Friday, January 25, 2013
Talk about flying by the seat of my pants! Here the boys are working with a new material I made while they ate breakfast this morning. Last night Kal-El announced that he was interested in learning "all of the streets" and how to use them to get places. I should have taken him more seriously than I did because he was demanding to "see what you made me while I was sleeping" first thing this morning. Umm...I work Thursday nights until 9 p.m. so....nothing?
So, while they ate their usual marathon breakfast I printed out some maps, trimmed them and taped them together. I used openstreetmap.org because it was the only source I could find quickly that would print me a full page of map as opposed to a quarter page of map with an ad and a "notes" box on it (grrr).
I made them a map of the nine square miles surrounding our house. This was a chunk of the city that contained most of our usual stomping grounds. It also represents the section of the city they have travelled frequently by bike. I think I printed the map on a total of 12 pages or so and taped them together. Afterward, I labelled or circled some of the important "landmarks": our house, the school where they go to cub scout meetings, a few parks, the community center where we vote, the chiropractor, barber shop, library, bank, grocery store, a few favorite restaurants, the bike trail, and the railroad tracks. I would love to show you some close-ups of the map, but you know how I am about that type of thing (for example, I didn't actually name my children Kal-El and Me Too).
I noticed this week that Kal-El had begun ignoring the stamp game grid under the glass of the work table in our school room. I slipped that out and slipped the new map under the glass instead. I also set out two little cars (they are actually beads for stringing). The boys have had a blast planning errands and discovering multiple routes to familiar locations.
Kal-El then informed me "just so you know...I am also really interested in the highways and freeways and there aren't any on this map. I popped back onto to openstreetmap.org and printed out a single-page map that covered a larger area so he could see the freeways that he is familiar with. I labelled that map with some of his favorite locations that are further afield such as relatives houses and violin lessons. To go with it I pulled out a couple of regular Rand McNally maps of our state and our metropolitan area for him to explore.
My next step is to follow up with some works in the style of the Scholastic book Marvelous Map Activities for Young Learners as I saw it done on Early Learning with Marta and Eaton, thank goodness I pinned her post. However, I haven't even bought the book yet (I can't decide if I should, or if I should just make some command cards to go with the map I already made) so if anyone has any links or ideas for other things we can do along these lines I would be eternally grateful.