(5th/6th Grade Learning Center Students)
To encourage students to increase familiarity with the physical organization of the neighborhood in which they live.
Students will increase familiarity with local street names.
Students will be able to locate their own homes within the community setting.
Students will be able to locate important neighborhood structures / areas on a given map.
Begin these lessons by discussing with students some of the reasons for knowing your way around your neighborhood. These could include being able to find your way home, being able to find homes of friends that you want to visit, being able to get to and from school, being able to get to medical help, being able to find your way to a certain store, being able to use resources such as the New Haven Library, etc.
Next present students with copies of maps of their local neighborhood. The school and any other major spots you want to teach should be very clearly marked. For the Hill neighborhood, I would label the Hill Health Center, the Boys Club, the New Haven Library, Hill-Central Elementary School, Roberto Clemente School, Truman School, and the Sound School.
Spend the rest of this lesson discussing the map with the class, letting them decide the direction of the discussion and encouraging them to point out streets or places they recognized by name. I would not attempt to teach them new information in this first lesson, but would give them a chance to feel comfortable with the information they recognized on their own.
As a homework assignment, encourage each student to take his/her map home and talk about it with someone at home.
Begin this lesson by passing out labeled maps again and allowing students to talk about any reaction from the homework assignment the night before.
Pass out more map copies (many students will probably have left theirs at home) and begin to discuss major streets in the area. Any background you have available about the origin of street names or interesting history of how they came to be should be presented at this time.
Discuss the labeled areas of the map. Students should contribute to the discussion of what importance these places have for them, what experiences they have had at them already, etc. Encourage students to talk about the location of these spots in terms of street names, and also how they would get to these spots from their homes. Encourage them to give oral directions from their home or the school to given location, while the rest of the class tries to follow the given path on their maps.
As a homework assignment, ask each student to mark the location of his/her home and three friends’ homes on his/her map.
Use an overhead projector to make a large bulletin-board size copy of the neighborhood map. You may want to select a few students to do this task, or assign students to work in groups to each complete one part of the task.
When this task is completed, allow students to mark and label the locations they put on their homework maps.
Begin todays class session with a “street game.” On small slips of paper, write the names of street names given on the labeled maps. Students can take turns selecting a slip from a container, and trying to have other students guess which street name they chose. Students may give clues involving buildings located on their street, other streets which intersect with their street, etc. may be helpful to set up teams to compete with one another in order to spur students participation. For example, the class could be divided into right and left sides, and each time a person guesses the street correctly, his side gets one point. The person correctly guessing the street comes forward to choose the next slip. Students might be allowed to look at maps for the first part of the game, and then encouraged to attempt to guess without their maps as their familiarity increases.
Today hand students a blank map and ask them to label as many streets as they are able. I personally would not put on the pressure of a grade, but would offer a prize to the person correctly naming the most streets. (This does not have to involve a cost to the teacher but could be 10 minutes of free time, a chance to be a “student teacher” or teacher helper,etc.)
Possible field trip around the neighborhood to identify streets and sights located on the map.
Review with a blank map to identify major streets listed on board. Have students quiz each other.
Test—List major streets and sights on board; have students identify them on a blank map.