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Teaching Geography: Workshop 7

Europe

Programs and Activities: Part 1. Berlin and Amsterdam

Getting Ready 1 (15 minutes)

A Wall in Your Town

Site Leader: This exercise requires a map of your town. Prior to the workshop, please get a large map of your town (usually available from Chambers of Commerce), and arbitrarily divide the town in half, indicating a wall or border splitting the town with a thick red line. Lay the map out on the table or post on the wall so that everyone can see it. During the activity, keep everyone to five minutes for the first part of the activity and moderate the discussion for the remaining ten minutes.

Your town has just been divided in two with a wall. Look at where your home is relative to the dividing line. Begin by taking five minutes to jot down some answers to the following questions. Then spend the remaining ten minutes discussing your answers as a group.

  • How would this wall affect your daily life? Consider shopping areas, employment, visiting friends and family, sports, entertainment, worship, etc.
  • Can your part of town survive economically if cut off from the other side? Why or why not? What resources does your side have or lack?
  • What cultural changes might occur over time, based on the wall's location? Possibilities to think about include segregation of a particular group, elevation of a group due to resource access, closer identification with a nearby state other than the one in which your town is located, etc.

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