Friday, April 10, 2015


Even today with computers and GPS, learning about maps and how to use them is and important skill for children to have. Maps are used in a wide variety of disciplines to illustrate information.  In a column by Daniel Edelson, V. P. for Education, National Geographic Society, Edelson stated, "like reading and basic math, learning to read a map is a foundational skill that is an essential prerequisite for subsequently developing a wide range of knowledge and skills. A brief review of the media that children see in their schools, homes, and communities reveals how frequently maps are used to convey important information and relationships. " 

Our class is in the early stages of understanding what a map is and how to use it. During our reading of Paddle to the Sea, we looked at a map that showed the course of the little canoe's voyage through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

Last week, each student got their own map of Michigan to explore. Some of the things they discovered and played with during this exercise were: 
-where to find and how to use the coordinates
-finding symbols on the map that were represented in the key
-what the milage chart is 

We also watched a very short video on how maps may distort information.  It showed how on some types of world maps the sizes of some countries may become enlarged. In the coming weeks we will be exploring this further and using maps more.

The children had lots of fun locating things on their maps.  I hope you have a chance to explore the Michigan map more with your child at home. Maps can be a great source of entertainment and information.

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