Students compare miniatures to real items. Then they explore maps and globes as miniature versions of places and the Earth.
|Scooped by Lucy Baird|
1. This site provides students with a basic introduction to maps and common map conventions and terminology, such as map symbols, scale, and landmarks. Of particular interest is the introduction of the notion of models and miniatures, and how maps are simply miniaturised representations of real places. This then flows seamlessly into an introduction of the concept of the globe as a representation of the Earth.
As an introductory resource into the topic of mapping and geography, the use of this website should be preceded by some preparatory discussion to ascertain what students already understand about the content. Further, discussion of when and why we use maps, and how maps work will give students a firm grounding in the field. In addition to this resource, it is vital that teachers demonstrate how the scale of maps can change. To do this, the use of a map of Australia, a World map, and a globe will effectively show how maps can expand and contract, and re-affirm the fact that the globe is simply an alternative representation of the Earth, and other 'flat' maps.
When teaching this foundational information surrounding mapping and geography, it might be useful to have students draw maps of their classrooms or homes in order to put this new information into practice, and to actually 'use' ad hoc scale and map symbols themselves, particularly on such a personally relevant level.
When teaching students mapping and geography, it is vital that teachers reflect on their own understanding and use of maps. As part of this reflective process, it is key to recognise the socially constructed nature of maps, and the socio-political role that maps can play in national and international power exchanges (See Kleeman and Hutchinson, 2005). Whilst this is not necessarily information that need be transmitted to students in their first formal encounters with maps, it is possible to begin to draw out these ideas in small, simple ways. With the current resource, this can be done by identifying the different maps that students may have drawn of the same classroom, or the different symbols chosen to represent features/landmarks. By doing this, teachers are beginning to explore the notions of subjectivity and social construction, in informal, understandable, relevant terms.
Kleeman, G., & Huchinson, N. (2005). Maps in Classrooms. The Globe, 57, 1-12.