For the Love of Maps (Cartographilia)
This love of maps was the focus of a lesson I taught with my 6th grade Humanities class. I had students look at the European map above and do a visible thinking routine called See-Think-Wonder.
As a class we examined the map and made shared our observations, thinking, and our wondering. The response was great a students were pretty engaged in the lesson referring back to their prior knowledge of Europe and making connections to the map.
Students then worked in pairs doing their own See-Think-Wonder with a different map of Europe. These maps come from a blog post that caught my eye when I was browsing Facebook called 38 Maps that Explain Europe.
The unit that students are working on currently focuses on the Statement of Inquiry: Absolute and relative locations have consequences for human and economic development. A great part of this unit focuses and Europe and the European Union. Hopefully this lessons provokes student thinking and generates some questions about Europe and the European Union.
2 Classes 2 different approaches for See-Think-Wonder
The second class has 22 students so the approach was to pair students up and have them record their thinking about the map displayed on an A3 paper. After they recorded their thinking they worked in groups of discussing which theme best connects to the map. Finally, students were given a paper copy of a different map were they did their own See-Think_wonder. The lesson ended with them using a post it not to decide which theme of geography best connects to the map.
Follow up lesson...
For both classes their will be a follow up lesson where all maps will be examined by the class and students will try to group the maps by theme. The hope is that by examining the maps and keeping in mind the themes of geography students will deepen their understanding of how the five themes are interrelated and how maps work. Students could also compare maps and decide how they could be improved. In addition, students could examine their wonderings and use these to guide an inquiry that focuses on answering their questions not only about the map, but also deepen their understanding of the Statement of Inquiry.