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Dear Teacher,
Welcome to Junior Scholastics World Affairs Skills Manual 2015.
Like our World Affairs issue, this is a valuable resource that you
and your students can use all year.
In our manual youll find:
a skills sheet and blank map for each continent/region map in
the October 27, 2014, student edition;
a skills sheet and discussion questions based on the country
data in the student edition; and
an answer key.
We hope that exploring the world with your students in these
pages will yield informative and lively classroom discussions.

Rebecca Zissou, Senior Editor

CONTENTS
Supplement to Junior Scholastic
October 27, 2014

World
Affairs
2015

Written by Carlin McCarthy

2 JS
 Atlas & Almanac
One skills sheet and one blank
map for each continent/region
section in the student issue
North America . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
South America . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Oceania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Middle East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

14 JS
 Almanac

A skills sheet and discussion


questions based on the
tables in the student issue

All maps: Jim mcmahon/mapman, Scholastic Inc.

Answers: Youll find the answers


to the Skills Manual in this issues
online Answer Key. Click here to go
to the Teaching Resources section of
our website.

The reproducible skills sheets on the following pages are based on the maps
and data tables in the October 27, 2014, issue of JuniorScholastic.
Students will need that issue to complete the skills sheets.
Contact us at Junior Scholastic, 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999 or at junior@scholastic.com.
Customer-service inquiries: 1-800-SCHOLASTIC

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EQUATOR

Map of North America


FAST FACTS
Area: 9.4million square miles
the third-largest continent, after
Asia and Africa.
Population: About 561 million
people. It ranks fourth among
the continents, after Asia, Africa,
and Europe.
Location: Includes Greenland

(a self-governing territory of
Denmark), Canada, the U.S.,
Mexico, the seven countries of
Central America, and the islands
of the Caribbean Sea
Physical features: Has three
major mountain systems
the Rocky Mountains, the
Appalachian Mountains, and the

NORTH AMERICA
Sierra Madre. Major waterways
include Hudson Bay, the five
Great Lakes, and the Mississippi
and St.Lawrence Rivers.
Elevation: Highest: Mount
McKinley (Denali) in Alaska,
20,320ft above sea level;
lowest: Death Valley, California,
282ft below sealevel

Use the map on pp. 24-25 and the almanac on p. 26 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you see
an asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Which body of water lies at 25N, 95W? _____________________________________________________*
2. Identify the four smallest countries in North America (by area) and the life expectancy in each.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Which North American country was the first to gain independence and in what year?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Name the national capitals and countries at



(a) 45N, 76W: _______________________________; (b) 19N, 72W: _____________________________ ;

(c) 15N, 91W: _______________________________; (d) 9N, 79W: ______________________________*

5. About how many straight-line miles separate Havana, Cuba, from San Jos, Costa Rica?
____________________________________________________________________________________________
short-RESPONSE QUESTION: Do some research. Then write your response on the back of this page.

About 63,000 unaccompanied children have been caught entering the United States illegally
from October 2013 to July 2014. Why are so many kids fleeing to the U.S.?
junior scholastic world affairs skills manual 2015

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Name:_____________________________________________________________

0W

130W

50

14

15

40

10N

300

300

120W

110W

100W

50

170
W

ARC
TIC
C

600 KM

90W

80W
IRC

LE

60N

70N

80N

80N

40

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60N

50N

16
70N

180

TROPIC

70W

10
W

20

0
W
W

30

160W

20N
Not at same scale or
in proper geographic position

40
N

30
N

30
N

20
N

OF CAN
CER
20N

600 MI

10N

60W

junior scholastic WORLD AFFAIRS skills manual 2015

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Map of South America


FAST FACTS
Area: 6.9million square miles.
It is the fourth-largest continent.
Population: 410 million
people. It ranks fifth among the
continents in population.
Location: Stretches from the
Caribbean Sea in the north to
Cape Horn at the continents

southern tip
Physical features: Earths
longest mountain chain, the
Andes, hugs the western edge of
South America. The continents
longest river begins in Peru
and flows eastward for about
4,000miles to the Atlantic
Ocean. The huge area drained

SOUTH AMERICA
by this river and its tributaries
covers more than one third of
South America and receives
enough rainfall to sustain the
worlds largest tropical rainforest.
Elevation: Argentinas Mount
Aconcagua, at 22,835ft, is the
tallest mountain in the Western
Hemisphere.

Use the map on pp. 28-29 and the almanac on p. 27 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you see
an asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Which countries border Bolivia? _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________*

2. Which South American countries are crossed by 0? What is that parallel called?
____________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Whats the approximate latitude and longitude of Caracas, Venezuela? ________________________


4. (a) Which South American country has the highest HDI? _______________________________________

(b) Which South American country has the lowest HDI? ______________________________________*

5. In which South American nation(s) is English an official language? _____________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

short-RESPONSE QUESTION: Do some research. Then write your response on the back of this page.

Earlier this year, protests erupted in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. What caused the unrest?

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Name:_____________________________________________________________

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20N
20N

10N

10N

EQUATOR

10S

10S

20S
TROPIC
20S

40S

110W

100W

90W

80W

70W

60W

50W

40W

300

30W

OF CAPR

300

20W

ICORN

30S
30S

N
600 MI
40
S

600 KM

S
50

50

10W

junior scholastic WORLD AFFAIRS skills manual 2015

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Map of Europe
FAST FACTS
Area: About 4million square
miles. Europe is the sixth-largest
continent.
Population: Densely populated,
with 741 million people. (This
figure includes Russia, which
lies partly in Europe and partly
in Asia.)

Location: Shares a landmass,


known as Eurasia, with Asia.
The dividing line between the
two continents, according to
most geographers, is formed by
the Ural Mountains, the Ural
River, and the Caucasus Mountains. North to south, Europe
runs from the cold Arctic region

EUROPE
to the warm, sunny beaches
along the Mediterranean Sea.
Physical features: Has excellent farmland and is rich in
mineral resources. Russias
Volga River, at 2,300 miles long,
is the continents longest.
Elevation: Mount Elbrus, Russia
(18,510 ft), is the highest peak.

Use the map on pp. 10-11 and the almanac on pp. 12-13 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you
see an asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Name the national capitals and countries at

(a) 53N, 13E: _____________________________; (b) 41N, 20E: ________________________________ ;

(c) 53N, 7W: ______________________________; (d) 47N, 29E: ________________________________*

2. Which countries border Switzerland? ________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Which body of water is located at 44N, 35E? ________________________________________________*


4. Which waterway runs across Italy? __________________________________________________________
5. 
(a) Over which European countries would you travel if you were to fly from Hamburg, Germany,
going south along 10E longitude? ___________________________________________________________

(b) Which of those countries gained independence in 1291? ___________________________________

short-RESPONSE QUESTION: Do some research. Then write your response on the back of this page.

E
 arlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin helped Ukrainian separatists seize control of
the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. How has that affected U.S.-Russia relations?

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Name:_____________________________________________________________

60
N

50
N

40

200

10W

400 KM

200

400 MI

70
N

10E

IRCLE

ARCTIC C

20E

30E

40E

N
60

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30

80

50E

N
40

N
50

20

70

60
E

junior scholastic world affairs skills manual 2015

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EQUATOR

Map of Asia
FAST FACTS
Area: 17million square miles.
Asia is the largest continent. It
occupies one third of the worlds
total land area.
Population: 4.4 billion people
about 60 percent of the worlds
population. This includes Turkey,
which is partly in Europe.

ASIA
Physical features: Includes the
cold expanse of Siberia in the
Arctic region; the rich farmland
of China and India; and the
warm, humid rainforests of
Southeast Asia. Also included
are the populous island nations
of Indonesia, the Philippines,
Japan, and Malaysia.

Elevation: Highest (in the


world as well as in Asia):
Mount Everest (29,035ft), on
the border of Nepal and China,
partof the Himalaya Mountains;
lowest: the Dead Sea (1,391ft
below sea level), a saltwater
lake on the border of Jordan
andIsrael

Use the map on pp. 18-19 and the almanac on pp. 20-22 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you
see an asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. If you were traveling from Beijing, China, to Yerevan, Armenia, along 40N (east to west),
through which countries would you travel?___________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________*

2. The Gobi Desert stretches across which two countries? _______________________________________


3. Name the bodies of water located at (a) 20N, 130E: _________________________________________;

(b) 15N, 88E: _____________________________; (c) 42N, 51E:_________________________________

4. (a) Which countries border India? ____________________________________________________________


(b) In which of those countries does 17 percent of the population live in urban areas? ____________

5. The Chang Jiang (Yangtze River), the longest river in Asia, empties into which body of water?

____________________________________________________________________________________________*

short-RESPONSE QUESTION: Do some research. Then write your response on the back of this page.

Syrias neighbors, including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, have recently experienced an increase
in refugees. Choose one of those countries. How is it dealing with the crisis?

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Name:_____________________________________________________________

10

10

IM

PR

R
ME

40E

IA
ID

50N

50E

60N
60E

70N
70E

80N
80E

W
90E

N
E

80N

100E

110E

60N

120E

50N

130E

IC
OP
TR

500

R
CE
AN
C
F

140E

IN
E

150E

17

30N

R
TO
UA
Q
E

1,000 MI

LD
AT
EL

1,000 KM

500

INT
ER
NA
TIO
NA

16

10

S
20

160E

30E

10

T
RC

20

10

N
E

70N

LE
IRC

IC
C

40N

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20
0

20

20
N

30N

10

40N

17

18
0

junior scholastic world affairs skills manual 2015

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EQUATOR

Map of Africa
FAST FACTS
Area: 11.7million square miles,
making it the second-largest
continent. Only Asia is larger.
Population: About 1.1 billion
people. Africa ranks second
among the continents in
population.
Location: Stretches from the

AFRICA
Mediterranean Sea in the north
to the Southern Ocean.
Physical features: The worlds
largest desert extends across
northern Africa from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Red Sea. The
area south of this desert has
tropical rainforests, savannas
(grasslands), deserts, and many

major rivers. At 4,160 miles


long, the Nile is the worlds
longest river. It begins as two
rivers whose waters converge in
Sudan and flow north to the sea.
Elevation: Highest: Mount
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
(19,340ft); lowest: Lake Assal,
Djibouti (509ft below sea level)

Use the map on p. 14 and the almanac on pp. 15-17 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you see
an asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Which countries border Lake Malawi? _______________________________________________________*
2. About how many straight-line miles separate Cape Town, South Africa, from Kigali, Rwanda?
____________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Which African countries have two capitals? Name them. ______________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________
4. Name the countries located at (a) 12N, 19E: ________________________________________________ ;

(b) 8N, 1W: ________________________________; (c) 34N, 5W:________________________________ ;

(d) Which of those countries has the highest per capita GDP? __________________________________

5. Through which bodies of water would you travel if you were to sail south from Lom, Togo, to
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, then to Victoria, Seychelles? ________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________*

short-RESPONSE QUESTION: Do some research. Then write your response on the back of this page.

10

In April 2014, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from their
school in Chibok, Nigeria. What are the groups motives? Why did it attack the school?
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Name:_____________________________________________________________

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50N
50N

40N
40N

30N
30N

TROPIC OF CANCER

20N
20N

10N
10N

0
EQUATOR

20W

200

10W

400

30S

40S

10E

20E

30E

40E

50E

junior scholastic world affairs skills manual 2015


0

10S

600 MI

0 200 400 600 KM


10S

20S
20S

TROPIC OF CAPRICORN

30S

40S

60E

11

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Map of Oceania
FAST FACTS
Location: Oceania is a region,
not a continent. It includes
Australia (the only nation that is

also a continent), New Zealand,


and many other island countries
and territories spread across a
vast area of the Pacific Ocean.

Middle East Oceania


Elevation: Highest: Puncak
Jaya, West Papua, Indonesia
(16,503ft); lowest: Lake Eyre,
Australia (50ft below sea level)

Use the map on p. 18 and almanac on p. 22 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you see an
asterisk (*), label those geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Name the island country at about 19S, 179E and its capital. _________________________________*
2. In which direction would you travel to get from Palikir, Micronesia, to Wellington, New Zealand?

____________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Which country is governed by a constitutional monarchy? ______________________________________*
4. What are the major languages spoken in the Marshall Islands? ________________________________
5. Which country is located at about 14S, 172W? ______________________________________________

Map of the Middle East


FAST FACTS
Location: The Middle East is a
region, not a continent. Mostly
in Asia, it extends into Africa

(Egypt) and Europe (a small


section of Turkey). Islam is the
dominant religion in the region,
except in Israel (Judaism) and in

Cyprus (Christianity).
Physical features: Mostly
desert. Several countries in the
region are major oil producers.

Use the map on p. 23 of the issue to answer these questions. Where you see an asterisk (*), label those
geographic features or places on the outline map provided.
1. Name these countries involved in the Arab Spring at (a) 26N, 30E: ___________________________;

(b) 15N, 44E: ___________________________; (c) 35N, 39E: ___________________________________

2. The Zagros Mountains are in the western part of which country? ______________________________*
3. Which countries border Syria? ______________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________*

4. The Gulf of Aden connects which two bodies of water? ________________________________________


5. Which major river empties into the Mediterranean Sea? ______________________________________

12

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Name:_____________________________________________________________

20N

TROPIC OF CANCER

0
10N

500

500

1,000 MI
1,000 KM
10N

EQUATOR

10S
10S

N
W

20S

INTERNAT

TROPIC OC CAPRICORN

IONAL DA
TE LINE

20S

30S

30S

40S
120E

130E

140E

150E

160E

170E

180

170W

160W

150W

40N

20E

40N

30N

30N

TROPIC OF

CANCER

20N

20N

0 100 200

200 MI
300 KM

W
S

10N

100

70E

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20N

10N

30E

40E

50E

60E

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sk i l l s

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2015

Name:____________________________________________________________
The statistical tables that accompany the
maps inthe JS World Affairs 2015 issue are a
valuable andeasy-to-use data bank of interesting

and important information about the worlds


196independent countries. Use them to answer
thequestions below.

1. Answer the following questions using the data for the Americas.

(a) Which are the three most populous countries? _____________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________________

(b) Which three countries have the highest per capita GDP? ____________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

(c) Which country has the lowest literacy rates for both men and women? _______________________

(d) Which country was the last to gain independence, and in what year did it do so? ______________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

(e) In which nation is Brazilero a major language? _____________________________________________

2. Population, percent of population under age 15, literacy rate, life expectancy, Human
Development Index (HDI) ranking, and per capita GDP can be important indicators of a countrys
problems and needs, level of education, and standard of living. Fill in and compare the data for
these two countries in Africa.
Population

% of Pop.
under 15

Literacy rate
(%, M/F)

Life expectancy
HDI
(M/F)

Per capita
GDP

(a) Congo, Dem. Rep:


____________ _________ ____ /____ ____ /____ ______ ________

(b) Congo, Rep.:

(c) What similarities and differences exist between these countries? ____________________________

____________ _________ ____ /____

____ /____ ______ ________

__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

(d) What conclusions can you draw about the standard of living in these countries?______________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

14

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JS Almanac

3. A countrys date of origin and the languages spoken there give clues about a nations history.
Whats the date of origin and major languages for each of these Asian countries?

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(a) Armenia: _________________________________________________________________________________

(b) Uzbekistan: ______________________________________________________________________________


(c) Kyrgyzstan: ______________________________________________________________________________

(d) Using that information and your own research, what can you conclude about their shared
history? __________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Compare these four European countries by filling in each nations political system and the title
of its head of government. Then answer the questions that follow.

Political System

Title of the Head of Government

(a) Belarus: ______________________________________ __________________________________________

(b) Iceland: ______________________________________ __________________________________________

(c) Monaco: ______________________________________ __________________________________________

(d) Russia: ______________________________________ __________________________________________

(e) In which of those nation(s) are peoples rights and freedoms most likely to be limited?
Explain. __________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

(f) In which of those nation(s) do people most likely have the same rights and freedoms that we
have in the U.S.? __________________________________________________________________________

Discussion Questions
You will need some knowledge of current events to discuss the following topics. Each question is openended, meaning that there may not be a clear-cut, correct answer. Choose one of the five questions to
discuss in a small group. Give factual evidence to support your answers.
1. The Panama Canal turned 100 last summer. Another canal is expected to be built in Nicaragua
later this year. What might be some effects of the proposed canal on Nicaragua and Panama?
2. Last summer, Brazil hosted the World Cup. Why did many protests occur throughout the country
leading up to the tournament?
3. This December marks the one-year anniversary of South African President Nelson Mandelas
death. How did his leadership affect the country?
4. Why are China, Japan, and Taiwan locked in a bitter dispute over eight tiny islands in the East
China Sea? Why are U.S. leaders concerned about the territorial dispute?
5. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. What are some ways in which
the reunification of Germany affected the country?
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