Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. There is a great round-up of resources today!
- IRIN’s new visualization of global conflicts is a map of the world. Why do you think IRIN chose to display the information using a map? How else could this information have been displayed?
- IRIN probably chose to display the data on a map in order to show the geographic scope of conflicts in the world—where the conflicts are taking place, not just a list of conflicts taking place.
- Designers could have used a graph, chart, or globe to display the same information about global conflicts. Here’s a great way to look at similar data in chart and graph form.
- IRIN cartographers chose to use a simple political map. It features current national borders, country names, and some major urban areas as you zoom in. Why do you think they chose the simple political map? What other types of map layers could cartographers have chosen? Take a look at the layer choices in MapMaker Interactive to get some ideas.
- IRIN cartographers probably chose the simple political map because they wanted the focus to be purely on the areas of conflict, and markers displaying where those conflicts are taking place.
- By choosing different layers, cartographers could have made some correlation between conflict and demographics or geography.
- topography or elevation. Why are there so many conflicts in mountainous regions?
- resources. How can natural resources be at the center of conflict?
- languages or religion. How can cultural characteristics contribute to conflict?
- population. How might population and immigration be a source of conflict?
- On the IRIN map, each major conflict is represented by a red-dot marker. The size of the marker indicates the length of the conflict, so the conflicts in the Koreas and the Democratic Republic of Congo (both ongoing since 1959-1960) are the largest markers. What else could the size of the markers represent? Take a look at another beautiful conflict map with circular markers for some help.
- The only markers on the IRIN map are red dots. How else might cartographers use markers? Browse through MapMaker Interactive’s tools for some help.
- Answers will vary! Some ideas:
- colors. Different colors or shading could indicate:
- markers. Different markers (shapes) could indicate:
- if the conflict is a civil war, isolated dispute, or international conflict.
- if the source of the conflict is a land/resources dispute, cultural dispute, or ideological dispute.
- Answers will vary! Some ideas:
- The map is part of IRIN’s “Forgotten Conflicts” series. Take a look at the map, and start off with the familiar. Can students identify some unforgotten, well-known conflicts?
- Where are some “Forgotten Conflicts” identified by IRIN?
- South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Rebels aligned with South Sudan control these contested regions in Sudan.
- Philippines. Islamist militants, communist guerrillas, and an authoritarian federal government are all clashing in the Philippines.
- Casamance. In this region of Senegal, the minority Jola ethnic group is actually the majority, and has intermittently sought political independence.
- Southern Thailand. The three southernmost provinces of Thailand are culturally and religiously distinct, and have sought greater autonomy.
- Myanmar. Sometimes called the world’s “longest-running civil war,” the conflict includes ethnic disputes, decades of authoritarian military leadership, and a new ceasefire and elected government.
- Global conflicts like those on the IRIN map can be intimidating. What can students do to address these conflicts? Watch some of the “Conflict Zones” videos with one of our favorite explorers, Aziz Abu Sarah, to see some great methods on how an individual can assess and approach conflict on this scale.
- Learn. Read introductory information about the region from trusted sources such as IRIN, the CIA World Factbook, or the State Department. Use critical thinking skills to research background offered by sources such as Nat Geo, Wikipedia, or Newsela.
- Talk about it. Engage with experts and everyday people who have lived in or around regions with violent conflict. Talk to immigrants. Use pen-pal programs and projects such as Mystery Skype to connect with classes all over the world, and listen to how they engage with issues. Ask questions with respect.
- Use the media. Watch YouTube videos, movies, TV shows produced in the region. Listen to music that local citizens listen to. Make your own media!
- Vote. Draft a message to your local representative, Senator, or federally elected official. Officials read snail mail, e-mail, listen to podcasts, and watch videos! They also appreciate in-person visits and phone calls from their constituents (or children of constituents).
Geographical: Mapping the world at war
IRIN: Mapped – a world at war
Council on Foreign Relations: Global Conflicts Tracker
Nat Geo: The Conflict Zone videos
IRIN: Forgotten Conflicts
CIA: The World Factbook
State Department: Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
Microsoft: Mystery Skype
Newsela: Text Sets
House of Representatives: Find Your Representative
Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress
State Department: Discover Diplomacy