Month: November 2016

IB-12 Anatomy of a Hurricane

Create a new google doc for you Hurricane CS:

Part 1:

Homework for Thursday: read Bishop p. 92 to 104 and the suggested readings below

IB outcomes:

Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects.

Examine the relationships between the degree of risk posed by a hazard and the probability of a hazard event occurring, the predicted losses and a community’s preparedness for it.

Explain the reasons why individuals and communities often underestimate the probability of hazard events


Discuss the factors that determine an individual’s perception of the risk posed by hazards.

Suggested readings:


Coriolis effect

Wait! According to this, shouldn’t Hurricanes spin clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the souther?

Comment on the pattern,  direction, magnitude, duration and spatial extent of hurricanes in 2008

Now have a look at Katrina!

Case study: Inside Hurricane Katrina


  1. With the use of an annotated graph, explain the formation of hurricanes [5]
  2. How informed about hurricane risk were the people in the areas affected by Katrina? [4]
  3. How did the level of knowledge vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups?  [2+2+2]
  4. Why did some people underestimate Katrina’s impact? [5]
  5. How accurate were the predictions of the  magnitude of Katrina? How did they achieve such predictions? [5]
  6. Attitudes: Explain two different attitude of the people towards the hurricane risk? [2+2]
  7. Attitudes: How did attitudes vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups? [3]
  8. Practices: Did people act in the most appropriate way given their knowledge about the risk posed by hurricanes? [4]
  9. Practices: How did actions vary between different demographic, political and socio-economic groups? [3]
  10. What is the relationship between the degree of risk posed by hurricanes in New Orleans and: [2+2+2]
    1. the probability of the hazard event to occur
    2. the predicted losses
    3. the community’s preparedness

We will discuss the answers together.

In Groups:

  • Examine the methods used to make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of hazard events occurring, and of their potential impact on lives and property.
  • Discuss these methods by examining case studies relating to two different hazard types.

You will be divided in four groups.

You need to answer one of these questions:

  1. How do we make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of earthquakes events occurring, and of their potential impact on lives and property.
  2. How do we make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of hurricanes events occurring, and of their potential impact on lives and property.
  3. How did Japan make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of 3/11 occurring, and of its potential impact on lives and property.
  4. How did the USA make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of Hurricane Katrina occurring, and of its potential impact on lives and property.

You will present your answer in 20 minutes. Every group member must be a part of the presentation. No powerpoint.

Each group member must do one of the following throughout the presentation:

  • Sing
  • Mime
  • Dance
  • Draw

IB 12: Vulnerability and Earthquake CS

Explain the reasons why people live in hazardous areas.

Discuss vulnerability as a function of demographic and socio-economic factors, and of a community’s preparedness and ability to deal with a hazard event when it occurs.

Explain the reasons for some sectors of a population being more vulnerable than others

Describe strategies designed to limit the damage from potential hazard events and disasters.

  • Discussion:

Why do people live in vulnerable areas?

  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the risks?
  • Can people be forced to live somewhere?
  • How do we rationalise risk?
  • How does our perception of hazards change? (Bishop p. 22)
  • Can population growth increase risk?

Haiti: Stop at 8:00

Exercise 1:

Groups 1 and 2: 5 people/group

Create a 5 minute presentation and factsheet with visual aids for one of these earthquake event:

Include all your notes in the earthquake CS document.

  • 3/11/11 Japanese earthquake
  • 12/01/10 Haiti earthquake


Population preparedness

  • Population size
  • population density
  • GNI per capita
  • HDI ranking
  • Early warning system in place
  • Government expenditures on hazard prevention and response
  • Building regulations
  • Emergency drills
  • Public education of emergency drills
  • Emergency personnel

The Disaster (Hazard Event)

  • Map with fault zone and epicenter
  • Magnitude
  • Time of day
  • Duration
  • Areal extent
  • Speed of onset
  • Types of waves
  • Types of faults
  • Basic vocabulary

Describe the damage done in terms of:

  • Death toll
  • Injury
  • Insurance claim
  • ground shaking
  • liquefaction
  • Tsunamis
  • Landslides
  • Fires
  • Long term consequences

Group 3: 2 people

  • Using the worldwide earthquake statistics from, calculate the average number of earthquake/year for each of the following categories, in the past three decades:
    • 6 to 6.9
    • 7 to 7.9
    • 8+
Richter scale magnitude 80s avg/year 90s avg/year 00s avg/year
Magnitude 6-6.9 98 133 146
Magnitude 7-7.9 10.1 14.7 13
Magnitude 8+ 0.4 0.6 1.3

 Then, answer the following questions:

  • What conclusion can you gather from the calculations you have completed?
  • Can you predict the number of earthquakes that will happen in a given year? Decade?
  • How could you make more accurate predictions?

2. Find an article describing methods of earthquake prediction associated to 2 of the following. Describe the method and evaluate its efficiency in predicting earthquake events.

  • Seismicity
  • Changes in the ionosphere
  • Electromagnetic indicators
  • Unusual animal behavior

3:  Explain the key principles of the Richter scale

You will present your response with with shared notes at the end of next class. 

Part 2:

On your shared CS notes, comment on the relief provided,


  • vulnerability
  • social issues
  • government response
  • international help
  • communication lines
  • infrastructure
  • public education
  • economic expenditures

Watch 2:30 to 7:00 and 9:00 to 16:00

Summing up:

Discuss vulnerability as a function of demographic and socio-economic factors, and of a community’s preparedness and ability to deal with a hazard event when it occurs.

IB style question: Using examples, examine the demographic and socio-economic factors that affect the vulnerability of a community to hazard events. [10] Markscheme

IB 12: Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes

IB outcome:

Explain the characteristics and spatial distribution of Earthquakes

This is will also be used for the first part of Oceans and their Coastal Margins: Morphology of Oceans:

  • Describe the main features of oceanic crust and ocean floor morphology.
  • Explain the occurrence of oceanic volcanic features, trenches, transform faults, mid-ocean ridges and rifts in terms of plate margins.


Exercise 1:

Copy and complete this table:

Type of plate boundary Name of boundary Resulting landform / example Picture Process
Divergent (constructive)  mid ocean ridge
Convergent (destructive)
Transform (conservative)
Oceanic Continental Convergence
Continental-Continental Convergence
Plate Boundary Zone




This just might be the best video I have ever shown you:

Here’s a better, less entertaining one:

P, S Love and Rayleigh waves

Exercise 2:

  • Using Bishop p. 40 to 46
  • 4 groups – one drawer
  • You have 7 minutes to draw, on the board a labeled diagram of an earthquake event, including: [6]
    • Types of waves
    • Types of faults
    • Basic vocabulary
    • ground shaking
    • liquefaction
    • Tsunamis
    • Landslides
    • Fires
    • Explain the key principles of the Richter scale
  • Best diagram wins an awesome prize!

InS 9- Psychology Experiment on Memory

The psychology experiment has 2 main objectives:

  1. To familiarise you with psychological research and methods
  2. To conduct an experiment required for psychological study where one independent variable is manipulated (font) and one dependent variable is measured (number of words remembered)

After conducting your experiment as a class you will collate all the data and then do your write up of the experiment individually along the following guidelines.

The Assignment:

Part 1: Groups of 4

Title Page includes the name of the experiment: The Effect of Word Order on Memory: The Serial Position Effect centered and then in the lower left hand corner your names, your class and the date of ubmission on three separate lines

Introduction includes :

  • the subject you are investigating
  • details of the studies being replicated and its findings
  • why you are doing the experiment
  • what the aim is
  • what your hypotheses are (i.e.) our first hypothesis is that memory of the middle section of words will be greater if a larger font is used.

Method is given to you but briefly state the design of the experiment:

  • who the participants are (we will all be using an opportunity or convenience sampling based on time constraints instead of random sampling)
  • the materials needed to conduct the experiment
  • an informed consent form
  • the step by step procedure to conduct the experiment referring to instructions in the appendix
  • Include a short justification for each part of your method.


Due date: Hyperlinked here

  • 9A: Tuesday Nov 22 – Experiment on Thursday Nov 24th
  • 9C: Friday Nov 18 – Experiment on Friday Nov 25

First, we need:

  • Script
  • Procedure, class set-up, answer sheet
  • Powerpoint with words and variable
  • Informed consent form
  • Hyperlink here

Part 2: Individual work

Data collection sheets: 9A9C

  1. Title Page includes the name of the experiment The Effect of Word Order on Memory: The Serial Position Effect centered and then in the lower left hand corner your name, your class and the date of submission on three separate lines
  2.  Abstract is written after the experiment and states what you are studying, the aim or purpose of the experiment you are conducting, a brief description of the method, some details about the participants, where the research was conducted, and briefly state your results. (1 paragraph)
  3.  Results : Graphs of your results with clear labels and titles, your results must also be clearly stated in written form in this section, including anomalies (2 graphs and a totla of 4 sentences)
  4.  Discussion: relates your results to the results of the study you are replicating, you state what your results mean in relation to your hypotheses, you state your conclusion, and how you would improve this study if you were to do it again (2 paragraphs)
  5. Appendix: Include a summary table of raw data in the appendix that you can refer to, as well as all of your calculations (Images of your data tables, with titles and numbers, and all calculations)


TSC – C & D


9A: Thursday December 8th

9C:Friday December 9th

InS 10: A Point in History

Choose a ‘point in History’ an event, happening, or milestone, something very focused and create a good, well focused research question. So for example, just writing about how World War Two started is too broad, however, if you focus it down to something more specific, for example to  To what extent did Japan feel forced to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor? 

The key is the sources that you choose to answer your question!

In this assignment you will use 5 sources, which show at least 2 different perspectives even if they are only slightly different, and 1 must be a visual source such as a political cartoon, photo, map, etc. A political cartoon can sometimes say much more than a photo in trying to get a specific message across and vice versa.

  1. Pick 5 primary (or secondary) sources that show a broad scope of opinions and ideas about your event or theme from a variety of perspectives.  Focus on the OPPVL of the sources and be able to explain why one source weighs more heavily in your argument because of its values and how other sources you recognize limitations.
  2. Properly source each one using MLA Works Cited and proper in-text citation and include all the information that you use for each source on a separate sheet of paper labeling your sources A-E so that they are easy to refer to in your essay.
  3. Your argument can be no more than 2 sides of A4 paper, font 12, 5-7 paragraphs

Now choose your topic or general area first and then work on narrowing down your topic and constructing the question that you will answer using your sources. You must discuss the OPPVL of your sources and show different perspectives as you analyze.

You will need to create 5 OPPVLs for this assignment and get them graded by me during class. I will then use the best sustained grade of your top 3 scores to give you your final assessment. Here is the OPPVL TSC that you should add at the bottom of each of your OPPVLs.

Hyperlink your topic, research question, OPPVL, outline and research question here

Here is the TSC for Criteria B,C and D.

Outline due date: TBD

InS 9: Psych Introduction to Memory

Introduction to Memory and Research Methods for Psychology.  

What is memory? How do we remember things? Why do we forget things?

1: Let’s play a game: 

Understanding short term memory through a letter recall activity

  • Compare your correct answer % with your group. Are the patterns the same?
  • What factors affected your memory recall?
  • What technique did you use to remember the letters?
  • How could you remember these letter if you had more time?
  • What variations could have helped/hindered your memory?
  • Did you put wrong answers? What does that say about your actual memories?
  • Have you had memories that turned out to be false?

Here are a few other ones if you want to try some more on your own.

2: Looking at Elizabeth Loftus’ Ted Talk

  • What does she say about false memory?
  • Eyewitness testimony?  
  • Misleading questions?
  • How can we control what people “remember”?
  • What ethical issues are raised by the false memory debate?

How does Memory work?


Homework: Read How Does Memory Work

  • Give the definition, in your own words,  of 5 words vocabulary terms you did not know in the reading
  • Write a one paragraph description of the reading using all 5 words
  • Post your answer on your blog and hyperlink it here
  • Due next class: Monday Nov 14

InS 10: Introduction to the History Writing Project

  • What do you know about history?
  • What have you already learned?
  • What period/event would you like to learn more about?
  • What questions do you have about a period in history?
  • Would you like the group to pick one specific topic with lectures?

IBDP 12: Changing patterns of energy consumption

Part 1: Examine the global patterns and trends in the production and consumption of oil.

Global Pattern in Oil production and Consumptions

List the factors that affect oil production and consumption

Peak Oil Explained 

Oil and Gas Wells


Can you spot any problems in California’s well abandonment system?

Exercise 1:

Using, list the following:

  • Top 3 oil producers
  • Top 3 oil consumers
  • Top 3 oil consumer per capita
  • Top 3 oil reserve

Part 2: Examine the geopolitical and environmental impacts of these changes in patterns and trends.

For the Environmental section, you need to be able to fully explain the causes and consequences of Global Climate Change (Unit 3) and the BP oil spill (Hazards). The Sankoku/Dioayu conflict can also be a geopolitical consequence. (Coasts)

Other Environmental impacts:

Canada’s Tar Sands

What is fracking?

Also, have detailed notes of Poison Fire.

Geopolitical Impacts:


As you watch, list the ways and reasons OPEC can control oil prices. 

Further readings: 

BP cuts 4000 jobs

What’s behind the volatility?

OPEC’s declining power

Curse of Oil video we watched before break

Project: Presentation:

  • in groups of 3
  • create an in-depth, 5-7 minute presentation on one of the following topic
  • you may use PowerPoint,, video, or any other visual help
  • create a 2 page factsheet on your topic to be given to the rest of the class on the day of your presentation
  • use graphs, maps and tables, but they do not need to be created by your group
  • include an MLA style bibliography with hyperlinks (on your presentation not on your factsheet)
  • You may use to help you focus your research (make sure to include it in your bibliography)

Question 1: Discuss the role of OPEC countries on current world oil prices

When oil prices rise, people and governments are forced to reduce their consumptions, which has a direct negative impact on the economy. OPEC countries are very aware of this and have used their leverage to impose their political ideas on consumer countries. 

  • Give a detailed account of the roles and responsibilities of OPEC countries
  • Describe the causes that led to price changes
  • Discuss the geopolitical consequences of the crisis in a specific region

Question 2: Discuss the consequences of oil production in the Nigerian Delta

Lax environmental laws and government corruption have attracted a lot of investment in Nigeria’s oil industry, but has also alienated much of its population. the WWF has declared the delta as one of the top 5 most polluted areas on earth. As you saw in the video, flaring has also affected the livelihood of the 20 000 000 people living in the delta. To make matters worse, oil poachers and rebel groups are now fighting to gain control of oil fields, or get ransom money.

  • Give a detailed account of the roles and responsibilities of Shell in the Nigerian Oil Crisis
  • Describe how the conflict has affected Nigeria’s relationship to other countries.
  • Draw a time line of the main events
  • Discuss the consequences of the crisis on the Nigerian population, its environment and biodiversity and on the Nigerian Government

Question 3: Current geopolitical conflict

There are many conflicts happening at the moment where oil can be traced as a direct cause. Be it Syria, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, oil money is involved in some way or another.

  • Give a detailed account of an ongoing geopolitical conflict
  • Give a detailed account of the major players, their roles and responsibilities
  • Describe how the conflict has affected international relations
  • Draw a time line of the main events
  • Discuss the consequences of the crisis on the local population, the environment and biodiversity, and the supply and demand of oil in the region

Question 4 (2 groups): The Changing importance of other energy sources

As a consequence of these conflicts brought about through oil dependency, alternative energy sources have become increasingly important for countries to remain independent and self-sufficient in terms of energy.

Describe the following types of resources:

  • Renewable resources
  • Non Renewable resources
  • Human resources
  • Energy resources
  • Natural resources

Explain the trends and correlations in production, consumption and penetration of the following energy sources. Explain the various patterns over time and space. Using case studies, evaluate their efficiency in replacing oil consumption. (Pros and cons)

  • Group 1
    • Natural Gas
    • Nuclear Power
    • Hydro-Electricity
    • Wind Power
  • Group 2
    • Geothermal Energy
    • Biofuels
    • Solar Power
    • Fuelwood

You will have a double period on Wednesday to work on this. All presentations will be on Friday, Nov 4th.

InS 10: A point in History

  • Who writes history?  
  • Where does their information come from?
  • Define  primary and secondary sources.
  • How do you evaluate sources to see if they are reliable and valid?

Part 1:

Read this article on the reliability of sources and discuss with your table group. Give examples of good and bad news sources.

Part 2: We will be looking at sources – using these as a basis for a factual essay. First you will need to be able to analyse them using origin, purpose, perspective, value and limitations.

First – basic questions we ask ourselves about something in history

  • Who, What, Why, Where, When & How? These help us gather information from SOURCES – These can be ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’
  • Try to get as much information as possible using a political cartoon source from the handout (Document 1)
  • A wide range of sources are used by historian, written, visual and artefacts. We will be looking at and using different sources.
  • Info on primary and secondary
  • Introduction using these sources with an extra P for Perspective!  See powerpoint
  • Find a political cartoon from any place or time.
    • Print it at the centre of an A4 paper, with enough space to write around it
    • Annotate the OPPVL of your cartoon

Part 3: 

© 2020 I&S Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar