Saturday, February 25, 2012

Maps A Plenty, Maps Galore

Something about maps definitely engages children. I can still remember, as a child, loving the idea of filling out a United States map outline with the names of the states and capital cities. The best part came when we completed the entire map and colored the individual states with colored pencils. Such an accomplishment!

I can't help but giggle a bit as I hear the oohs and aaahs of the children when a map is shown to the class. Such fun teaching first grade!

So, I'm always on the lookout for map books and activities that first graders can grasp and appreciate. Each year we read Me on the Map  by Joan Sweeney. It's a story in our Houghton Mifflin reading program.

The story introduces mapping concepts. This year we used a great project to illustrate it. The activity helped the children understand their place (our school) in relationship to the world. Jenn posted the idea on her blog. You can view it at Finally in First. We also read Mapping Penny's World  by Loreen Leedy.

Maps are explained in story form thru the eyes of a child in each of these books. Kids get into the stories. Who could resist the antics of the dog, Penny?

I used to borrow My Map Book  by Sara Fanelli for many years from a teacher friend (Thank you, Ann!). But, it's so exceptional, I had to purchase my very own hardcover copy.

I just love this book! If you haven't read it, you'll have to get a copy. It's one of those books you end up reading over and over again to your class. It shows a child's creativity at its best. It's a book about all the maps a girl has drawn, including a map of her tummy (the kids' favorite) and a map of her heart (my favorite). Of course, the kids ask to make their own maps after reading this book. Here are some the children completed.

I made word and arrow labels for most of the maps in the book, along with blank ones for those children who have ideas for different kinds of maps. And they will!

What a fun way to show that there are different kinds of maps, and that maps are used for different purposes. It's an opportunity to integrate geography and art and see those creative minds at work.

Happy mapping!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Mona!
    I'm a new follower, led here by your comment on the TPT forum. (By the way, you will LOVE the forum - so many friendly, generous, and caring people!) I like your blog design and first posts! Love what you said about 1st graders and maps ... their eyes are like saucers, and you get to hear those awestruck "wowwww"s ! By the way, did you know that Loreen Leedy, who wrote Mapping Penny's World, is also a seller on TPT? You'll see her in the forum quite often!
    Much good luck to you in these new and very fun ventures!


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