Monday, November 16, 2015

Unpacking the attacks from Paris and Beruit

For the Item of Interest in Geography today, we discussed some of the tragic incidents which happened in Beirut and Paris.

A Google map for Beirut, Lebanon:,+Lebanon/@33.8886459,35.4867246,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x151f17215880a78f:0x729182bae99836b4

A Google map for Paris, France:,+France/@48.8589507,2.2775166,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x47e66e1f06e2b70f:0x40b82c3688c9460

Geography began with 7A this morning and as we were about to begin talking about what happened, a student noticed a link to this news story:

 The link to this story is here:  The story served as a great introduction to the unfortunate elements of racism and stereotyping, and and the sloppy journalism that was done by the Spanish newspaper, which published this image.

Closer to home, there was the news out of Peterborough about the city's only Mosque being firebombed (

We talked about what having a stigma means and how it is unfair.  In the case of these events, the Muslim community may be further stigmatized ( by these unfortunate events.

Now, to complicate things even more, many observers, myself included felt that the reporting on the tragedy, at least in the West, is biased.  Consider this article, and link, from the New York Times:
 Consider the following passage from the article:

From as early as Grade 4, the Oral Communication strand of the Language curriculum encourages students to "read between the lines" when listening to oral texts.  By Grade 6, in the Reading strand, students look at the issue of perspective in a little more detail:

So, these unfortunate incidents allow for teaching on a number of levels.  Hopefully, they offer an opportunity to pause, reflect and think about the innocents, who lost their loves, and the families and communities that have been torn apart.  This seems pretty grim, but it is an aspect of the world we live in.

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