I made a New Year promise to include a regular slot in my blog for 2014, called my ‘monthly WARP’. This is based on an acronym where the ‘W’ stands for a web resource, the ‘A’ for an app, the ‘R’ for a reading resource, and the ‘P’ for a photograph or image.
I managed to miss my eighth WARP – for August – as I was away on my holidays, so to catch up, here it is in September! The belated August WARP consists of the following:
This site has been around for a while, and provides a really thought-provoking collection of animated graphics describing our use of water. Angela Morelli is an Italian information designer based in London. Her love of design led to a long journey through industrial, communication and information design, while her love for the planet led to a strong passion for global water issues.
The site presents an interactive visualisation explaining how much water we consume indirectly through eating and drinking different foods and drinks. Coffee and beef have two of the most water-intensive production processes, with thousands of litres used to provide the amounts of food and drink you might consume in a typical day. Scroll down through the graphic to watch the story unfold. Figures displayed in this graphic come from the Water Footprint Network.
Angela has also produced a TED video called ‘The Global Water Footprint of Humanity’:
Guardian Eye Witness
This free photo-journalism app ceased to be offered as a stand alone app in September, but the service still exists as part of the Guardian newspaper ‘mother app’ – which is also free, and offers an excellent news resource. Eye Witness is a great tool that can support work in any classroom, offering a daily high quality and often thought-provoking image that can be projected onto a whiteboard and used as a starter.
For example, I recently started a lesson on ‘development’ using a ‘step into the photograph’ exercise with the recent image below of displaced people queuing for food in the Central African Republic:
Students were given speech bubble post its, and after paired discussion, chose a character in the photograph to bring to life. They thought about what the character might be thinking or saying, wrote this on the post it, and then added it to the photograph on the whiteboard. We then discussed some of the comments as a class – and it could quite easily have filled the whole lesson or led us into new directions with the chosen subject.
My selected book this month is “The Fatal Shore” by Robert Hughes. The Fatal Shore was first published in 1987, and follows the history of convict transportation from Georgian Britain to Australia. It describes Australia’s painful transition from prison camp to open society, and tells the vivid story of the 160,000 men, women and children who were shipped off the face of the known world to suffer, to die, to succeed, and to go on to found a new nation. A gripping read that is hard to put down – great background to one of history’s great forced migration case studies.
“The effort to perceive the landscape and it’s people as they were is worth making, for it bears on one of the chief myths of early colonial history as understood and taught up to about 1960. This was the idea, promulgated by the early settlers and inherited from the 19th century, that the First Fleet sailed into an ‘empty’ continent, speckled with primitive animals and hardly less primitive men, so that the ‘ fittest’ inevitably triumphed. Thus the destruction of the Australian Aborigines was rationalised as natural law.” (page 7)
“As Mary Gilmore would write in 1918 of the prisoners who built Australia:’I was the convict sent to Hell, to make the desert a living well: I split the rock, I felled the tree – The nation was because of me.’ ” (page 128)
“One. Convict, Thomas Milburn, would later describe the voyage in a letter to his parents, later printed as a broadsheet in England:’We were chained two and two together and confined in the hold during the whole course of our long voyage … We were scarcely allowed a sufficient quantity of victuals to keep us alive, and scarcely any water; for my own part I could have eaten three or four of our allowances, and you know well that I was never a great eater …When any of our comrades that were chained to us died, we kept it a secret as long as we could for the smell of the dead body, in order to get their allowance of provision, and many a time have I been glad to eat the poultice that was put to my leg for perfect hunger. I was chained to Humphrey Davey who died when we were about half way, and I lay beside his corpse about a week and got his allowance.’ ” (page 145)
This month, I offer some photographs from my most recent trip abroad. In August, I travelled to Mauritius for a golf break – but still managed to fit in some geography!
These images were taken at a place called ‘The Seven Coloured Earths’ at Chamarel in the south west of the island. No-one has been able to categorically state why these undulating, dune-like knolls vary so widely in colour. Some believe the seven shades of earth were formed from volcanic ash deposits cooled at different temperatures, while others would suggest the colours of the mounds can be attributed to the differing quantity of metal oxide they contain. They are especially breathtaking first thing in the morning, when the sun is at its brightest and the colours deepen.
More photos from my world travels can be seen at: