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Mapping the Neighborhood, by Carol Boynton

Guide Entry to 08.03.01:

Many teachers in primary grades are teaching in self-contained classrooms, generally focusing on literacy and math. I would like to build background knowledge for teachers to feel comfortable teaching about mapping and map-making. My goal with this unit is to bring this fun, exciting skill into the classroom social studies curriculum for first- and second-graders.

First-grade students come to school in the fall ready to learn. This eagerness is invigorating. One way to tap this energy is to provide an engaging hands-on curriculum to keep them involved and learning. Despite the various levels within the class, everyone can participate and learn how maps are made, what they mean, how to use them, and what they tell us about our neighborhoods.

This curriculum unit takes the notion of learning sequentially, from the micro to the macro—starting from mapping the classroom environment to defining the school space to gaining an understanding of the neighborhood. My hope is that this curriculum will excite students about the world right outside their doors at school and in their own neighborhoods. Incorporating art, math, vocabulary development, and physical activity into this social studies unit offers something for everyone!

(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 1 and 2)

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