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Picture Your Plate Visual Geography Project

! Hannah Stewart !
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Objective: Students will analyze the Thanksgiving holiday meal through a visualization and documentation of their own practices, comparing the cultural interpretations of the holiday within America and globally, and analyzing the economic and environmental impact of food

Standards: WG-4.1 Identify the characteristics of culture and the impacts of cultural beliefs on gender roles,race, and ethnicity as they vary from one region to another, for example legal rights for women in the Middle East. WG-4.2 Compare and contrast the consequences of differing cultural views of nature and use of natural resources, including the development of a built environment from a natural environment. WG-4.3 Compare the role that culture plays in incidents of cooperation and conflict, for example cultural factors such as religious, linguistic, and ethnic differences. WG-5.5 Explain the consequences of the current global trade systems for economic and environmental sustainability in both importing and exporting countries, for example the impacts of overfishing on local ecosystems to meet foreign product demand. WG-5.6 Explain the interaction between the delivery of goods and services and transportation and communications networks, for example the hub and spoke systems used by air freight companies. WG-7.6 Analyze and explain how globalization affects different functions of citizenship, for example the need for one passport for members of the European Union. WG-8.4 Analyze the relationships between the spatial distribution of humans and resources, for example the positive and negative consequences of resource use as seen in the shrinking of the Aral Sea.

Directions: Students will start by documenting the contents of their plate on Thanksgiving day. It will include one course of one meal (i.e. if you eat three plates full of food like Mr. Mewborne hopes to do, you are only required to document one plate). This will include both a photograph and

brief description of the items on the plate. The photograph may be digital, but should be clear. Digital files that cannot be opened will not be accepted for credit. Students will then answer the questions on the sheet provided. Some questions will come with a prompt that requires a bit of reading. Students should answer all questions to the best of their ability. Questions left blank or answered inappropriately will not receive full credit. This activity is meant to prompt discussion, thought, and a greater understanding of the processes at work in our life. If there are any questions, please contact me by email at mmewborn@lexrich5.org. I will do my best to answer in a timely fashion. THIS ASSIGNMENT IS DUE ON 4(A)/5(B) DECEMBER 2013!!!

Part I- Picture Your Plate Directions: Photograph at least ONE plate of food during the celebration of Thanksgiving with your family. The photo may be submitted in physical or digital form, but must meet the following requirements to receive full credit (ten points). The picture of a meal is worth 4 points. The clarity of the shot is worth 2 points. The description of the items that accompanies the picture is worth 4 points. If you do not have access to any camera on Thanksgiving day, including cell phone cameras, digital cameras, your district issued iPad, or film cameras, then you may submit a tasteful, highquality drawing of your plate. You must contact Mr. Mewborne in advance to get permission to do this. December 3rd is not in advance.

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Top left: mashed potatoes Top right: cranberry sauce Middle left: asparagus and Brussels sprouts Middle right: roll Bottom left: turkey Bottom right: honey baked ham

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Part II- Thanksgiving Holiday Directions: Read each prompt. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Do not leave any answers blank. As usual, I dont know is not an acceptable answer.

1. Thanksgiving in America tends to celebrate the cooperation of Native American tribes and religious Pilgrims from England and the Netherlands settling in modern day Massachusetts. How does geography shape this story? Geography affected the pilgrims because certain things that happened where they landed their boat, in Massachusetts, that would not have happened if they were in a different place. For one thing, the winter in Massachusetts was very cold, and the land wasn't very good for farming. This lead to the pilgrims starving and dying, so they were very thankful when the native Americans shared their food with them.

2. Given the course of events since that first Thanksgiving meal in the 1620s, how do you think different Americans celebrate or perceive the Thanksgiving holiday today? Be sure to note the role of geography in shaping different interpretations of the meaning of the celebration. Thanksgiving today is pretty different than it was on the first thanksgiving. Today, it's a time to give thanks for everything we've been given, not just for food. There's a lot of thanking God, because we live in a predominantly Christian area. Also, it's the day most of us over-eat, since we live in a prosperous and developed country, in contrast to the pilgrims who ate the meal to survive in basically the wilderness. Most of the foods we eat are different than what they are at the first thanksgiving. They ate eel because that's what was available. Because we live in America and most Americans don't have access to eel, the normal meal consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, and other foods that Americans eat. There are variations between what is eaten somewhere like South Carolina and California, for example, because the two states have access to different local foods. This variation between food preferences is shrinking, because of improved transportation and a more globalized United States.

3. What types of food are truly American? Give evidence for your response. Very few foods are "truly American", or originated in America. Most are Americanized versions of food from other cultures, like pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, our Chinese food, or our Mexican food. Some foods that are truly American are ice, turkey, potato chips, and cheeseburgers, because they are eaten by most Americans and not many people outside of the U.S.

4. As those early, cold, starving Pilgrims must have thought, food production requires a great deal more than we might typically think. Time, money, and resources are used in producing single ingredients, let alone a full meal. Based on your documentation, choose ONE item on your plate to research, answering the following questions. Cranberry sauce a. How much do the ingredients for this dish cost? Ask a family member for an estimate, or get a list of ingredients and look online or in a local grocery store. Cranberries: $5.99 1 cup sugar: $2.49 / 9 = $0.27 1 cup water: about $0.01 Total: about $6.27 b. How long does this dish take to prepare and cook? About one hour c. In what season do these ingredients typically grow/are harvested? For example, tomatoes are often summer crops, but kale or leeks grow better in the autumn or early spring. Cranberries are planted in the spring and are usually harvested during the fall. d. Not everything grows in South Carolina. Where do these ingredients come from? Be as specific as possible (Southern California, or Asheville, North Carolina). Check the packaging or investigate. Given the cost of gasoline (see the link below), figure the approximate cost of fuel used to move the ingredients you chose to research to your location. You must show your math! Most cranberries grow in the northern United States, mostly in Massachusetts.. The approximate cost for fuel to ship cranberries from cape cod, Massachusetts to Irmo would be $536.61. (Math is on separate page)

Information for figuring transportation cost for 4e: 18 wheeler trucks get 5-10 miles per gallon. They can hold 200-300 gallons of gasoline at a time. If we take the maximum numbers for both (300 gallons at 10 miles per gallon), we get 3000 miles on a tank of gasoline. Gasoline prices can be found at http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/ gasdiesel/. These are official government figures. Since these trucks move across the country, it is better to use national averages rather than the price at your local gas station. For example, on 12 November 2012 gasoline averaged at 3.449 dollars per gallon. At 300 gallons, that means it cost $1,034.70 to fill the tank on an 18 wheeler. Interstate 80 runs from the New York City metro area to San Francisco at around 2,900 miles in length. I-95 runs the length of the east coast at

around 1,900 miles. In other words, a single tank could take a truck, in theory, across the country.

5. What does thankfulness mean to you and your family? How does this reflect your familys culture (religion, history, fashion, tradition, social organization, etc.)? How does geography shape your perception of thankfulness? To me and my family, thankfulness means being aware of the gifts we've been given and thanking God for them. This shows that we are Christians who live in a developed country that values being thankful for all we have been given. My perception of thankfulness is dependent on geography. I live in the southeast United States, and because my parents and I were born here, we are Christians, and because of our faith, we believe that our gifts come from God and we should be thankful to Him. 6. Based on your previous answers, and any additional research, what is the environmental impact of Thanksgiving? Give specific examples. I think that the environment is impacted negatively by thanksgiving, because producing and shipping such large amounts of foods emits a lot of greenhouse gases that harm the environment. According to the Washington Post, "your thanksgiving meal might be responsible for more than 10 pounds of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere". Also, thanksgiving can produce a lot of trash. The turkey, ham, rolls, cranberries, and all the ingredients were stored in plastic wrapping that will now sit in a landfill for the next 500 years.

Part II Rubric Each question is worth up to three points. You get a point for each of the following: appropriateness of response, clarity, and use of evidence/correctness. For appropriateness, the response must adequately address the question. For clarity, it must be free from major and/or distracting errors. For evidence/correctness, a reason must be given that is factual or demonstrates logic behind the answer. Questions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are worth up to three points for a total of 15 points. On question 4, each letter warrants up to three points for a total of 15 points. There are 30 points possible for this portion of the assignment.