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Teacher Edition

Week of January 20, 2019

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Our weekend was busy as usual. We investigated the map coordinates provided and the caller ID telephone number. Did you figure out anything about the telephone number? We surely did. Whoever sent us the message, mustn't realize who they are dealing with. The telephone number was 1-555-837-4827. Uncle GT thought that the final 7-numbers represented something or someone. So, we decoded the numbers (we attached the link with the telephone keypad, if you want to take a peek). The number 8 could be T, U, or V. The number 3 could be D, E, or F. The number 7 could be P, Q, R, or S. We tried various combinations of letters trying to spell the beginning of a word. Nothing seemed to fit with U as the first letter. And the only letter that could be the second letter was E (none of the consonant letters fit together - td, tf, vd, or vf). So we had either TE or VE for the first 2 letters. We quickly decoded the final 5 numbers and realized that 837-4827 spelled VERITAS. Holy Idaho!

After we solved the first mystery, we had to figure out where the message was telling us to travel. The map coordinates provided were 5 00 S, 140 00 E. We asked for your help to figure out the map coordinates. The majority of our blog readers chose Tonga. But we used the attached map (see the link below) and found Tonga at about 20 00 S, 185 00 E - so we didn't decide to go to Tonga. 5 00 S, 140 E is actually Papua New Guinea. So we booked the next flight heading towards Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country in Oceania. This country is a group of islands (like many other countries in Oceania), including the eastern side of the island of New Guinea. The other half of the island of New Guinea is part of Indonesia. We attached a map for you to take an up close look at Papua New Guinea. The overall size of this country is a bit larger than the state of California. We have learned a lot about Papua New Guinea from a lovely older man who rode our bus from the airport to the hotel. Most of the country has a tropical climate. In fact, they even experience monsoons! Monsoons are strong systems of wind. They influence the climate of a large area. They can even bring in heavy, HEAVY rains.

Papua New Guinea has only a small amount of arable land: .49%, about half of 1 percent. Do you remember what arable land means? It means that the land can be used to grow crops. Holy Idaho! If they have less than one percent of arable land, they mustn't grow many crops. Strangely, over 85% of the workforce works in agriculture! They may not be able to grow many crops, but what they do grow is very profitable. Some of the most profitable crops include coffee, cocoa, tea, sugar, sweet potatoes, vanilla, fruit, shellfish, vegetables, pork, and poultry. I wonder where these crops are exported. If a crop (or another product) is exported, that means that it is sent or transported to another country or area (for money).

This country is also rich in natural resources. Some of their natural resources include natural gas, gold, copper, timber, oil, silver, and fisheries. Many citizens of Papua New Guinea work in the industries of tourism, construction, the mining of copper, gold, and silver, petroleum refining, and various other industries.

There are many natural hazards in Papua New Guinea. The major hazard is caused by the country being located in the "ring of fire." The ring of fire is a circle that encompasses the Pacific Ocean. In that circle, many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. Sometimes even tsunamis occur in the ring of fire. Geo read that there are over 500 active volcanoes in the world, and more than half of those volcanoes are located in the ring of fire. Holy Idaho! You won't believe this - but, there are even parts of Alaska that are in the ring of fire (remember we visited Alaska at the beginning of our adventure). We have attached a picture of the ring of fire - check it out. Okay, we have got to run. We are searching around the city for Veritas International. We have had no luck so far.

Text Message From Pandora: Hey, R U ever coming home? RUOK? Call me.

Text Message to Pandora: We R OK. In Papua New Guinea, will call U 2nite. BBFN.

     - Meri

The Green Weevil, an unusual bug we saw in Papua New Guinea.

Here is an amazing volcano we can see from our hotel balcony.

We found this picture of erupting lava from an active volcano. Isn't it amazing?


Telephone Keypad
Here is the link to the telephone keypad.


Map of Oceania
Can you find Papua New Guinea?


Ring of Fire
Check out this neat map of the "Ring of Fire." The little red triangles show where all of the volcanoes are located.


You won't believe who called us today - Mr. Vuhn (aka - the bodyguard). We were happy to hear from him. He wanted to tell us that he finally got his $2,000 from the Equators. And he felt bad for leaving us, so he did some investigating about Veritas International. Mr. Vuhn has a strong background in Latin, and he told us that the word "Veritas" means "truth." In the words of Meri - Holy Idaho! That makes sense then - they bought Dewey: The truth-sniffing dog. I wonder what truth they are trying to prove by using Dewey? Mr. Vuhn also said that whoever told us that we should travel to Papua New Guinea was obviously trying to lead us in the opposite direction from Veritas International Headquarters. Although the company keeps a low profile (and aren't listed in the phone book or on the internet), Mr. Vuhn located the company in Sydney, Australia. He didn't have an exact address, but he did know that it was within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House. We aren't sure what the Sydney Opera House is, but we will find out tomorrow. So tomorrow morning we are traveling to Sydney, Australia. We are so lucky that Mr. Vuhn called us today. We called tonight to book our hotel in Sydney on the corner of Bridge Street and George Street. Can you look at the attached map and tell us which cardinal directions we will travel to go from our hotel to the Sydney Opera House?

     - Geo

Here is an unusual wasp that we saw while in Papua New Guinea.

This is a picture of the Sydney Opera House. Isn't it a neat design?


Map of Sydney
Can you look at the attached map and tell us which directions we will travel to go from our hotel to the Sydney Opera House? Our hotel is on the corner of Bridge Street and George Street.

Vocabulary Terms:

arable - land that can be used to grow crops.

exported - when a crop (or another product) is sent or transported to another country (for money).

map coordinates - numbers that provide the exact location of a specified country or other area. The coordinates provide the degrees of longitude and latitude. Coordinates help people locate specific areas on a map.

monsoons - strong systems of wind, that usually bring in very heavy rains. They influence the climate of a large area.

natural resources - any substance that is made by nature and used to enhance the lives of living things. Some examples of natural resources include sunlight, minerals, soil, and water.

ring of fire - a circle that encompasses the Pacific Ocean. In that circle, many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. There are over 450 volcanoes in the ring of fire. Sometimes even tsunamis occur in the ring of fire.

tropical climate - a climate typically having high temperatures and a decent amount of rainfall. Tropical climates are usually located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, closer to the equator than cooler, temperate climates.

tsunamis - an enormous ocean wave that is produced by a landslide, volcanic eruption, or a sub-marine earthquake.

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Additional Web Resources:

Enchanted Learning - Ring of Fire
This resource offers information about the Ring of Fire. There are printable pages, "kid-friendly" information, pictures, and outline maps.

Geothermal Energy
This website provides information about geothermal energy and the Ring of Fire. This is a great way to incorporate additional science instruction into your weekly Globetracker lesson.

Lonely Planet - Papua New Guinea
This website provides additional information about Papua New Guinea. It also features video clips of the country.

Standards for this episode:

Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographical tools and technologies.

Grade 3-5: Knows the basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend, cardinal, scale, grid, meridians, time zones, etc.).

Grade 3-5: Uses map grids (e.g., latitude and longitude or alphanumeric system) to plot absolute location.

Knows the location of places, geographical features, and patterns of the environment.

Grade 3-5: Knows major physical and human features of places as they are represented on maps and globes. Knows how to read different maps: road, relief, globe, etc..

Grade 3-5: Knows the approximate location of major continents, mountain ranges, and bodies of water on Earth.

Grade 6-8: Knows the location of physical and human features on maps and globes (e.g., culture hearths such as Mesopotamia, Huang Ho, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Nile Valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns; land forms; climate regions).

Understands the physical and human characteristics of a place.

Grade 6-8: Knows the human characteristics of places (e.g., cultural characteristics such as religion, language, politics, technology, family structure, gender; population characteristics; land uses; levels of development).

Grade 6-8: Knows the physical characteristics of places (soil, vegetation, wildlife, etc..).

Understands the concept of regions.

Grade 3-5: Knows the characteristics of a variety of regions (climate, housing, religion, language, etc..).

Grade 6-8: Understands criteria that give a region identity (such as Amsterdam as a transportation center or the Sunbelt's warm climate and popularity with retired people).

Knows the physical processes that shape patterns on Earth's surfaces.

Grade 3-5: Knows the physical components of Earth's atmosphere (weather and climate), lithosphere (land forms such as mountains), hydrosphere (oceans, lakes and rivers), and biosphere (vegetation and biomes).

Grade 6-8: Knows the consequences of a specific physical process operating on Earth's surface (e.g., effects of an extreme weather phenomenon such as a hurricane's impact on a coastal ecosystem, effects of heavy rainfall on hill slopes, effects of the continued movement of Earth's tectonic plates).

Understands the characteristics of ecosystems on Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Knows plants and animals associated with various vegetation and climatic region on Earth (i.e. kinds of plants and animals found in the rainforests of Africa).

Understands how physical systems affect human systems.

Grade 3-5: Knows how communities benefit from the physical environment (e.g., people make their living by farming on fertile land, fishing in local water, working in mines; the community is a port located on a natural harbor, a tourist center located in a scenic or historic area, an industrial center with good access to natural resources).

Grade 3-5: Knows natural hazards that occur in the physical environment (floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc..).

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