Where in the World…

carmen-12…is Carmen Sandiego?  that show used to be one of my favorite shows growing up, particularly due to Rockapella’s compelling outro (for an amazing flashback to the past, go here…unbelievable mullet, ridiculous suspenders, and so much more).


over the last couple years i’ve had the opportunity to develop materials that give a birds-eye view of a myriad of social justice issues that are out there, but that we are often largely oblivious to.  i’ve presented these in a few different formats, including overnight retreats called “world immersion experiences” and also 1-3 hour seminars called “being worldly.”  one piece of these presentations has addressed the fact that most of us know very little about world geography.  and if we don’t know where a country is located, it makes it much less likely that we’ll care what’s happening in that country.

at my most recent presentation in November at Malone University, i was struck that, despite my continued teaching on the topic, i still had a pretty weak grasp of world geography myself.  so i used that realization as a catalyst to pursue a first step, learning the names & locations of all the countries in the world.  after about a month of practice & study, i nailed it today using this handy site…naming all 192 UN member states in under 10 minutes (7:59 to be exact).  needless to say, i was pretty pumped.

along the way to this, i was able to find some cool tools online that actually made this fun.  even if you don’t decide to learn all the countries, i hope you’ll take some time over the holidays to improve your geography a bit…

• Go section by section, pairing the right name with the right country at Purpose Games.

• Use this fun & challenging game on Facebook or at their home site. This covers the whole world and has 12 progressively more challenging levels.

This tool became my ultimate goal: name all 192 UN Member States in under 10 minutes.  The best way to do this is to form a mental map and walk around the world progressively.

• Find out all sorts of impressive & interesting info about any country at CIA World Factbook, which is updated throughout the year or find more general information in this Wikipedia list of countries by continent.



One Response to Where in the World…

  1. […] know where Zimbabwe is & even what shape it is & what their flag looks like (because of my weird obsession with geography) but i was fairly oblivious to this situation.  just one staggering fact among many is that 1/2 of […]

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