Saturday, July 4, 2015

Maps and Globes...how I start my school year

mapping unit
OK...so I just got to experience that feeling where a HUGE project that was started a year ago is FINISHED!  Seriously--I may have actually twirled in my office.  About a year ago, I started jotting down some of the fun projects I do every year in September to kick off my mapping unit.  I do not like to use a lot of fill in the blank worksheets (shocking!), and we don't have a textbook that covers these things.  I dug in, bought some clip art, and started the project.

And then I stopped.

It was too big.  Too huge.  Too frustrating.  I closed it down...opened it up a few months later and tried to get going on it--but quit again.

Here's the thing...I love this unit.  I love these projects.  I know they improve my students' understanding about the world, our country, and even their state.  They love the projects...the art...the challenge activities.  I love having everything all together--from bulletin board letters to essential questions to vocabulary cards!  SOOOOOO....

I opened it up last week and worked and worked and worked.  I got frustrated.  I called and whined to my friend.  I whined to some online friends.  I got no sympathy--so I got back to work.  And....

TA DA!
teaching mapping

It's finished!  250 pages of blood, sweat, tears, and a LOT of soda, Cheetos, and frozen Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.  So what in the world is it?  250 pages you say?  Yeah...make sure you read this.  It DOES have 250 pages--but 100 of them are state pages...2 different map options for each of 50 states.  So it REALLY is just about 150 pages...some of which are bulletin board letters...some are lesson ideas...some are reproducibles...some are full of photographs...some are maps.  I am really hoping the preview gives a clear vision of what is included--I certainly don't want people to feel misled!

So...I thought I'd show you a few things I have included--and then I invite you to download the preview for a bit more information.  To start, the resource is organized into sections with divider pages like this:
I have a section with mapping basics like using a compass rose, vocabulary, and so on.  I have a section about world geography (continents/oceans), a section about landforms, one about U.S. geography, and then a final section with some resources to explore your state geography.  Each section has lesson ideas, assessments, interactive notebook ideas, and more.  The resource is "art heavy" because I really think students can learn so much more by MAKING maps than by simply looking at them!  Here are a few of my favorite projects from the resource!
maps and globes unit
Seriously...we spend a week inventing our continents to make our "world". The amount of creativity, teamwork, and effort makes this one of my FAVORITES!
teaching maps and globes activities
OK...I know interactive notebooks are "trendy" right now...but I have a HUGE problem with a lot of the cut, paste, and color resources out there that really aren't anything more than glorified worksheets.  This resource has some selected interactive notebook ideas sprinkled throughout...but only in places where I feel they help the resource....
mapping unit
This is another of  my students' favorite activities...we learn more about our STATE geography as well as the states/bodies of water that border us.  Keep it simple, or go into more depth.  We hang these outside our classroom and get TONS of compliments!
teaching maps and globes
If you want to try some things that are a little bit new and different, this resource might be for you.  If you are looking for an easy, make a bunch of copies, and let the students work independently--this is probably not for you!
So...here it the link.  See what you think...hopefully the preview and the description paint a picture for you.  There are lots of great projects to use at the start of  the year--and to get students working and talking together.  If you are interested, I will keep this on sale until I leave for Vegas on Tuesday!  More about THAT later!

1 comment:

  1. No wonder this took you over a year to finish!! What a fabulous resource all in one packet!! On my wish list! :)

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