Tuesday, October 21, 2014

3rd Grade Ancient Maps

Ahoy landlubbers! It be map time at Thomas Elementary. This is the second year I've done this project with 3rd grade and it's a lot of fun and also integrates quite a bit from the social studies curriculum.

We start the project by looking at a lot of old maps. If you haven't seen any of these before, check the Google. They're pretty rad. There are maps of North America that actually show California as an island. Some maps have sea monsters. Many older maps actually have quite a bit of artwork on them simply to make them beautiful to look at. 

We discuss the main parts of a map (a part of the 3rd grade social studies curriculum here in Ohio) and also look at various landforms (a part of the 4th grade curriculum). Students are required to have a certain amount of landforms in their map as well as a title, key, and compass rose. 

My students are each charged with the task of creating a map of a fictional place. Most choose to create their own, but some like to to make maps of places in their favorite book, tv show, or video game. I love to see what they come up with. 

The last part of the project is to crumple the paper several times to make it look old and also "burn" a part of the map using wet on wet black watercolor. I like the burned edges, but I think the crumpling takes something away from the overall project. I probably won't give that as an option next year. 

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


DianaA said...

I look forward to doing this lesson with my students. Thank You!

Zach Stoller said...

I'm glad you like it. Thanks for the comment!