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Teacher Edition

Week of April 15, 2018

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Holy Idaho! We are in Boston, Massachusetts. It is both the capital and largest city in the state. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the entire country! And it is the largest city in New England. Have you ever heard of New England? It is a region in the northeastern section of the United States. It is so different here from Phoenix! In Phoenix it takes us nearly an hour to drive from one side of the city to the other. In many parts of New England, you drive to another state in an hour! The states are much smaller. Compare the size of New England states with western states on a map!

We have gotten to see many famous colleges and universities. Geo thinks that he might apply to one or two of these schools. He really likes Boston. It is beautiful. The universities and colleges have a huge impact on the economy of the city. Students alone contribute nearly $5 billion to the city's economy each year (or maybe their parents do).

In the northern area of Boston there is a humid subtropical climate, while the southern area has a humid continental climate zone. This is because the city is coastal (fronts on the ocean) and has a large cape that extends out from the mainland south of here (Cape Cod). Summers are warm and humid. Winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Spring and fall can be warm or cool, depending on the many variables affecting the weather. Sometimes the weather is very different on the water and ten miles inland.

We hope that our clues last week made Louie realize we were in Boston. Hopefully the Massachusetts state quarter made him realize where we were going AND that he could trust us. Remember he is avid coin collector. That state quarter has a picture of a minuteman. Do you know what minutemen are? They were the colonists who were the first people to fight against the British in the American Revolution. The men were typically between 16 and 30 years of age. The minutemen were chosen for not only their strength, but also their passion, enthusiasm, and political reliability. Minutemen were well equipped and prepared to march (and fight) at a very short notice.

Boston is full of culture and history. I just hope it is also full of Louie! Uncle GT is with us now, and we are getting ready for the big day tomorrow.

     - Meri

Boston at night

The Atlantic Ocean

Another shot of the ocean


Map of the United States
compare the size of the New England states with the states on the west coast.


Today is a very important annual event in Boston. It is the Boston Marathon! It is still rather somber this year, after the tragedy that occurred in 2013, even though several years have passed. Uncle GT is staying with us the entire time and security is very high this year. So I am sure it will be safe. This marathon is the world's oldest annual marathons. It is a 26 mile race for very fit runners. This year it is on April 16. We sent a text to Louie telling him to meet us at the Boston Marathon finish line. We hope he shows up for once. We will have to wait and see.

Last night Meri learned about Lexington and Concord. Can you believe she wasn't already familiar with it? We learned about it many years ago in school, but Meri must not have been "there" that day. The battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements (fights) of the American Revolutionary War. The battles were the beginning of the actual fighting in the Revolutionary War. The first shots of the war were fired just as the sun was rising on April 19, 1775. The legend says that the first shot fired was "the shot heard 'round the world."

     - Geo

Look at all of the traffic in Boston!

Another picture of the coin we gave to Louie.

Monday Night

Holy Idaho! What a race! The Boston marathon was amazing! We had to get near the finish line VERY early to get our spot! And guess who we finally saw... LOUIE! He has quite the sense of humor. We waited and waited at the finish line. We saw many marathon runners cross the finish line. About 5 minutes after the winner crossed the finish line, up popped a surprising name on the scoreboard: Louie Tollemy! Louie had decided to RUN the marathon. He must have been training all during his travels (minus the time of his head injury). We still are not sure WHY he was traveling to all those places, but we'll find out soon. As soon as Louie grabbed some water and warm-up clothes from the runner's tent, we were on our way together.

Uncle GT had his personal jet fueled up and ready to go. We all jumped in a cab and rushed to the airport. When we arrived at the airport, we noticed those two mysterious people (a man and a woman) were getting out of the cab behind us! Before we could protect him, they stopped Louie. We were about to call for help, and they flashed badges, explaining that they had been following Louie for the CIA all this time. Uncle GT checked out their badges and made a few calls. Holy Idaho! I can't believe it. They weren't bad guys; the CIA wanted the help of Louie's famous map skills to create some updated maps for them. The agents were ordered to follow Louie until they could talk to him safely. Their mission was even more secret than ours! They just didn't want anyone to know they were CIA agents.

Anyway, next thing you know, we were all on Uncle GT's jet: Geo, me, Louie, Dakota (one of the CIA agents), and Rose (the other CIA agent). We flew back to Washington, D.C., and Louie finally met with the people who wanted him to create the new maps--at BOTH agencies! So this mission has come to an end. Geo and I are flying back to Phoenix tomorrow. Can you figure out what cardinal direction we flew to Washington and which cardinal direction we have to go to get home? About how far is it for us to get home?

Don't worry, we will be updating our blog next week and hopefully answering some questions that you might have. We will probably have some final questions for YOU soon, too.

     - Meri

At the marathon

Look at the marathon runners!

The CIA agents: Rose and Dakota


Map of United States
Take a look at this map. Can you figure out what cardinal direction we flew going from Boston to Washington, D.C.? Which cardinal direction will we be traveling from Washington, D.C. to Phoenix, Arizona? Look at the map scale. Approximately how many miles will we be traveling going from Washington, D.C. back home to Phoenix?

Vocabulary Terms:

American Revolution - war between the American colonies and Great Britain from 1775-1783. It led to the formation of the independent United States.

cardinal direction - a term used to describe all four primary directions (north, south, east and west).

humid continental climate - a climate found in the temperate regions marked by variable weather patterns and a large seasonal temperature variance. This climate experiences all four seasons.

humid subtropical climate - a climate with hot, humid summers and cool winters.

inland - land that is situated away from the coast or border towards the interior of a region

minuteman - a colonist who was one of the first people to fight against the British in the American Revolution. A minuteman is shown on the Massachusetts state quarter.

minutemen - the colonists who were the first people to fight against the British in the American Revolution. They were well equipped and prepared to march (and fight) at short notice.

New England - A region in the northeastern section of the United States.

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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 6-8: Understands concepts such as axis, seasons, rotation, and revolution.

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 location of major cities in North America.

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).

Grade 6-8: Knows the relative location of, size of, and distances between places.

Understands the characteristics and uses of spatial organization of Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Understands how changing transportation and communication technology has affected relationships between locations. Ease of travel between some and difficulty getting to some others because of transportation and how people move and shop from one to the other because of the ease (trains, road systems, ferries, 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).

Understands that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

Grade 6-8: Knows how places and regions serve as cultural symbols (Opera House in Sydney or Tower Bridge in London).

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).

Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Knows how and why people divide Earth's surface into political and/or economic units (e.g., states in the United States and Mexico; provinces in Canada; countries in North and South America; countries linked in cooperative relationships, such as the European Union).

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).

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