Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ancient Maps by 3rd Grade

I'm trying really hard to incorporate many new projects into my curriculum this school year. I usually add in a few new lessons, but this year I've come up with quite a few brand new project ideas. This is one of those lessons. 

I'm working on my Master's plus 30 hours, so I've been taking graduate courses. My professional development plan is pretty wide open. Other art teachers reading this know exactly why. We don't just teach art. We teach everything; it just happens to look nice. Over the summer I took a course about maps. I had originally planned to create a pirate map lesson, but I was completely inspired by the artistry of old maps in general. The lesson focus turned into old maps in general, but added in many geography terms such as landforms that my third graders will learn more about next year in their academic classroom. As a bonus, I got to use the word "cartographer" over and over. Words are cool.

Essentially, I asked my students to create a map of an imaginary place. It could be based on a fairy tale or it could have been entirely made up. My students went nuts. I saw maps of fictional lands, video game worlds, cartoon worlds, fairy tale locations and many, many more. The drawing was first done in pencil, then inked with a thin Sharpie. Watercolor washes in limited colors were then added. When the painting was finished, I allowed the students to further age their maps by crumpling them and even burning the edges. Of course I wasn't using open fire in my classroom. The "fire" was simply wet on wet watercolors on torn edges of the maps. 

Click here to see my lesson plan!
Here is the handout that I put together for this lesson. 


Marcia Beckett said...

I love maps! I found your blog through the art of ed website. Your header is very cool,

Mr.G said...

I find students of all ages go crazy with making maps. Thank you for the awesome handout, it will help me push my students to the next level of cartography!