Saturday, July 25, 2015

Poetry, Geography, and Writing: Brazil

Amazon River
Photo Credit: Mariusz Kluzniak
Map Warm-up

Complete the blank map exercise

Geography Warm-up

Do exercises 41-44 in World Geography Daily Skill Builders

Six Things to Know About Brazil

  1. Portuguese origins and language.
  2. Rio de Janeiro
    1. used to be capitol
    2. Christ the Redeemer statue on Mt. Corcovado Image 1 Image 2
    3. Carnivale Image 1 Image 2 Video
    4. Copacabana Beach
  3. Brasilia
    1. Palacio Da Alvorada: Image 1 Image 2
    2. Cathedral of Brazil: Image 1 Image 2
    3. New capitol
    4. planned city (Can stop here and do planned city exercise)
      1. Celebration FL: Image 1 Image 2
      2. Los Alamos New Mexico
      3. Reston VA
  4. Architecture
    1. National Congress Image 1 Image 2
    2. Iberapuera Auditorium Image 1 Image 2
    3. Oscar Niemeyer
  5. Iguassu Falls Image Video


"the city goes on sleeping/awake" by Armando Freitas Filho
On this page, you can click between the original Portuguese, the first attempt at a literal translation, and the final translation, to give you an idea of what goes into translating a poem.

Activity: Plan a City like Brasilia

After looking at the maps of all the planned and unplanned cities like Celebration, FL, and Brasilia, think about how you would structure an ideal city. What would your priority be? Ease of transportation? View of a nice horizon? Clean air? What elements need to be included in all cities -- hospitals, police stations, food stores, schools, etc? Where would these things be located in your ideal city? How would you name your streets? Do you think bad neighborhoods are ever planned or are they the result of poor planning? Take a large sheet of paper and use a pencil to plan a city.


"All I ever wanted was a world without maps."
--Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient

Time: 20 minutes
Length: 1 page

We've seen how maps can divide us. Think of the dividing line between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, or the barriers between the US and Mexico. We've also seen how maps can help us -- think of the map of biodiversity in the Amazon, or maps used by early explorers to stay alive. What do you think the character in The English Patient (who was a cartographer) meant when he said all he ever wanted was a world without maps. Can you imagine such a world? Would there be benefits to getting rid of any kind of map -- political, resource, population? Or are maps essential to our life? In a one page essay, answer the question: Would you want to live in a world without maps?

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