Finding Your Way Using Maps and Globes
This unit allows students to use technology to gain a better understanding of the different forms of maps and to understand the similarities and differences of maps and globes. Students map their classroom, finding out which direction is north, and complete a diagram of the room. Throughout this project, students will become aware of how to read maps and geographic terms.
Students will learn: what maps do; what maps are; how symbols help us use maps; the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west); scale and distance on a map; what longitude and latitude are; the earth's hemisphere; and, the differences between maps and globes.
This unit attempts to utilize technology to help students understand geographical terms. Web sites and digital resources are used to show them the importance of indicated distance or scale on maps.
Maps, globes, paper, crayons, digital camera, computers with Internet access, compass, and various web sites.
Students draw maps and diagrams that serve as representations of places, physical features, and objects; Students locate places within the local community, state, and nation; Students locate the Earth's continents in relation to each other and to prinicipal parallels and meridians; Students identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of different regions and people; Students ask geographic questions about where places are located, what is important about their locations, and how their locations are related to the location of other people and places (http://emsc.nysed.gov).
See printouts available at the following web sites:
Groups of five third-grade students work together to complete the worksheet assignments. All students have completed a layout of the classroom, their favorite room in the house for homework and the compass rose worksheet.
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This unit will enhance students' awareness of geographical concepts and terminology. It will synthesize concepts learned in other areas of social studies such as history, political science, and cultural anthropology.
Milagros De Gennaro is a teacher at The Early Childhood Lab School in the Bronx, NY. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Education from Boricua College, and graduated from Mercy College with an MS in Computer Education. She had a book published of spring poems written by her students entitled, Coming Into Spring. She is currently the Social Studies / Technology teacher at her school.