Sunday, July 26, 2015

Poetry, Geography, and Writing: New Zealand and Polynesia

Milford Sound, New Zealand. Photo Credit Loic Lagarde
Geography Warmup

Do exercises 129-131 in World Geography Daily Skill Builders.

Discuss: What is Oceania? (Here's a map.) What is a continent? What is a region? Look at this Dymaxion Map. How does this map make the designation of different continents seem more or less important? What is the difference between a continent and an island?

Six Things to Know About New Zealand

1. New Zealand is two islands. The north and part of the south sit on the Australian tectonic plate, and the rest of the south island sits on the Pacific tectonic plate. This means lots of geothermal activity -- hot springs and geysers. Subduction has created sunken mountains
     Fiordland National Park: glacier sunken mountains Gates of Argonath!!!
     Marlborough Sounds: sunken mountains y'all for real

2. History:
     Settled by Polynesian islanders 1000 years ago
     Maori culture
     “Discovered” by a Dutch explorer and circumnavigated and mapped by Captain Cook
     Became part of the British Empire: New South Wales
     Equal rights for Maori people: 1840 Treaty of Waitangi
     The difficult question: WHEN DID INDEPENDENCE HAPPEN?
     Dominion of New Zealand
     Did not participate in Australian Federation
     Created own constitution, knighthood system

3. Exports: At first it was just wool, but with the invention of refrigerated steamships, exports included butter, cheese, mutton, and beef.

4. Antipodes: What are antipodes?
     The antipodes of the Chatham Islands lie in France, just north of the city of Montpellier.
     The antipodes of the Antipodes Islands lie in South West England.

5. Maori: Haka Dance

6. Cities
Auckland
Wellington
Christchurch
Rotorua
Queenstown

Poetry

In lieu of poetry this week, we read The Maui Cycle, part of Maori mythology. You can find out all about it here

Writing

Using this photograph as inspiration, create a piece of writing of any kind.

Time: 20 minutes
Length: 1 page

The challenge in this assignment is the lack of instruction. With a time limit of twenty minutes and an open assignment like this one, you can spend half your allotted time trying to figure out what you're going to write. The key is to remember this is one page of writing that you will create in one fraction of one of the many hours of your life. It doesn't have to be perfect, or epic, or exactly what you've always wanted to write and turn in. It only has to fulfill the assignment. This exercise is about picking something and running with it -- maybe a fictional account of a mountain ascent. Maybe a poem. Maybe a description with lots of physical detail. Maybe a description with lots of emotions, telling what it's like to be lost in the mountains. What you write is up to you -- that's great for your creativity but also hard for your focus. Try to give yourself a short period of time to brainstorm: no more than two minutes. When  you come up with an idea and a direction, stick with it for the whole page. You can write something else tomorrow.

1 comment:

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