Tuesday, March 4, 2014

If It Were My Home - Country Comparisons

      If you are looking for a new spin on doing country research, a new tool for teaching geography. Perhaps your class is discussing a current event and you need to build some background knowledge.  If so,  If It Were My Home would be a great site to visit.  

If It Were My Home will compare any country in the world with the US.  The facts are pulled from the CIA World Fact Book and presented in such a way that it makes the information more visual and engaging.

By choosing a country from the long list on the homepage, If It Were My Home takes the information and compares it to the same statistics in the US.   The visual color of the fact relates to positives or negatives. For example if Chile were your home instead of the US you would consume 73.8% less oil, which is colored green.

Facts can be expanded to give more information and where they gathered the facts from.  This is helpful in explaining how they came up with the data and percentages.  
If It Were My Home also places the map of the country over the geological location of the person researching.  With the image to the right, Chile is placed over the Eastern Oregon region to show a visual size comparison.  This is extremely helpful with younger students.

Below the list of colored facts there is also a short paragraph with more information about the chosen country.   Many times it is more about the history of the country and major issues that the country may have.  Below the more information section is often links to books that are recommended about the country.

Once in a certain country there is also the ability to take that country and compare to another one from the list.  So I can compare life in Chile to life in Argentina.  The same comparisons, data, and maps of the comparison will be generated.  I have to say, this website is addicting!  A note for classroom use, this is a free site and does contain ads once on the comparison page.