In the 24 pages that follow, you'll find news maps and data on the world's 196 countries-everything from languages and literacy rates to the percentage of young people In the population. To better understand the data, read the explanations accompanying the sample entry for India below. On each map, you'll find photos and summaries of major news events around the world. And in our Snapshots section, you'll learn, among other things, which countries use the most renewable energy and which have really cheap--and really expensive--movie tickets. We hope you'll keep this issue for year-round reference and that it will help you make sense of what's going on in the world as we head into 2016.
More than 500,000 migrants escaping war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa have fled to Europe so far in 2015. Many have crossed the Mediterranean packed into rickety, unsafe boats, and more than 3,000 of them have died along the way. Europe has been unable to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the crisis. Many of the migrants want to head to Germany, which has the continent's strongest economy. While it's been among the most welcoming countries, by October even Germany was trying to figure out how to control the sudden influx.
LESSON PLAN 1: RESEARCH SKILLS
INTERNATIONAL PAGES 14-39
World Affairs 2016
Our World Affairs 2016 atlas and almanac includes maps for every continent and region as well as the latest data on the world's 196 countries. Encourage students to use World Affairs 2016 as a year-round desk reference and research tool.
1 List Vocabulary: Share with students the challenging general and domain-specific vocabulary they'll need to make the most of World Affairs 2016. Encourage them to use context clues to Infer meanings as they read and to later verify those inferences by consulting a dictionary. If desired, distribute or project the Word Watch activity to guide students through this process.
2 Engage: Have students discuss times they have used an atlas or an almanac. Discuss why such reference tools must be updated regularly.
atlas almanac GDP per capita population density urbanization
Print or project:
* Word Watch (infer word meanings)
* Atlas & Almanac Quiz (also on p. 7 of this Teacher's Guide)
Whiteboard-ready versions of all maps and tables
Analyze the Article
3 Read: Have students preview the maps and tables In World Affairs 2016 and read the "In the News" briefs related to each continent and region. Have students practice using the atlas and almanac by locating some of the countries described in the news briefs on the maps and in the almanac tables.
4 Discuss: Use the following discussion prompts to explore the kinds of information students can extract from the atlas and almanac.
* How might the maps in World Affairs 2016 help you make sense of news events in the coming year?
(The maps in World Affairs 2016 can help you locale the specific places where news events occur and provide insights into the causes or contexts of some news events. For example, the Asia map shows North Korea's proximity to South Korea and Japan, perhaps helping readers understand why the U.S. has troops in the area.)
* What map features do these continent and region maps include? What purpose does each feature serve?
(Some of the map features include: lines of latitude and longitude, which can help readers pinpoint the precise location of a place; a scale of miles, which can help readers find the distance between places; a compass rose, which helps readers determine directionality; and a key that spotlights the locations of capitals and other major cities.)
* Use the maps to identify a place where physical geography (landforms, bodies of water, etc.) has shaped human geography (where people live, migrate, etc.).
(Many examples of the relationship between physical and human geography can be observed on the maps. For one, students may notice that Europe is separated from northern Africa and the Middle East by the Mediterranean Sea. Recently, many people have migrated across the Mediterranean to escape serious problems in places like Syria. Students may also notice that many of Africa's cities are located on the Atlantic coast. That's because cities often sprouted around ports, where trade was conducted.)
* Study the sample almanac entry on page 15. If you were a business owner planning to expand internationally, which three pieces of data would you rely on most to select a new country for your business? Why?
(Answers will vary; students should support their responses by explaining how each piece of data would help them. For example, per capita GDP may be important because it is a measure of economic health. Population may tell students if there's a sizeable labor force or market for their product. And a nation's political system may help determine whether the nation is friendly to foreign business.)
* How are some of the statistics in the almanac tables related to one another?
(Several of the statistics are linked. For example, HDI, or the Human Development Index, is a measure of well-being that incorporates life expectancy and other factors. Population is related to population increase, population under 15, and urban population.)
* Study the graphs that appear in the Snapshots section (pp. 38-39) of World Affairs 2016. How does the U.S. compare with other nations in some of these categories? Do any of these findings surprise you?
(According to these graphs, the U.S. ranks 78th in the world for proportion of female national lawmakers. It ranks 13th for public spending on education, 26th for use of renewable energy, and 2nd for highest national debt per person. Students will have varying opinions on these findings.)
Extend & Assess
5 Research & Writing
Have students complete one of the following research activities using World Affairs 2016 and outside sources. Students may also search for past Upfront articles at upfrontmagazine.com.
* Pick a nation In the almanac.
Research It and write a brief essay comparing It with the United States.
* Write an essay exploring one challenge the Middle East region presents for U.S. foreign policy makers.
* Describe which parts of the globe are seeing the greatest population increases and what challenges this might present to governments.
Photocopy, print, or project the article guiz (on page 7 of this Teacher's Guide). Note that unlike Upfront's regular article guizzes, this quiz Is designed to be open-book. Answers appear on page 15.
Use the atlas maps to answer questions 1 through 9. Use the almanac tables to answer questions 10 through 18.
Budapest is the capital city of the European country of --.
-- is the body of water that separates the United Kingdom from France.
Earth's equator passes through this lake, the largest one in Africa: --.
The -- Mountains stretch across Morocco and northern Algeria.
The -- and -- rivers flow through the Middle Eastern countries of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, in the area that was once known as Mesopotamia.
This Asian island nation sits southeast of Hong Kong:
This U.S. city sits at a latitude of about 30 degrees N and a longitude of about 90 degrees W: --
Cuba sits in the Caribbean Sea, just west of an island that is made up of these two separate nations: -- and --.
South America's easternmost capital city is -- in the country of --.
The European nation with the largest population is --; the one with the smallest population is --.
The current head of government in Greece is --.
According to the table, which African nation has the greatest increase in population? --
Which three African countries have a per capita GDP of $20,000 or greater? -- and --
How many countries does this almanac include in its listing for the region known as the Middle East? --
Among the 14 nations of Oceania, which one has the highest percentage of people under age 15? -- The lowest percentage? --
What are Asia's four single-party Communist states? --, and --
In which two North American countries is the Mayan language still spoken? -- and --
In what year was Brazil established as an independent country? --
The English Channel
Haiti, Dominican Republic
Russia, Vatican City
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Seychelles
Highest: Marshall Islands, Lowest: Australia
China, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam
IN-DEPTH QUESTIONS Please use the other side of this paper for your responses.
Which continent or region do you think has the greatest variability among nations in terms of quality of life? Explain, using evidence from the tables to support your response.
Why might a country have different literacy rates for men and women?
IN THE NEWS
U.S.-Russia relations are at their lowest point in decades, spurring talk of a new Cold War. Tensions stem from President Vladimir Putin's increasing authoritarianism at home and aggression abroad. Most recently, Russia has conducted airstrikes in Syria and sent troops and weapons to prop up President Bashar al-Assad in that nation's four-year-long civil war. Putin (right) has also backed armed separatist groups in neighboring Ukraine since a popular uprising there nearly two years ago ousted the pro-Russian president. And in 2014, Putin shocked the world by annexing Crimea, which had long been part of Ukraine.
Staggering under the weight of huge government debt, Greece's economy has been in serious trouble since 2010, and the country has been plagued by political upheaval and social unrest. In July 2015, a last-minute bailout from the International Monetary Fund saved Greece's economy from total collapse. The country has also been struggling with more than 350,000 migrants who have landed on its...