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Danger in the Desert Classroom Companion

Danger in the Desert Classroom Companion

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Danger in the Desert Classroom Companion

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  1. Danger in the DesertClassroom Companion Information and activities to accompany the book Linda D. Alkove MEd

  2. Information and Activities to Accompany Danger in the Desert • Neighborhood survival • Neighborhood Emergency Plan • Knowing where you are: cardinal directions • Know Where You Are Activity • Neighborhood Map • Make Your Own Survival Guide • Walkabout activity • Survival Inventory Preparation • Survival Inventory Group Activity • Survival Inventory (Car) • Survival kit for traveling • Field Trips • Class field trip • What ifs • Things you need to know about water • Desert Pictograph Activities • Recommendations to Teachers

  3. Neighborhood/City Survival • Compile questions in a pretest for students (see activity handouts for a sample) to find out how many really know how to describe where they are in their neighborhood. • Ask students what if: • You get locked out of the house accidentally on a hot day. • You miss the bus and have to walk home from school on a hot day. • You feel threatened or intimidated by anyone. • Your car breaks down on a hot day and you are not near any convenience stores. • Your prearranged ride fails to show at the planned time and place. • Have students brainstorm. Then collect the ideas and discuss them.

  4. Emergency Plan (while in your neighborhood) • Sit down with your family and agree on places to meet if you should encounter an inconvenient, suspicious, or life-threatening situation and cannot go home or get in the house, even if you have cell phones. • If you carry a cell phone, make sure you have phone numbers you need to help in sticky situations: parents’ work number, parents’ cell phone number, close relative or trusted adult numbers, 911, etc. • Whether you carry a cell phone or not, you should keep a list of these numbers on a card in your wallet or purse. YOU CANNOT COUNT ON THE CELL PHONE WORKING FOR YOU IN AN EMERGENCY. HAVE A BACK UP PLAN.

  5. Emergency Plan (while in your neighborhood) continued • Know where working public phones are in your area. • Arrange emergency use of home telephones with trusted adults. • If you live in an apartment, remember there are usually offices open during the day where you may use a phone in an emergency. • Businesses nearby will let you use their own phones if they know you have an emergency.

  6. Emergency Plan (while in your neighborhood) continued • Here are some things you need to know and be aware of all the time: • Cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) • Major streets, plus cross streets (intersections) where you are at any time. • Cardinal directions in relation to your location or any other given location. • Your house number and street number • Your phone number or that of a trusted adult



  9. But what do I need to know this for?

  10. So when you are faced with a situation in which you must accurately describe where you are or where someone else may be, you can!


  12. North To the right of the sunset. To the left of the sunrise. Northwest Northeast Direction the sun sets. Direction the sun rises. West East Southeast Southwest South To the right of the sunrise. To the left of the sunset.

  13. North To Utah Northwest Northeast t Los Angeles, CA Albuquerque, NMu West East Southeast Southwest South To Mexico

  14. Other easy cardinal direction mnemonics (memory aids) for Arizona residents The City of Flagstaff is in the northern part of Arizona The City of Tucson is in the southern part of Arizona. The City of Yuma is in the western part of Arizona. The City of Springerville is in the eastern part of Arizona.

  15. Main Arizona Highways. I-17 runs north/south between the cities of Phoenix and Flagstaff. I-8 runs from I-10 (cutting the state in half between Phoenix and Tucson) east to California. I-10 enters the state on the east side, then cuts the state in half between Tucson and Phoenix, and then turns west to California.

  16. Know Where You Are Activity #1The Neighborhood Maop

  17. Neighborhood Map • Should include anywhere a student might go on a hot summer day, such as: • Friends’ houses • Convenience stores • Fast food stores • The mall • The library

  18. Neighborhood Map (continued) • Should important transportation items, such as: • Streets (where you live and close by) • Bus stops • Homes of trusted adults who might get you where you need to go in an emergency

  19. Neighborhood Map (continued) • Should safe meeting areas: • Public places where you can meet a trusted adult indoors, such as libraries, fast food restaurants, coffee shops, the mall (make sure you have identified the exact place in the mall) • Homes of trusted adults • School office (many do not close until at least one hour after students leave) • Police substations, fire stations

  20. Making your own survival guide • What do you need to know if you get lost, locked out, or stranded in….. • Your neighborhood • Your town or city • The region where you live • Other places in your state

  21. Surviving your neighborhood: It’s all in what you know • At the least, you need to know the following: • Where you can get water (besides your own house) • Where you can get food • Where you can be safe from dangerous situations or people. • Where you can safely wait for trusted adults to pick you up (friend’s houses, churches, libraries, etc.) • Who to call when you need help • When your nearest neighborhood school closes (often if there is a problem, just go to the school and explain the situation to the office and they will make sure you are safe)

  22. Surviving your neighborhood • Make a map of your neighborhood, including: • The location of your house • The locations of essential services (stores, gas stations, etc.) • The locations of public phones • “Safe” houses—where trusted adults live and may be available if needed. • Places to avoid

  23. Survival Situations in your Neighborhood • Getting locked out/forgetting or losing your key • Stranger danger • House fire • Neighborhood lock down • Communication problems between adults and kids

  24. What you need with you at all times • Bottled water • House key • List of phone numbers of trusted people • Neighborhood map • Weather appropriate clothing (this is the most difficult for some middle school kids) • Identification (school or state ID)

  25. About Your Town or City • You at least need to know the following… • Your home phone number or the phone number of a trusted adult who can help you • What part of the city you live in (most metropolitan areas have official and unofficial districts, for example “Willow district”, “Sunnyslope,” “South Phoenix”) • At least one unique landmark near where you live • Your home’s relative direction to the landmark (example: “I live just west of MetroCenter”) • Major cross streets (example: “I live near the intersection of 35th Ave. and Peoria”) • How to get to any of your designated safe locations from the major cross streets.

  26. Surviving your town/city • Here is a list of items you should have with you at all times • Water • Your house key • Your neighborhood map • Coins for phones (check to see how much a call costs) Don’t assume that your cell phone will be working when you need it most! • A list of phone numbers, including people you can count on to help you. • Weather appropriate clothing. • Identification (school or state ID)

  27. Surviving your town/city • Here is a list of items that are helpful, especially if you must find your own way home. • For most large cities, bus fare (right now in Phoenix, it’s $1.25 per ride. If you know you need to change buses, you will need $1.25 for each bus) • Bus schedule—and make sure before you go anywhere that you can find a way back home on the bus. • City map

  28. Know Where You Are Activity #2The Walkabout Students should already have finished their neighborhood maps before you attempt the Walkabout.

  29. Walkabout • For this activity, the teacher needs to get the usual field trip permissions, but does not need to get a bus. • Essentially, you will be taking your students for a walk around the neighborhood of your school. • Students either individually or in groups will carry clipboards with questions on them designed to test whether or not they can describe their location in terms of cardinal directions, and in terms of cardinal directions in relation to streets, houses, businesses, etc.

  30. Walkabout • BEFORE THE WALKABOUT • Plan your route, draw your own map, and plan where you will ask the questions. • Plan questions for 5-10 stopping points where the students will be required to answer the questions on the clipboard. • Once you return, compare student answers to a neighborhood map you have made to go along with the Walkabout.

  31. Walkabout • Sample Questions Teacher Sheet: Stop at the corner of Elm and Maple. Student Sheet: • Describe where you are in relation to home or school, using cardinal directions. • If you had to go to _________ from here, which cardinal direction would you take?

  32. Desert Survival Inventory (Group activity) A DAY OR TWO BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: 1.Have students read the desert survival pamphlets provided as website links at the end of this portfolio. 2. Have students take the “survival quiz” after reading the desert survival pamphlets and before starting this activity.

  33. Survival Inventory (Group activity) • You will be dividing your class into groups of 4/5 students for this activity. • You will need a paper grocery bag or plastic kitchen garbage bag for each group. • Each bag must contain a representative collection of items that may be contained in a car (preferable before the interior is cleaned out)

  34. Survival Inventory (Group activity) continued • Bag materials may include but not be limited to: • Towel (such as a driver might use to wipe wet windows) • Paper or plastic cups • Pencils, papers • Newspaper • Blanket • Pillow • Children’s toys • Books • Trash container

  35. Survival Inventory (Group activity) continued • You may also simulate items often carried on someone’s person, but which are not necessarily allowed at school. Use index cards to simulate: • iPods or MP3 players • Cell phones • Water bottles (filled or unfilled) • Nintendo or Sega personal game players

  36. Survival Inventory (Group activity) continued • You may also include items carried in student purses, backpacks, or notebooks—these the students can provide themselves and may include: Make-up, make-up mirrors Paper, pencil Clothing Books Etc.

  37. Survival Inventory (Group activity) On the day… • Assign student groups. • Tell them each group is representative of driver and passengers in a car • Distribute on bag with items to each group. • Tell them they are stranded in the desert. • They are to inventory all items in the bag (representative of items in a car) along with all items on their persons (simulate items forbidden at school)

  38. Survival Inventory (Group activity) On the day continued • Students are to examine the inventory and, on a sheet of paper, write an explanation of what the item could be used for in the desert. • This can be a journal activity or a presentation activity.

  39. Survival Inventory (Car) • This is an individual assignment! • Using what they have learned, and what they practiced in the group activity, students will take an inventory of objects found in their cars. • You may use the activity handouts on the main website to print and give to your students so they can record their inventory.

  40. Survival Kit for Traveling • Have each student make a list of things they think they would need for a survival kit, now that they know the essentials.

  41. Field Trips Learning about your environment

  42. Independent or assigned Field Trips for Students • Your city, county, or state • In Arizona, many cities and counties have their own regional parks. These parks are often kept in “native” condition, and have many of the plants and animals that were abundant in the area before development. • Arizona also has a lot of federal lands. These include national parks and monuments, national forests, and designated wilderness areas. Make your next camping trip or picnic into a field trip by looking for animals or plants and keeping a record of what you find.

  43. Field Trips for School • You might not need to travel if your school has a “native” garden, as many do here in Arizona. Make the same observations and keep the same records you might keep if you were on your own. • If you do have the opportunity to travel, any community in Arizona has quick access to public lands and wilderness areas. • Remember: if you live in the Phoenix area, you have access to the largest regional park system in the U.S. All of the regional parks are kept in native condition and many have great interpretive programs where students can learn how to observe and record information.

  44. What if…. Problem Solving Before You Encounter the Problem

  45. What if…. • My friends and I go on an outing and no one shows up to pick us up: • Before you go: • work out a safe location where you and your friends can wait to be picked up if your trusted adult ride is delayed and the place you are visiting closes. • Be prepared to take the bus or a taxi home. This means know the routes or know how much the fare might be and make sure you do not spend the money that you might need later. • At the location: Identify managers, supervisors, security guards, or anyone who might be able to help you in a pinch. • Make sure you know where the pay phones are—the cell phone is nice to have but don’t count on it. Use it if you have it, but be prepared in case it does not work. • Call a back-up safe adult if you cannot get in contact with your original pick up adult.

  46. What if…. • We go on an outing with a trusted adult, and we are separated from the trusted adult. • Before you go: • work out a place at your outing location where you can meet if anyone in your group gets separated. • It is helpful to bring cell phones or walkie-talkies, but remember: these might not be available when you need them most. • Make sure everyone knows to stay with at least one other person. • At the location: • Identify managers, supervisors, security guards, or anyone who might be able to help you in a pinch. • Identify first-aid stations. If you cannot find your trusted adult or people you are travelling with, this might be the first place to check. • Make sure you know where the phones are. Often, people will allow you to use a store phone if you are in trouble and need help. • Call a back-up safe adult if you cannot get in contact with your original pick up adult.

  47. Water Things you should know about carrying, collecting, and cleaning water

  48. Water • If you always carry water, you will be ahead of the survival “game” • Encourage your parents to keep at least 1-2 gallons of drinking water in the car at all time. • When you hike, carry enough water to last the day. This will depend on a) temperature, and b) hiking conditions.

  49. Water • Before you go, study ways to find water • Before you go, study ways to capture water • Before you go, study ways to make water drinkable. • Bring enough!!! Survival experts strongly suggest that you drink all the water you need if you are lost or stranded. Do not plan to ration water.

  50. Water • Beware of bad water • Radiator water is not safe to drink, as it most likely contains antifreeze, which is poisonous. Even if you KNOW there is no antifreeze in the water, it has been exposed to rust, oil, and other agents which make the water unsafe to drink. • Most water in streams and rivers will contain bacteria which can cause diarrhea.