors that led to thepattern of urban development during each of the eras in the model. The model can be applied to GoogleEarth images of modern cities, especially with Google Earth’s timeline feature. While not used in thislesson plan, the teacher can use the road function of Google Earth to further connect the photograph ofthe city with the model discussed in class.Lesson 10: Trail of Tears8.3.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups and organizations inthe U.S. and how they have influenced the growth and development of the U.S. and the world.This lesson plan demonstrates the next of the “determining factors” standards. This lesson plandetails the relocation of Indian Tribes from their established homes in Georgia to the rough territory ofOklahoma in the 1830s. This goal of this lesson plan is twofold. First, students examine the primarydocument of the Indian Relocation Act and must evaluate President Jackson’s justifications for removingthe Indians from their land. The ability to judge an action and form an opinion on that judgment isamong the higher levels of thinking, according to Bloom. The second goal of this lesson is to havestudents be able to explain the reason behind the Indian relocation in the first place, thus thedetermining factor. In the case of the Trail of Tears, the reason for their relocation is in the land itself.The Indians were sitting on large deposits of gold which white people wanted. Had the Indians not hadland on that gold, it is likely that this lesson plan would never be created. Students are asked to look at amap and must be able to pull political boundaries from the map in order to explain why the Indianswere relocated to Oklahoma.
  27. 27. 27Lesson Plan 11: The Columbian Exchange8.4.12.A: Evaluate the role of groups and individuals in the social, political, cultural, environmental, andeconomic development of world history.In this lesson plan, students will take a look at the Columbian Exchange, the transmission ofproducts and diseases between the Old World and the New World. In this lesson plan, students will lookinto the origins of crops and foods that are common in their own daily diets. Students will assess theimpact of the Columbian Exchange on their own lives in this manner. They will be given a small projectwhere they have to create a comparison chart between the items exchanged between the NativeAmericans and the European settlers. Students will discuss the geographic term spatial diffusion and beshown a video clip of Walmart’s spatial diffusion across America. For homework, students must furtherassess the Columbian Exchange by examining the scientific reasons behind the disproportionateexchange of disease between the two sets of continents. Students have to make connections betweendiseases, animal domestication, and isolation.Lesson 12: Understanding the Treaty of Versailles8.4.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processes of places andregions which are critical to world history.8.4.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups and organizations andhow they have influenced the growth and development of the world.The topic of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I encompasses two of my standards. I triedto fit a lot of material into one lesson plan and decided that this topic needs to consist of a 2 day periodin order to hit both standards properly. Standard 8.4.12.D is the first one to be addressed in the lesson.The students are split into pairs and must compare maps of Europe in 1914 and in 1919. The students
  28. 28. 28have to discover what is different about the two maps without being able to see the other person’smap. Students will be given a discussion on the classifications on borders between countries, bothphysical and cultural. The teacher will discuss the reasons that the Allies decided to redraw the bordersof Europe. Then, students must decide if the Allies made good decisions in the borders they created andwhether those borders contributed to further conflict between ethnic groups. Standard 8.4.12.B isaddressed by having the students look specifically at the punishments enforced on Germany. Studentslook at the primary document of the Rhineland articles to see the exact punishments. The teacher willdirect the students to the punishments taken on particular regions of Germany, such as thedemilitarized zone of the Rhineland and the industrial region that seriously impacted Germany’seconomy. Upon learning about these punishments on Germany, students must decide if the Allies werejustified in their harsh treatment of Germany by splitting up the country.Lesson 13: Global Disasters8.4.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of physical processes of places and regions areinterrelated throughout the world: Commerce and industryThis lesson plan would be implemented in the later stages of a world history class. The teacherstarts by leading a demonstration on the recent trend of globalization between the cultures andeconomies of the world. Students must work on a pro-con chart where the students decide whichcountries benefit and which countries lose out in a globalized world. Then, students will have to act asthe economic advisor for a country that has recently been hit by a natural disaster. The students mustpick a recent natural disaster and look up data on the economic impact that disaster had on the country.Students must be able to describe which local exports were affected by the natural disaster and whichimporting countries suffered the most from the natural disaster. The students must also be able toexplain the geographic processes that led to the natural disaster itself and assess how their country can
  29. 29. 29prevent a second natural disaster from having the same effect. Finally, students must evaluate the effectof globalization on their own lives and how life would be different if the countries of the world were notglobalized.Lesson 14: The Gift of the Nile8.5.12.A: Evaluate the significance of physical and historical processes in shaping the character of placesand regionsThis lesson plan calls on the students to combine what they learn about ancient Egypt and applyit to modern world problems. Students will evaluate the importance of the Nile on the culture of Egypt.Students will learn specific geographic terms such as annual flooding periods known as inundation andstream load. The students will read an online article discussing how the consistency of the Nile affectedthe mindset of the ancient Egyptians, specifically their positive outlook on life and belief in cycles. Afterdiscussing the Nile’s effect on ancient Egypt, the students must them consider the river’s effect on themodern economy of Egypt. Students are presented with a common international issue of water flow. Inthis case, students must work in groups and petition the government of Sudan to stop their project ofbuilding a dam that will decrease the flow of water into Egypt. Students must be able to explain theaspects of modern Egypt that still rely heavily on this source of water.Lesson 15: Location of Los AngelesStandard 8.5.12.B: Support determining factors for current day events in their historical context.In this lesson plan, students will learn about the factors that led to Los Angeles being the secondmost economically important city in the United States. Standard 8.5.12.B was created to give studentsan increased understanding of the modern world by helping them to trace determining factors throughtime. The main activity of this lesson has the students split up into 3 groups. Each group reads an article
  30. 30. 30on one of the 3 factors that led to the rise of Los Angeles as an economic powerhouse, each of which isrelated to its location in the United States. Oranges in Los Angeles were only made possible due to thewarm climate. The city also is located near some of the better oil fields in America. The third groupanalyzes the city’s location in regards to transportation routes. Students will have to be able to explainthe factor they learned about to 2 other students who had the other two factors for LA’s success. Finally,the students will have to compare Los Angeles with San Francisco via map and Google Earth in order tounderstand some of the demographic and economic differences between the cities.ConclusionThrough the course of this project, I have strived to explain and demonstrate the benefits ofapplying Bloom’s Taxonomy to the Pennsylvania standards of education with geography. By increasingthe difficulty level of the standards of education, I hope to help improve the quality of education acrossthe state by raising the bar for teachers as well as students. I tried to incorporate geography into historylessons at a far deeper level than seems to be currently present in the classroom. Even without changingthe standards, it is apparent that geographic concepts are not being properly handled in the socialstudies classroom. While “the study of the earth” may have strong roots in the science field, which doesnot mean that its principles should not be touched on in the social studies classroom. Geography is,after all, one of the social sciences and should command a strong presence in the social studiesclassroom. History is often focused on the most in high school education. These new standards are anattempt to widen that focus. Through my lesson plans, I wished to demonstrate that it is possible toincorporate ways to teach and study geography without terribly detracting from the history lesson. I amnot trying to say that every single history lesson should have a geographic component. I am stronglysuggesting that teachers should add geographic elements when they will be beneficial to theunderstanding of the historical content. While some people may disagree with my views on the subject,
  31. 31. 31I hope that this study will at least get people thinking about the standards of education of the socialstudies and whether a revision of those standards will be beneficial to the increasing level of educationour society is calling for. As a future educator myself, I hope to spread the importance of analyzing oursystem rather than blindly accepting it. Regardless of the impact this study makes, I know that I am farbetter prepared for synthesizing geography and history in my classrooms.
  32. 32. 32Appendix A: History Standards, 12thgradeStandard Level ofBloom’sTaxonomy8.1- Historical Analysis and Skills Developmento 8.1.12.A: Evaluate patterns of continuity and rates of change over time,applying context of events5o 8.1.12.B: Evaluate the interpretation of historical events and sources,considering the use of fact versus opinion, multiple perspectives, andcause and effect relationships5o 8.1.12.C: Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical data, creating aproduct that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences andconclusions drawn from research68.2- Pennsylvania Historyo 8.2.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individuals from Pennsylvaniaplayed in the social, political, cultural, and economic development of theU.S. and the world.5o 8.2.12.B: Evaluate the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and placesin Pennsylvania which are critical to U.S. history and the world.5o 8.2.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change in Pennsylvania areinterrelated to the U.S. and the world Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography Social organizations5o 8.2.12.D: Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations in Pennsylvania have influenced the growth anddevelopment of the US and the world.58.3- U.S. Historyo 8.3.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individuals from the U.S. played inthe social, political, cultural, and economic development of the world.5o 8.3.12.B: Evaluate the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and placesin U.S. History which are critical to world history.5o 8.3.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change in U.S. history areinterrelated to the world. Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry5
  33. 33. 33 Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography Social organizationso 8.3.12.D: Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations in the U.S. have influenced the growth and development ofthe world.58.4- World Historyo 8.4.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individuals played in the social,political, cultural, and economic development throughout world history.5o 8.4.12.B: Evaluate the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and placesthat are critical to world history.5o 8.4.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change have impacted the worldtoday. Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography Social organizations5o 8.4.12.D: Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations have impacted the development of the world today,including its effects on Pennsylvania..5
  34. 34. 34Appendix B: Geography Standards: 12thGradeStandard Level of Bloom’sTaxonomyStandard Area 7.1: Basic Geographical Literacyo 7.1.12.A: Use geographic tools to analyze information about theinteraction between people, places, and the environment4 (PC)o 7.1.12.B: Assess how physical changes to a region may have globalimpact5 (P)Standard Area 7.2: Physical Characteristics of Places and Regionso 7.2.12.A: Analyze the physical characteristics of places and regions,including the interrelationships among the components of Earth’sphysical system4 (P)o 7.2.12.B: Analyze the significance of physical processes in shaping thecharacter of places and regions4 (P)Standard Area 7.3: Human Characteristics of Places and Regionso 7.3.12.A: Analyze the human characteristics of places and regions usingthe following criteria: Population Culture Settlement Economic Activities4 (C)Standard Area 7.4: Interactions between people and the environmento 7.4.12.A: Analyze the global effects of changes in the physical systems4 (P)o 7.4.12.B: Analyze the global effects of human activity on the physicalsystems4 (C)In the Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy column:o P = physical geographyo C = cultural geography
  35. 35. 35Appendix C: Book ResourcesBelow is a list of book resources I used to help further my understanding of geography,history, standards of education, and teaching methods.America: Pathways to the Present – Cayton, Perry, Reed, WinklerEncouraging Skillful, Critical, and Creative Thinking- workbook developed by Richard D. Solomon andNeil A. DavidsonFive Themes of Geography- Cheryl S. KnightGIS in Schools- Richard Audet and Gail LudwigGive Me Liberty! An American History Volume 1 – Eric FonerGuns, Germs, and Steel- Jarod DiamondHow to Use Maps and Globes- Helen H. CareyMeeting the Needs of your Most Able Pupils: Geography – Jane FerrettiNational Geography Standards: 1994- U.S. Department of EducationPhysical Geography: Science and Systems of the Human Environment – Alan StrahlerRegional Landscapes of the United States and Canada – Stephen S. BirdsallTeaching Geography – Phil GersmehlTeaching Global Literacy Using Mnemonics- Joan EbbsesmoyerThe Cultural Landscape: An introduction to Human Geography – James M. RubensteinThe Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volumes 1-4 – D.W. Meinig
  36. 36. 36APPENDIX D: Social Studies Teacher SurveyThank you for participating in this survey. This survey is part of a study that is attempting to analyzehistory curriculum in Pennsylvania. Your answers are very important for this study. Thanks again!1. Howe long have you been teaching?2. What grades do you teach?o 6tho 7tho 8tho 9tho 10tho 11tho 12th3. What types of social studies classes do you teach?o US Historyo US Governmento World Historyo European Historyo Ancient Historyo Economicso Sociologyo Anthropologyo Other4. In history, how important are dates to your lesson?o Not importanto Not very importanto Doesn’t matter to you either wayo Somewhat importanto Very important
  37. 37. 375. What types of tests do you primarily give to your students?o Multiple choiceo Short answero True/falseo Essayo Single test combination of multiple choice, short answer, true false, and essayo Other6. In general, what kind of projects do you give in your class?7. In your own words, what is geography?8. How important do you think geography is to social studies?o not importanto not very importanto doesn’t matter to you either wayo somewhat importanto very important9. How often do you use maps in your classroom?o Dailyo Several times per weeko Once per weeko Several times per montho Once per montho Rarely/never
  38. 38. 3810. Do you give your students map quizzes/assignments?o Yeso No11. If you give your students map quizzes or assignments, how often do you givethem?o dailyo several times per weeko several times per montho once per montho rarely/never12. What do those quizzes/projects look like? In other words, what are yourstudents required to do?13. What types of maps do you show your students? Circle all that apply.o Politicalo Land featureso Populationo Economic statuso Transportation routeso Resourceso Languageo War/battle mapso Religiono Ancient historyo Other14. Other than maps, what other geography tools can you think of? Can any ofthem be used in your classroom?
  39. 39. 39Appendix E: Student Tests1. Attached to the back of this packet is a map of the United States. Please match the 10 stateslisted with their abbreviation. Only label the states listed.2. In the map to the left, please label the countries with their letter:a. Britainb. Francec. Russiad. Germanye. Italyf. Spaing. Polandh. GreeceBlack Sea3. Please label:a. Afghanistanb. Iraqc. Irand. Egypte. Israel4. What is the most spoken language in the world?a. Spanishb. Mandarinc. Englishd. Hindustani
  40. 40. 405. What geographical border has historically separated India from China?a. Himalaya Mountainsb. Ganges Riverc. Alps Mountainsd. Yellow River6. What natural event frequently happens in India?a. Earthquakesb. Volcano eruptionsc. El Nino effectd. Monsoon7. What are the two largest cities in America? What about their location makes them soimportant?a.b.8. By examining this map of population change, it is clear that people are moving to the Southwestand Florida, while people are leaving the Midwest. Can you think of several reasons why this is?9. Imagine that you are a city planner. You have been given the task of choosing where a new cityshould be built. What are 2-3 factors that you should consider when you pick a location?a.
  41. 41. 41b.c.10. Why are the Great Lakes so important to America? Why are the Appalachia Mountains such ahindrance?11. Compare and Contrast the impact that the physical landscape had on settlement inMassachusetts vs. Virginia.12. Examine this political map of the 2008 presidential election. What assumptions can you predictabout demographics and population density in the respective areas? ( blue= republican,red = democrat)13. Many scholars argue that the United States was blessed with physical traits and resources thathave led to its general success in today’s economy. Defend this point by listing several (3-4) ofthese physical traits.14. Throughout its history, Russia has constantly fought for control over the Black Sea, located onthe map in question #2. The Black Sea connects to the Mediterranean Sea and has been foughtover in World War I and the Cold War. In several sentences, formulate a hypothesis describingwhy the Black Sea is so important to Russia
  42. 42. 42Question 1 Map. Label the following states:- Minnesota -MN- Arizona - AZ- Alabama- AL- Iowa- IA- New Hampshire - NH- Idaho- ID- Kentucky- KY- Massachusetts - MA- Illinois- IL- Missouri - MO
  43. 43. 43Appendix F: Raw Data for High School Y
  44. 44. 44Appendix G: Student Tests Graphic ResultsThe following graphs display the test scores on my student tests. These results show the percentof students in each grade group that answered each of the 14 questions correctly on the test. Theanalysis of these graphs is described earlier in this paper. I have kept the names of the schools private asper requested by the teachers who administered the test in the accompanying school districts. Here isthe breakdown of student participants in their respective sets:School X Freshmen = 30 StudentsSchool Y Freshmen = 8 StudentsSchool Y Seniors = 26 StudentsCollege Level Students = 20 StudentsGraph 10204060801001201 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14%ofCorrectResponsesTest Question Number9th Grade Results- School X and School YSchool XSchool Y
  45. 45. 45Graph 2The data on this graph is intriguing because for the first 9 questions of the test, freshmen outperformedseniors. Seniors at this high school scored better on questions 10-14, which consisted of the higher levelquestions according to Bloom. Are freshmen better at simpler thinking skills? Do seniors learn analyticaland evaluation skills that they didn’t have as freshmen?0.0020.0040.0060.0080.00100.00120.001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14PercentofStudentswithCorrectResponsesTest Question NumberFreshmen and Seniors Results - School YSchool Y 9thGradeSchool Y 12thGrade
  46. 46. 46Graph 3The scores displayed on this graph are almost parallel, with the college level students slightlyoutperforming School Y’s seniors across the board.01020304050607080901001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14PercentofStudentswithCorrectResponsesTest Question NumberCollege vs. School Y 12th Grade ResultsSchool Y 12th GradeCollege
  47. 47. 47Graph 4*One item which is interesting to note is how relatively consistent the curves are between all four testgroups. Most of the peak scores and trough scores align. In order to make sure that all the test scoreswere accurate representation of the data set, I calculated the scores into a standard deviation test foreach respective set of data.0204060801001201 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14PercentofStudentswithCorrectResponsesTest Question NumberAll Study Group ResultsSchool Y 9th GradeSchool Y 12th GradeScool X 9th GradeCollege Students
  48. 48. 48Appendix H: History Standards 12thgrade: revisedStandard Bloom’s TaxonomyLevel8.1- Historical Analysis and Skills Developmento 8.1.12.A: Evaluate patterns of continuity and rates of change over time, applying context ofevents5o 8.1.12.B: Evaluate the interpretation of historical events and sources, considering the useof fact versus opinion, multiple perspectives, and cause and effect relationships5o 8.1.12.C: Analyze, synthesize, and integrate historical and geographic data, usinggeographic tools to create a product that supports and appropriately illustrates inferencesand conclusions drawn from research GEG 7.1.12.A6o 8.1.12.D: Assess how physical changes to a region may have global impact on historicalsocieties GEG 7.1.12.B58.2- Pennsylvania Historyo 8.2.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individuals from Pennsylvania played in the social,political, cultural, environmental, and economic development of the U.S., world. GEG 7.4.12.B5o 8.2.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processesof places and regions in Pennsylvania which are critical to U.S. history and the world. GEG 7.2.12.A5o 8.2.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of regions in Pennsylvania are interrelatedto the U.S. and the world Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography of population and settlement Social organizationsGEG 7.3.12.A5o 8.2.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations in Pennsylvania and how they have influenced the growth and developmentof the US and the world.58.3- U.S. Historyo 8.3.12.A: Evaluate the role groups and individual played in the social, political, cultural,environmental, and economic development of the U.S., world. GEG 7.4.12.B5o 8.3.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processesof places and regions which are critical to U.S. history and the world. GEG 7.2.12.A5
  49. 49. 49o 8.3.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of regions in the U.S. are interrelated to theU.S. and the world Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography of population and settlement Social organizationsGEG 7.3.12.A5o 8.3.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations in the U.S. and how they have influenced the growth and development ofthe U.S. and the world.58.4- World Historyo 8.4.12.A: Evaluate the role of groups and individuals in the social, political, cultural,environmental, and economic development of world history. GEG 7.4.12.B5o 8.4.12.B: Assess the impact of historical documents, artifacts, and the physical processesof places and regions which are critical to world history. GEG 7.2.12.A5o 8.4.12.C: Evaluate how continuity and change of regions are interrelated throughout theworld Belief systems and religions Commerce and industry Technology Politics and government Physical and human geography of population and settlement Social organizationsGEG 7.3.12.A5o 8.4.12.D: Evaluate determining factors of conflict and cooperation among groups andorganizations and how they have influenced the growth and development of the world.58.5- Historical Analysis of Current Eventso 8.5.12.A: Evaluate the significance of physical and historical processes in shaping thecharacter of places and regions GEG 7.2.12.B5o 8.5.12.B: Support determining factors for current day events in their historical context. 5In the standards listed above:o Green indicates the supplication of geography into the base history standardo Purple indicates the source of the geography supplications from the original PAstandards of geography for 12thgrade