In this challenge, students learn how physical geography influences community life in Canada, Tunisia, Peru, India and Ukraine by trying to match photographs with the communities they represent. In preparation for this activity, assemble two or three sets of images (print, video and online) on various features of life (e.g., housing, clothing, daily activities) in five communities: the students' own community in Canada and four communities in the countries profiled for this inquiry. A search of Google™ Image Search using the country and a topic (e.g., "India housing" or "Ukraine transportation") will generally produce a generous supply of photographs, although searching by specific community within these countries produces limited results. (See the Related resources for other sources of images.)
Introduce the lesson by locating Tunisia, Peru, India, Ukraine and Canada on a large map. Explain the term "equator" and relate it to temperature (closer is warmer) and to the cardinal directions of north and south. Ask students to describe the location of the five countries in relation to the equator and in relation to each other using cardinal directions (e.g., Is Canada closer to Peru or to India?). Introduce the north/south hemispheres and poles, inviting students to add these terms to their location descriptions. Suggest that the further one moves away from the equator, the colder the temperature. Using an outline map of the world, ask students to identify Canada, the four profiled countries (Tunisia, Peru, India and Ukraine), the equator and the two hemispheres.
Explain that students are going to try to use information about location and climate to identify the site of the various communities represented in the sets of images. Provide students with additional information about the physical geography (climate, natural resources, main geographic features and main goods and services) of the relevant regions in Canada and the four profiled countries. (The C.I.A. World Factbook contains this kind of information.) Now provide students with five photographs (numbered 1 to 5) showing typical scenes in the students' own community and in one community in each of the four profiled countries. Invite students to examine the content of images to learn about the jobs people do, the homes they live in, and the activities they perform. See Investigating Pictures (Modelling the Tools) for detailed suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for interpreting the main ideas from an image.
Once students have interpreted the pictures, ask them to use these clues and the information about the physical geography of each country to match the community with the country where it is located. Initially, select an image and limit students to a choice between two communities (e.g., Is it more likely that this picture is of a community in India or Ukraine?). As a further help, draw students' attention to specific connections to the information provided about the country and clues in the image (e.g., "Notice the kinds of houses in the picture. Which community is mostly likely to need and have the material to build this kind of house?"). You may want to adapt the chart and strategies for Supporting Conclusions (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity. When students have completed the initial set of images, repeat this procedure with an additional set of images.
Once students have identified the locations of the images, post the images in the appropriate places on a large wall map.
It may be that students will wonder how, if a country does not have a particular resource (e.g., forests), that it could have products made from that resource (e.g., houses made of wood). This is an opportunity to introduce the notion of imports and exports. A useful book for this purpose is The World Came to My Place Today. The story explains that many things we see and use everyday are "imported" to our community and "exported" from another community. Discuss with students the main goods and services that are likely to be imported into and exported from each of the communities. You might organize an at-home scavenger hunt where students can look for products that are imported into Canada. Suggest that student look for labels on food, clothing, furniture equipment and books in an effort to find as many imported products as they can from as many different countries.