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Teacher Edition

Week of December 17, 2017

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Aloha! (both hello and goodbye in Hawaiian). English is the main language spoken in Hawaii, but Hawaiian is spoken here often. We are now in warm (and beautiful) Hawaii. Hawaii consists of several islands: Hawaii (also known as the big island), Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, and Maui. Over 75% of Hawaiian residents live on the island of Oahu. We are on the "big island" of Hawaii and staying in the city of Kona. It is beautiful (see our pictures). Did you know that President Barack Obama was from Hawaii, at least for part of his childhood?

We have had quite an adventure-filled few days, since we last wrote in our blog. We flew from Arkansas to San Francisco, California. On the flight we made friends with some kids from S.F. who had been in Arkansas for a band trip. Thankfully, we had a LONG layover in S.F., so our new friends got to take us out and show us around. What a CITY! Holy Idaho!

San Francisco is located on the west coast of the United States. Can you think of any large cities that we have visited that are on the eastern side of the United States? Did you know that San Francisco is located on the San Francisco Peninsula? Do you remember the definition of a peninsula? That is land that is surrounded on all but one side by water. This city even includes several islands (one of them is Alcatraz, a former prison). Holy Idaho!

"San Fran" is only 46 square miles, but there are over 800,000 people living there! It is the second most densely populated city in the entire United States. I think by densely populated they mean there are a lot of people in a small area. What do you think? The city is actually the fourth most populated city in California, and the twelfth in the United States. San Francisco is famous for all of its hills, and I can see why! My feet are still killing me. There are more than 50 hills within the city limits. Holy Idaho!

Have you ever heard of the San Francisco Bay? I knew a bay was a body of water, but Geo explained to me that a bay is a body of water that is partially enclosed by land. Bays have wide mouths and access to the sea or ocean. I guess part of the land enclosing the San Francisco Bay is the city of San Francisco. We saw the bay. Our friends also took us to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and we even rode on a cable car. Be sure to check out the pictures in our blog. Holy Idaho! We had so many pictures we even added an additional blog entry to share more photos with you.

I was a little nervous in San Francisco because of the two large earthquakes they have had in 1906 and 1989. And minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis! The residents in San Francisco do worry about another major earthquake and have taken precautions in the larger buildings and infrastructure of the homes. I wonder what causes an earthquake? I will have to ask Geo.

     - Meri

The city of San Francisco

View from driving across the Golden Gate Bridge!

Another hill in San Francisco (I got my workout)


Map of San Francisco
Check out this map of San Francisco. What bodies of water can you find? Can you find the San Francisco Bay? What cardinal direction would you travel going from San Francisco to Oakland?

More Pictures and Earthquake

We attached a few more pictures of San Francisco. I explained to Meri that the earthquake activity found in San Francisco is caused by two major faults: the San Andreas and the Hayward. An earthquake is a vibration that travels through the earth's crust, caused by moving tectonic plates under the earth's surface. They can be big and cause a lot of damage or a simple rumbling.

     - Geo

The cable car we rode

The sign for the cable car

One final shot of the city - and the Golden Gate Bridge

Monday - Back in

So as you can tell, we had quite the adventure in San Francisco. But nothing has compared to what we are about to do! We actually bought tickets to ride in a helicopter directly over Kilauea, the LIVE volcano on the "big" island of Hawaii. We leave our hotel in one hour. I can't wait. Holy Idaho! If you didn't know, Geo is a bit afraid of heights, so he isn't exactly looking forward to this experience... At all!

Text from Pandora:

M & D miss u. trying to fly to HI for w-break

Holy Idaho! Can you believe it? My parents might be flying to Hawaii for the winter break. That will be so great, our family together. I must admit I even miss Pandora (a little bit). I wonder when they will arrive, if they can make it.

Hawaii is simply amazing. I hope I can show my parents everything. Honolulu, the capital of this state, is on another island: Oahu. We have learned SO MUCH already about Hawaii. Hawaii is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Our hotel offers free snorkeling, and yesterday we went out and snorkeled through caves. I didn't even know that Hawaii had caves. Tomorrow we are going to visit the largest mountain in the world (yes, it is on the "big island" of Hawaii): the snow-capped Mauna Kea with an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet. Holy Idaho! I can't believe there could be snow in this tropical location. There are actually lots of different climates in these islands. Oh yes, I included a link to learn more about tropical oceans in this blog. Don't miss it! Okay, we are off to our helicopter ride. I am SO excited!

     - Meri

Snow-capped mountains in Hawaii

View from our hotel

Honolulu - the state capital (we didn't visit here, just found a picture to share)


Tropical Oceans
Check out this site to learn more about Tropical Oceans (the animals, locations, and more).


Wow! That is all that I can say about our helicopter ride over the LIVE volcano. I know Meri told you that I was scared, but that isn't true. It was exciting. Did you know that Kilauea is the most active volcano in the WORLD? It has been erupting since 1983! How many years is that? I attached a long video taking you on a helicopter ride. This is the same clip we found online last week. But if you didn't have a chance to check it out, take a look.

We are supposed to be the detectives on this "case" to find Louie. But he must be onto us. We arrived at our helicopter, and our pilot handed us a brown envelope, saying he was instructed to give this to Meri and Geo when we arrived. How did Louie know where we were going? Inside we found some photos, a note, and a key. The note had an address (located in Kona).

Louie wrote:

Globetracker knows who to hire. You two are good detectives. Here is a key to my house. Take a break, and enjoy your holiday. I will be in touch.

The photos included pictures of the West Virginia coal mines, the Mississippi River cruise, and even Barrow, Alaska, all places where we have been in the past several weeks.

So Meri and I are now heading to the address with the key. We will update you as we find out more. I wonder if Louie will be there, or is this just another trick?

     - Geo


Volcano erupting (HOT LAVA)

A fruit tree from below (neat picture, huh). Hawaii has some delicious fruits!


Video of Kilauea
This video takes you right to this active volcano.


Map of Kilauea
Here is a map of the island of Hawaii. Do you see the large arrow? That is Kilauea! Is this large volcano on the northern or southern part of the island?


Holy Idaho! This guy is good. We found his house yesterday and when we arrived, we found another note on the table.

The refrigerator is fully stocked for the holidays. Enjoy your time with your family. I am off to visit my own family in my hometown.

We met a few of Louie's neighbors. They told us that he has three vacation homes: in Florida, Hawaii, and the South of France! They have no idea where his hometown is, but they know it is somewhere pretty far from all of his vacation homes and his office in D.C.

Now what do we do? We called Uncle GT, he told us to sit tight at Louie's house (which is ocean front and even has a pool). He said we might even learn more about Louie here. So you know I won't complain! He knows Louie and knows that it is safe for us to stay here. So now we are waiting to hear more. Holy Idaho! We just heard the doorbell ring. Do you have any guesses about who it could be?

     - Meri

View from Louie's deck!

Here is the area we snorkled yesterday. We forgot to post the picture of this beautiful area.

Vocabulary Terms:

bay - body of water partially enclosed by land.

bays - bodies of water that are partially enclosed by land.

earthquake - shaking and vibration on the surface of the earth. An earthquake can be a result of underground movement along a fault plane or from volcanic activity.

earthquakes - shaking and vibration on the surface of the earth. Earthquakes can be a result of underground movement along a fault plane or from volcanic activity.

elevation - the altitude (or how high) a location is above sea level.

infrastructure - the underlying base or foundation of a location, organization, or system

islands - land that is surrounded on all sides by water.

peninsula - a piece of land that is bordered by water (on three or more sides), but is not an island. A peninsula is attached to a larger body of land but sticks out into the water.

tropical - a climate with 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.

volcano - an opening in the earth's crust. HOT molten lava, ash, and gases are ejected from a volcano.

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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 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).

Grade 3-5: Knows the location of major cities in North America.

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...).

Grade 6-8: Understands distributions of physical and human occurrences with respect to spatial patterns, arrangements, and associations (e.g. why some areas are more densely settled than others).

Understands the physical and human characteristics of a place.

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).

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).

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 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).

Grade 6-8: Understands the symbolic importance of capital cities (such as Canberra, a planned city, as the capital of Australia).

Understands how physical systems affect human systems.

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

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