Month: March 2014

IB11: Droughts

Pictures of the ongoing California drought

Create a google doc named: Your name – IB11 – Droughts – hazards

Define:  drought

Define flash floods:

1. Use this link to define, in your own words, the following terms:

  1. Meteorological drought
  2. Hydrological drought
  3. Agricultural drought
  4. Socio-economic drought

2. Find a map of the global distribution of droughts and their severity, and write a short description of the spacial distribution of droughts.

3. Explain the four physical reasons why droughts are more prominent in certain areas:

  1. Continentality
  2. Cold ocean currents
  3. ITCZ
  4. Rain-shadow effect

4. Describe:

  • the main features  of the Palmer Drought Indices and evaluate its efficiency in comparing droughts
  • The method of measuring rainfall

5 describe the following characteristics of droughts:

  1. Frequency
  2. Duration
  3. Speed of onset
  4. Areal extent
  5. Spatial dispersion
  6. Regularity

6. Answer questions 19 to 22 in Bishop p. 116.

7. Complete these case study questions

8.California drought
















Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Each of of you will read one article from MSNBC’s California drought special report and briefly explain it to the rest of the class. 

If time, read Christopher Ketchan’s Raizing Arizona. (handout)

IB11: Anatomy of a Hurricane

How Hurricanes work

Coriolis effect

Case study: Inside Hurricane Katrina

As you watch the video, answer the following questions: You may also the BBC coverage or my Diigo library for resources.

  1. Knowledge: How well informed were the people in the areas affected by Katrina about the hurricane risk?
  2. Knowledge: How did the level of knowledge vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups?
  3. Attitudes: What was the attitude of the people towards the hurricane risk?
  4. Attitudes: How did it vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups?
  5. Practices: Did people act in the most appropriate way given their knowledge about the risk posed by hurricanes?
  6. Practices: How did it vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups?
  7. How vulnerable are Americans to hurricane risk? What are the key factors that determine their vulnerability?(Attitude,Demographic profile, Socio-economic profile,Political leadership?)
  8. Who are the most vulnerable groups to hurricanes in American society and why?
  9. Using only an annotated sketch map, discuss the demographic and socio-economic factors that influenced vulnerability to Hurricane Katrina

Work for Friday, March 14 2014

Hello students,

I will be away all day today with the grade 10 Individuals and Societies class to visit the Edo museum and collect information on Edo Japan.

Here is your work for the day:

Grade 9 I&S: Psychology questions on my blog. This is a summative assessment, and I will check your google doc TODAY to make sure you have used your time wisely.

Grade 11 IB Geography: Work on your Earthquake case study.

Grade 8 Humanities: I will collect the 5 artifacts next week. Please keep them until then. Today, you will work on the Celebrity Obituary exercises. Make sure to share me on your google docs as I will check them all tonight to make sure you have done your work.

Have a wonderful day and a great weekend,

Mr. McKeown

Grade 8 Humanities: Celebrity Obituary

I will be away with the grade 10 InS class on Friday. Here is your work for today.

We have been discussing history and how we use sources (primary and secondary) to learn and study the past.

Today, you will look at sources in order to write the obituary of someone you admire. An obituary is a notice of a death, usually in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.

First,get in groups of 2 or 3 and quickly choose a celebrity (living or dead) whom you admire.

Then, you will have the rest of the period to research that person’s life story. You may start with Wikipedia, but it cannot be a source you use for your actual project.

Once you have a good idea of the person’s life, think of the events that you think were the most important in his or her life? What should be included or not in their obituary?

Then, create a google doc titled YOUR-NAME-Gr8-Humanities-Celebrity-Obtuary-March-14-2014. Share me on the document, with an email notification. 

Write a 200 word (no more) obituary on the Google document:

  • Give a summary of his/her career and character.
  • Highlight some particular achievements
  • Give the assessment of his/her overall impact on his/her times.
  • Include a picture that you feel best represents his/her lifetime image (The way they will be remembered)
  • Have a bibliography with at least 4 sources (no Wikipedia)

Period 2:

In your groups, compare each other’s obituaries. Read them out loud and explain why you chose to include the information you did.

Then, on the same google doc, write a reflection answering these question:

  • What were the main differences between the obituaries? Did this make for a different storyline?
  • Why did some of you decided to include or omit negative parts of his/her life?
  • Do you think people are remembered the way they want to be, or does history pass judgement, positive or negative, on people after their death?
  • Has social media changed the way we remember people?

Due Tuesday March 18th at the beginning of class.

InS 9: Remembering and Forgetting

I will be away with the grade 10 InS class on Friday. Here is your work for today.

Create a google doc titled: YOUR-NAME – InS9 – Memory questions -March 14, 2014 – Then share it with me with an email alert and give me editing rights. Record all your answers on the document. 

We have been discussing how our memories are stored and how we somehow reconstruct them to fit new situations.

1. Watch and read the Discovering Psychology series “Remembering and Forgetting”

While watching, answer the following question:

  • Note at least five things that affect your memory and explain, in detail how it does so.
  • How did the invention of the computer affect the study of memory?
  • What are schemas, and how do they affect memory?

2. Read the article on HM, a man who lost his ability to form new memories and then watch the PBS clip on the brain of HM.

Write a 5 paragraph essay titled: What have we learned from HM and the repercussions it may have for the future?

Your essay should include:

  • An introduction, three well-supported arguments and a conclusion
  • Accurate vocabulary

You will be graded on criterion A and C.

It is due Wednesday, March 19th, at the beginning of class but I will be checking your progress today at 4PM, to ensure that you have used class time well.

IBDP: Hazards Case Study 1: Earthquakes

Four groups: 2 MEDC, 2 LEDC

For a recent* earthquake event of your choice:

  1. Describe the characteristics of the earthquake
  • Magnitude
  • Duration
  • Physical damage: liquefaction, landslides, fires etc.
  • Areal extent
  • Speed of onset
  • aftershocks

2. Describe the tectonic processes of the hazard event

3. Describe the factors affecting earthquake damage

  • Population density
  • Type of buildings
  • Time of day
  • Distance from the epicenter and hypocenter
  • Types of rocks and sediments

4. Explain how/if the hazard event  was predictable? Give specific examples?

5. Describe the social, political, environmental and economic consequences of the disaster.

  • Estimated cost of damages
  • Death toll and injuries
  • Describe the management of the hazard event – before, during and after
  • Planning, preparation, prediction, hazard mapping, evacuation, warnings.
  • Help with recovery, aid – local, regional and international, role of NGOs.
  • Environmental degradation

6. Include maps, graphs and tables.

*the IB Curriculum describes recent as: should have occurred within the student’s lifetime and should not be historical
Presentation: shared oral or written presentation. You will need to be able to add to it later in the unit.
Possible case studies: You may use the Cordrington, Nagle & Cooke or Bishop textbooks for case studies.
  • MEDC
-San Francisco, USA, 1994
-Tohoku, Japan, 2011
-L’Aquila, Italy, 2009
-Christchurch, New-Zealand, 2011
  • LEDC
-Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2010
-Sumatra, Indonesia, 2007
Due: Monday March 17th
Graded on the IB paper 2 markbands

InS9: Memory

We have discussed how companies can change your behaviour. The goal was often for you to remember the brand in a positive way?

So how does memory work? How do we remember things? Why do we forget?

What does she say about false memory? Eyewitness testimony?  Misleading questions?











Introduction to Memory and Research Methods for Psychology.

  • I will need 2 volunteers to look at the phenomenon called the Stroop Effect.
  • On your own, complete the activity aimed at understanding short term memory through letter recall.
    • Let’s tabulate our results.
    • Do you notice any patterns in our findings?
    • How could we change the test to try and improve our results?
    • How well would you do if I asked you to remember these tomorrow?

If time, read Memory and Learning

We will take the eyewitness test:


Then, draw a poster visually describing how our memories work.

You poster should be an annotated diagram using all of the following terminology:

  • learning
  • memory
  • association
  • reconstruction
  • sensory memory
  • short term memory
  • long term memory
  • store
  • declarative memory
  • non-declarative memory


What is History?

First we will read; A Point Of View: What is history’s role in society? and have a socratic debate about the definition and role of history in our lives. 

How do we research history? How do we know what “really” happened in the past?

Consider the many different perspectives in history:

  • Political history: the story of government, political leaders, electoral activities, the making of policy, and the interaction of branches of government
  • Diplomatic history: the study of the relations between nations, diplomats, and ideas of diplomacy
  • Social history: the study of ways and customs, of family, education, children, demography (population change), and voluntary institutions (churches, for example)
  • Cultural history: the study of language and its uses, of the arts and literature, sport, and entertainment, in constructing cultural categories
  • Economic history: the study of how an entire system of production and consumption (or of any of its parts) works, of markets, industry, credit, and working people at all levels of the system
  • Intellectual history: the study of ideology and epistemology, analyzing how ideas affect human actions and how the material world affects human ideas
  • People’s history:  history from below, or folk history is a type of historical narrative which attempts to account for historical events from the perspective of common people rather than political and other leaders.
  • Can you think of others?


Click on this documents. Make a copy, add your name in the title, and categorize each event as one of the above perspectives of history. Explain why you put it in that category. Things can be in more than one category or may not fit any category, in which case you can add your own. 

InS 10: Imperialism and historiography

We have been discussing causes and consequences of imperialism, and the various perspective regarding the subject.

Here is your next summative assessment: Imperialism Textbook and TSC (A, B, C, D)

Due date: TBD

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