Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Super Modeling – Mapping

“Makeup!”  “Hair!”  “Clothes!”  “Work it! Work it!”…

No, no, no.  Not that kind of modeling.

I’m talking about finding inspiration and models for your teaching and class activities that will have your students gripped by whatever they should be learning.  And where is this inspiration to be found?

Where to begin… There are so many fantastic resources from which you can borrow ideas, base or model your own work.

One resource I feel really stands out is Children Map the World (912 Ch 2005). 
This book shows how kids can think about geography with more insight, depth, and creativity than the typical ‘colour-in-the-countries-of-the-world’ exercises I got when I was in elementary school.

Embedded within each map/picture is a deeper understanding of some aspect of global concern perhaps touching on environmental issues or conflict or appreciation for diversity of life.

One of my favorite pictures is from an 11-year-old Polish boy entitled “Will the future look like this?”  It is a well executed drawing showing the continents outlined against a predominately placed, murky, dirty sun with pollution spewing factories placed in the foreground.  The title as a question is brilliant as there is a sense of hope that this is not a forgone conclusion that we can make a difference. There’s a lot going on here.

This book can work across the grades.

Another book, perhaps best suited to lower elementary, is My Map Book (823 F213M PIC BK).  Here the mapping is as much about geographical thinking as it is about establishing identity.  Ideal for grades 1 and 2.  This girl maps her bedroom, the schoolyard, her family, her dog and best of all, her heart showing all the things she holds dear.

If you’d like more recommendations for resources about maps, mapping and geographical thinking see the following link for an Inspiration mind map with attached bibliographies.

So, ends part 1.  Over the course of the next few blogs I’ll present other resources that I think will provide great and engaging models for you to think about using in your class.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post

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