Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 2: Tally Ho! We're off to England!

Week 2:  Tally Ho!  We're off to England! (and a lesson in latitude and longitude)

Pip, pip cheerio and all that, today we are going to start our adventure in England!  We are going to start all our adventures by finding them on our map.  Do you have a map or a globe? There are many online or you can purchase a large wall map at most office or educational stores- kids love to see where they live and it will be fun to put a sticker on every country as we visit! 

 Ok, how do you find a country on a map if you don't know where it is?  Latitude and Longitude! Ok, but what is that?  It is a system for charting locations on a map where the Earth is divided up into a grid.  The horizontal lines are Latitudes (aka parallels) and they are all equally spaced 69 miles (111 km) apart, with the equator being the middle.  An easy way to remember is to think of latitude as being a ladder up and down the earth- get it? "ladder"tude :)

Longitude (aka meridians) are always the second coordinate given and they are the vertical lines that meet at the poles and are widest at the equator (also 69 miles or 111km).  0' is located at Greenwich, England and known as the Prime Meridian.  The lines extend east and west from there and meet at 180'E and 180'W at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. 

So now you should be able to find any place you are looking to find, as long as you have the coordinates :) 

 London (the capital of England) has the coordinates of  51N, 0.1W

Because of it's distance from the Equator and the fact that it is an island country, England's weather is usually fairly mild and sometimes downright wet and chilly. In fact, since recorded history, the summer of 2003 was the first time temperatures hit the 100' mark.  Better wear layers...and carry an umbrella!

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