Ok, I'm new to third grade (and teaching my own class) and have to start teaching maps. I have no idea where to start or even where to go with it. I've got lots of blank maps so students can write in places, rivers, etc. but don't know where to begin.
Of course, the first thing I thought of was asking you guys. I have two weeks but only 30 minute increments. Any ideas???
I would start with things your students know. If they know your state well, start with maps of your state. If they know the US well, start with maps of the US. They might need to start with maps of your town or your neighborhood. Then introduce different kinds of maps of the same area: physical, political, road maps, etc. What do they notice about each? What are some of those symbols? What do they mean? Then, they can draw their own maps, either of their neighborhood or a made-up town. Have a list of features they need to include. If you have web access at school, here are some good sites: http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learnin.../ba/55013.html
1. You could begin with teaching the four cardinal directions on a map; then go on to teach northeast, etc.
2. On an outline map of states with labels on, have students locate a state placing their finger on it , and then ask them what state is north of it.
3. If you have a map of states, you could be sure they can find their own state and then label the states in your region.
4. A map of the US with heavy lines dividing the country into regions, they could label each region and talk about why each region is divided that way and what the main characteristic of the region is: i.e. south east is hot and wet, southwest is hot and dry.
5. On an outline map of the world, continents and oceans can be labeled, as well as important lines such as equator, Prime Meridian, International Date Line, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle.
6. Locate an important river with help. Find its source and mouth. Talk about what direction it flows, and emphasize that a river always moves from a high place to a lower places and untimately into another body of water (lake, river, or ocean).
These are just some ideas for short lessons. I am sure you will get lots of other ideas. Oh, there are lots of good websites for maps (enchantedlearning.com is one) and interactive sites for showing you recognize the state on an outline map.
This has been a favorite of mine to start the year off. We do many of the ideas already mentioned, but our culmination project is two part: !)we create our own town 2) we create edible maps
Our own town---partners come up with a name of a town, 10 places they want to feature on their town, name the places and create a symbol for each place to go on the map. Next they use large paper to make their map. It is a wonderful open ended creation. The only requirements are the ones I've stated. It is amazing to see the creativity that comes out.
Edible Maps----the following link gives the ingredients( I often do not use the peanut butter because of allergy issues)
This time they all create a map individually---They must be able to tell me what each food item has been used for and what kind of map they have created--country, city, state, continent, etc. Once again those creative juices really amaze me. Even though this does get kind of messy it is known by the 2nd graders that come to me in 3rd that they will do this in the beginning of the year!
I would start off teaching the cardinal directions and the map elements. We use the acronym Kissing TOADS Blush for the map elements and then identify these things on various kinds of map. The elements are Key, Title, Orientation (compass rose--I'll draw arrows for the O so it looks like a compass), Author, Date, Scale, and Border.
Check out this book from Scholastic. It covered all our 3rd grade standards and was easy to use. I also do daily geography. It's a perfect thing to fit in those 5-minute windows we all have, and the kids really grasp the concept by the end of the year.
thnx a lot to all who posted their experiences on map skills... i am a fresh graduate teacher and doesnt know how to deal with mappping.. tnx again u have helped me a lot.... from Philippines... email@example.com
I teach second grade, and we always start with the compass rose, move on to the map key and map legend. Afterwards, we start looking at simple maps.
It seems odd to me to start teaching maps in third grade. The students in my district start in first. When they start second grade, they have a pretty good grasp of basic map skills. After a quick review, we can usually start answering questions about simple maps. Later in the year, we move on to landforms and following directions.
In third, they build upon what they have already learned in second.