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Teacher Edition

Week of April 23, 2017

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Tuesday

This is Pandora. I am sure that you heard ALL about me (good things, of course). I am the younger (and wiser) sister of George Hudson Cartog and Meri Diane Cartog. You know them as simply Geo and Meri. They are both still jet-lagged and tired from their trip home. We are having a surprise "welcome home" party for them on Friday. SSShh - don't tell them!


I have been following their blog for months now, and I have SO many questions!! I mean, think about it - Why would Phoebe steal the dog in the first place? Why not just hire scientists? And about this dog, Dewey? Why wouldn't the government just catch their own dog instead of sending teenagers on a mission around the world? I know my sister and brother are smart....but still! And why do you think Veritas wanted the dog anyway? And what is going to happen to Dewey now? Is he safe?


I also have a TON of questions for Geo and Meri. What was the coolest place they went? Weren't they scared traveling all over the world alone? Didn't they miss me and our parents? When are they going back to school? Will they pass for the year? Can any kid go on a mission like this? Can I go next time? How much did they get paid? Did they have enough money while they were gone? Did they get sick at all? (Neither one ever mentioned being sick in the blog.) And how in the world did one small suitcase of clothes last both of them for the entire seven months and throughout such a variety of climates?


Anyway, I am glad that they are home now. I pasted two pictures of my hometown below. So you know where "I" have been for the past seven months!! We have "tourist attractions" too. I hope I don't get into trouble for logging into their blog. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time they were mad at me -- hehehe.

     - Pandora


The famous Papago Park in Phoenix! Aren't the spring wildflowers beautiful?


The Sonoran Desert in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Map of Arizona (from Pandora)
Here is a map of my home-state of Arizona. What state borders Arizona to the east? What state borders Arizona to the west? How about the northeast and northwest? What country is south of Arizona? Is Phoenix in north, south, or central Arizona?


Tuesday Night

Holy Idaho Pandora!! You do have a lot of questions, not that I am surprised. And thanks for ruining the surprise party for us. Geo took one look at your list of questions, got a headache, and had to go back to bed. So, I will try to answer SOME of them. We don't have the time or space to completely satisfy your curiosity. Here I go:


Why would Phoebe steal the dog in the first place? Why not just hire scientists? Well, after meeting her and having the "polar bear" conversation, I have realized that Phoebe isn't the brightest light bulb in the room! Yes, I agree it would have been more logical to just hire a scientist privately (rather than steal a U.S. government dog). Maybe she was afraid a scientist would tell what she was up to. Dewey can't talk and give away her secret scheme to make money from global warming and the opening of the Northwest Passage.


Why wouldn't the government just catch their own dog instead of sending teenagers on a mission around the world? The government didn't want the dog-napping to be leaked out to the American press, so they thought it would be safer to send us on the mission. The reporters and paparazzi wouldn't think that teenagers would be working for the government.


Why do you think Veritas wanted the dog anyway? Veritas also wanted Dewey because of his truth-sniffing ability. They wanted to figure out where they could dig to find more natural resources around the Northwest Passage in northern Canada. The big difference between Veritas and the Equators is that Veritas paid money for Dewey and they were honest all along.


What is going to happen to Dewey now? Is he safe? Believe it or not, Dewey and Uncle GT are taking a much needed vacation at Uncle GT's lake house (wish we were there too). Dewey is perfectly safe with bodyguards watching him 24/7. After vacation, Dewey and Uncle GT will return to headquarters in Washington, D.C. to research and "sniff out the truth" about whatever the U.S. government may need next.


What was the coolest place they went? I assume by cool you mean our favorite location, not the air temperature? My favorite place was Europe, especially London and Paris. Geo loved the Andes Mountains in South America. His favorite country was Chile. I wonder what location was the "coolest" to learn about from our blog. What do you all think?


Weren't they scared traveling all over the world alone? We weren't alone at all. Geo and I were together. And Uncle GT always knew exactly where we were and met up with us a few times, too. Holy Idaho! We had a great trip. I would go again in a heartbeat!


Didn't they miss me and our parents? Not really. I mean we did miss you guys around the holidays. But we got our gifts shipped to us, so we still got lots of neat stuff. I love my new Wii games. Geo and I had an awesome time at the hotel playing the sports games. It is nice to be back home though.


When are they going back to school? Will they pass for the year? In a way we already did because we came up with a way for teachers to review the entire mission - teachers can find it in the Teachers information . And our blog was our assignment for the months that we missed. Now that we are back, the principal is requiring us to visit every geography and social studies class in the school to do a presentation about our mission. We don't get to pass the year unless we visit EVERY geography and social studies class. We already took the end of the year tests in our regular classes, before we even left for the mission. So our year is pretty much finished.


Can any kid go on a mission like this? Can I go next time? No, every kid can't go on a mission like this. We are very lucky because of having Uncle GT. Otherwise, we would never have gone on the adventures that we already have. We have tagged along with Uncle GT on several other missions (only throughout North America), so he knew we were ready to go on our own. And Pandora, you are WAY too young to tag along. Maybe in 5 years or so you can come too.


How much did they get paid? Did they have enough money while they were gone? Holy Idaho Pandora! We didn't get "paid" at all. We got a free trip around the entire world!! We had plenty of money because Uncle GT gave us a credit card that worked internationally. The credit card had no limit, but Uncle GT knew that we would be responsible with the money. We were allowed to use the money for tourist attractions, food, transportation, and whatever else we needed. We were REALLY lucky.


Did they get sick at all? Neither one ever mentioned it in the blog. To be honest, I did get a few migraines. Geo was fine the entire trip. Oh yeah, I forgot about Mexico City. We both got kind of sick from the water and spent the entire night with something they call Montezuma's Revenge - yuck!


How in the world did one small suitcase of clothes last both of them for the entire seven months and throughout such a variety of climates? Pandora, did you ever hear of a washing machine? Nearly every hotel we stayed at had a washing machine. Uncle GT warned us to pack a variety of clothing, especially layers. So we didn't have many clothes. We had a few of everything, but not a lot of anything. Does that make sense?

     - Meri


Here is a picture of Uncle GT's lake house (where Dewey and Uncle GT are vacationing). I wish I was there!!



Wednesday

Today Meri and I went back to school. We are still adjusting to life in the states (and in the Mountain- Time zone). We had six presentations today about our trip. Today we talked to most of the ninth grade classes. You know Meri; she is doing most of the talking. But I am the one who is answering the students' questions after the presentation.


I have been thinking about this mission. And I have a few questions that I have been thinking about and want to share with our blog readers. Do you think the natural landforms, resources, and hazards change the way people live, or do people everywhere seem to do things mostly in the same way? Why do you think some places get so many more tourists (and picture-takers) than others? And what about global warming - do you think it is going to change the way some people live? How and why?


I wonder how long it will be until our next mission. Can you think of any countries that we didn't visit, but wish we could have seen? Which place that we visited would you like to try living for a while? Do you have any other ideas for our next mission? Maybe some of the kids reading this have ideas for another Mission that we can suggest to Uncle GT! Well, this is our final blog entry for this Globetracker's Mission. We hope you enjoyed the wild ride. We surely did. We will be back soon on our next mission for Uncle Globetracker (GT for short). Speaking of our next mission, If we get sent on another mission for Uncle GT, where do you hope it will take us? Could it be an extended exploration of North America? Or do you think we might get to spend time staying with families and kids in other countries (instead of staying in hotels)? Or do you think that we might get to see natural wonders, not necessarily places with lots of people? What do you think?

     - Geo




Vocabulary Terms:

natural resources - any substance that is made by nature and used to enhance the lives of living things. Some examples of natural resources include sunlight, minerals, soil, and water.

Northwest Passage - a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic. This passage is a direct route for ships to travel from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean. The passage is becoming ice-free for the first time since satellite records began to be kept in the 1970s.

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Standards for this episode:

Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographical tools and technologies.

Grade 3-5: Knows the basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend, cardinal, scale, grid, meridians, time zones, etc.).

Knows the location of places, geographical features, and patterns of the environment.

Grade 3-5: Knows major physical and human features of places as they are represented on maps and globes. Knows how to read different maps: road, relief, globe, etc..

Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface.

Grade 3-5: Knows how and why people divide Earth's surface into political and/or economic units (e.g., states in the United States and Mexico; provinces in Canada; countries in North and South America; countries linked in cooperative relationships, such as the European Union).

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