Western Transvaal Conversation – Lesson Ideas

Discussions related to this conversation.

Try to answer the questions below verbally in pairs or groups but first listen to the conversation at this link to get yourself in the mood. If anybody in the room has a net connection assign that person to finding the answers to the questions which nobody else can answer by themselves.

National and International Identity

Where were you born?
Are you a member of an ethnic minority?
Are you a member of the majority?
Did your country use to be a part of another country?
Does your country have any subject countries?
How long have the current international borders of your country been in place?

National and Regional Identity

In different countries there are varied names for administrative divisions of land, for example, “States” in Australia and the US are called “Provinces” in Canada and they are called “Prefectures” in France and in Japan. In Germany they are called “Laende”.

What are they called in Russia?
What are they called in China?
What are they called in Argentina?

What are the names of the administrative divisions of your country?

How long has the current system of administrative divisions existed?
How is it different from the old system of division?
When was the change made from the old system to the new system?

Does the State of California still have the sixth largest economy in the world?
When was California an independent country?
When was Texas an independent country?
When was the City of Rome an independent country?
Did you know that Mexico and the Philippines used to be part of The Kingdom of New Spain?

Internet Research

(a) Geography and Politics (geopolitical awareness)

Find a good map of South Africa. Look at the old administrative divisions. Look at the new ones. Is there much difference? Why were the changes made? Who made them?

Post the answers along with URLs of links to maps and other interesting related information on the comments section of this page.

(b) Economics and Business (resource allocations) (geopolitical awareness)

1. First listen to the conversation at this link then use the internet to access the following information:

2. Find out the countries which have the largest known reserves of the following materials: gold, silver, aluminum (bauxite), iron, zinc, lead.

3. Rank the countries in order from largest reserves to smallest reserves.

4. Find out the countries which have the highest output (at current levels of production) of the same materials, namely gold, silver, aluminum, iron, zinc, uranium and lead.

5. Rank these countries in order from largest producer at the top to the smallest producer at the bottom.

6. Pontificate on the political consequences of this information.

Post the information along with URLs of sources (if possible) on the comments