Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On the Map

One of the topics my kiddos wanted to learn about in the month of May was maps.  They mentioned countries, states and maps and general.  Our music teacher taught them the 50 Nifty States song.  If you've been reading along for a while, you know that many of my kiddos are readers, and after learning this song, they found great joy in reading and finding the states they sang about on the map.  Thanks Mr. Smith!

I focused more on maps and why we need them.  We also did quite a bit with cardinal directions.  This tied in perfectly as we had 2 walking field trips during this time and talked about using a map to help us find our way.

We started off day 1 making a paper compass from Mrs. Payton's Map Skills pack.  We then took our compasses out on the playground and lined up facing North.  I called out directions such as "take 3 steps to the South" or "hop 5 hops to the East".  Students learned to turn and use their compasses quite quickly through this activity.  We smiled as we were talking to the library and a couple students yelled "We are walking East right now." and would alert us to the direction we were going as we made turns. Glad to see this lesson sunk in!

Students also worked in groups to create mazes, which tied beautifully into our next unit on games.  The mazes represented trying to get somewhere without a map.  It can be a 'maze' trying to find your way from one place to another, but maps are here to help us.  Thanks to my friend Em from Curious Firsties for picking up the straws for our mazes at IKEA!

We added a magnetic marble and a magnet to play with each group's maze.  This was a center activity that they loved!
Here are some of the books I found at the library and on Amazon for this unit:


  1. Wow!! All those books! I loooooove maps! Wish I could have seen it in action!

  2. The outside part with the compasses was pretty entertaining at first as they were all running to into each other. After a few minutes, it was like a herd of kids all moving together. Fun to watch!