Monday, April 15, 2013

Me on the Map...and Other Map Activities!


My passion for travel spills over into my classroom in a variety of ways.  I love to teach my students about the world around them and open their eyes to places beyond our Saint Petersburg home.  I think that's why one of my favorite units of the year is teaching map skills to my students.  I love their curiosity and inquisitive nature in exploring the world.  This year, we are completing an extensive unit that started with map skills and will be culminating in a Multicultural Day with presentations of student created country books.  In order to begin preparing my students, I read the book Me on the Map by Joanne Sweeney.  My students completed graphic organizers with the understanding that the world gets bigger starting with their house, street, city, state, country, continent and world.  We read stories about places around the world in reading, studied map skills in Social Studies, and wrote travel adventure stories in Writing that integrated imagination, creativity and facts from different places.  This integrated unit touches upon many Common Core Standards and is exciting for the students.  The students also created maps of an imaginary country which they made up, and had to apply the use of map keys, map scales, and a compass rose.  These activities were all done prior to teaching a multicultural unit that includes a parental involvement piece.  Students have read several stories in their Take Home Book Bag, and for the past 3-4 weeks parents have been involved in this weekly homework with questions about ancestors, heritage, family recipes, and cultural celebrations.  Students then chose one country from their heritage to focus on a book project.  They are researching facts and information and making a country book with 3 sections: Facts and Country Information, a Country Opinion Writing Piece, and a Multicultural Fairy Tale they create using elements of fairy tales and key items from their country.  This project includes most Common Core Standards for both Reading and Writing.  The children are super involved and their is lots of learning and investigating going on daily.  I love to guide my students on their quest for knowledge.  More on this project and our special celebration coming up soon!


 
Borrowing ideas from both Clutter Free Classroom and Sunny Days in 2nd Grade blogs, I loved the idea of having the students create flip books and hold up the world with their little pictures.  Each child posed with their hands in the air for these posters.

 
A student example of the completed Me on the Map activity!

 
Me on the Map Writing Activity.  Students chose which place on the world map they would want to visit and shared their adventure in both a story and created Voki character.  Students found maps of the country to include, and researched facts to add into the story.  They loved the creativity involved in this project. 

 
So much fun with maps, can't wait to teach them more!


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