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map making ch 5

map making ch 5 - WAWWM,WM,MWH IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE...

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Unformatted text preview: WAWWM,WM,MWH . IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD Ages Nine Through Ten CHILDREN IN THE RAIN FOREST Hillary Clinton’s recent book has popularized a saying that my colleagues and l have long been using to describe the relationship between the school and the community: it takes a Village to raise a child. it’s not just the school’s job to educate children; it’s the responsibility of the whole com- munity. Schools will do the best job when they are community centers. This means that the community is in the school through frequent parent nights, volunteer programs, guest speakers, and DARE programs. And it means that the school is often out in the community through frequent field trips, apprenticeship programs, school~business partnerships, and com- munity service projects. This village notion most commonly refers to the interconnected web of social responsibilities and relationships of a healthy community, but 1 want to give it a geographical spin as wellr For the geography, social stud— ies, and environmental education curricula to be healthy in the intermedi— ate grades, projects should move out of the neighborhood and into the broader community, town, and watershed. The maps of children ages nine and ten cover a much wider terrain than the maps of their younger coun— terparts. One of the causes of this expansion is bicycles. Children now have both the desire to explore and the necessary safety skills. This combi— nation convinces parents that it‘s all right to let children bicycle by them- selves to the town beach, across town to school, or down to the shopping center. The curriculum should travel along with the children. 1 Visited the unusual village of Monteverde last year. it’s a Quaker community located high in the Tilaran mountains of Costa Rica, just un- derneath the cloud forests of the continental divide. The Quakers started a cheese factory here in the 19505, which helped to sustain the dairy in— dustry and breathe new commercial life into the local villages of Santa Elena and Monteverde. The community realized that the health of the dairy industry depended on the protection of the cloud forests, so they created a private reserve. There are now four reserves protecting almost 65 ., . . y,M..WWMMMWmewmammmmwwm It Takesa Village ‘ 67 Id there was to Raise a Chi om the school, i found out that » MAPMAKINC WITH CHILDREN 1?: I131::1dred thousand acres, including the Childr ’ ' purchased through the fundraising effoi:solga1£.ForeS[’ Wthh brought children and teachers fr C lldren an Over a similar tree down near the market in town. The next day, guided by the ten-year—old daughter of some friends, we e known by children in the area. On the world. As a resul ' [ions in central Amethigloarlitzverde is one of the premier tourist d ' [011mm devalopmem for threi 151 Viewed as a model of sustainableesuna- prOVide a Strong economic f region. Agriculture and low-impact to e'CO- and the emmonmem in [h' oundation for the preservation of local ulrlsm Its not surprisin h 15 Belated area, cu lure g t at an unusual elementary school has emerg d ‘ e in this context Th , . - 6 mission statem en states that the school is; t for the Centro de Educacion Creative, Committed [ . [ion as [he f0::§ademlc excellence with environmental d SChOOH is to em :tlon ?f the entire CurriCulum. [The goal6 fule- Sponsible bilingugyegegtifre gerlilerations of environmentally tfee ’ P 6 Wit [h k- ‘ create Chan 6 . e 5 1115 and moti ' g , preserve their natural environment anhatf'on to we in peaceful CO-eXiS[ . world ence With all the people and creatures of the This school is cle my one of the fi ronmental ’ r5“ SChOOlS in the h ‘ fiphery education at the heart of the CUTfiCulumelifiiflflie to pm emu; ‘ an at the e- In Preparation f p 01” a workSh ‘ other educate ' OP With teachers t ’ school to find :nm the area, i went for an early rnorrailinthis SChOOI and for the workshopappropriate destination for a short field;tsrlmlllhleafr the g Was on the diff 1? e OCus and cream 6 ~ . erence between fo t ‘ ' dren when 5116;): hf: la‘ My Opinion is that eCOPhObiSa eerrlrri:by eCO-hteraq ecological prObIerhs 1lgicaltors, and parents put too early an ergeshm ~Chll- est and protectm er‘ldy aying the responsibility for savin [3p alStis on alienate rather thg angered species on seven- and ei mg 6 ram for- need to learn the in connect children with the naturalgw VIEW-0145’ we can save it SO OIeauty and intricacies of the natural world b. Ehfldren would intrigue,a d m} mornlng walk I was lookin f e ore they a k n engage children. N f g or a Place that J c pOL OK at from the school I hit the The seeds of stra , . “816? fi tre - other mm fore g as establish themselv ' nutrients. Wh :1: 23:?“an then send roots earthward 1:55;:rtclgeoianopy of e roots an $01 and and Slowly create a counter each other h Woven latticework ’ t 63’ grow tOgether roots radu 1 , around the h r . mam The81h::ttrangles the onginal tree by deprivifisgtittre? This lamce Of [act bur: With a corrreeldies and eventually rots, leaving theostwater and Flu— fig that was slightl dieter hollow core. That morning I fourrigcllngler fig m- on the inside to a heilélFtEdf 0:811 completely hollow. and easilvacftrasglifr fulfillment of an O 8 out fifty feet. Bein ‘ I ‘ r 1 1m a E . g inSide » own children thrill? ills? Famlly Robinson fantasies Wh: ulpbhigh was a ’ t 85" 1mm€diatelY started to Dlav lmr film Might my I" i ham \KFLAM r set off to a secret vine-swinging plac the way, we met our guides twelve-year-old brother and a friend who showed us two other cl‘mbable strangler figs. One of these was more Straight up; the other was darker and more mysterious inside. From talk- ing with the chicken, 1 realized that their culture in the area harbored a special knowledge of the location and climbability of many of these trees, as well as a knowledge of good swimming holes, great vines to swing on, and other adventurous places. lf 1 were a fifth-grade teacher at the Centro de Educacién Creativa, this is the project 1 would do. Lots of environmentally conscious families visit Monteverde. The normal activity is a hike through the cloud forest looking for birds and hearing lectures about the intricacies of tropical ecology We did this and it was great, but how about some activities de- signed specifically for kids? Perhaps the fifth graders could create a map and guide to the safe tree-climbing and vine-swinging places in the Mon- teverde community They’d have to collect data by interviewing children and adults who grew up in Monteverde, visit the sites to determine their suitability, create a map showing the location of all the sites, write an ap- propriate guide, and design app blicity. Then the fifth graders ropriate pu could be hired as guides by one of the local guide organizations, who would provide transportation and adult su fth graders could pervision, Fi have a source of income, part of the fee could be donated to the school, and visiting children would enjoy true interactive, bond ing activities with the rain forest. There’s nothing like being inside a tree to make you feel like a part of nature. This project may never happen, with your nine- and ten—year-olds might not principles should be the same. Children this age want to explore, put things in order, and have real responsibilities. They want to find out what’s around the next bend and make sure that their maps are accurate. This chapter contains descriptions of two very different kinds of projects—- exploratory projects tha t focus on mapping adventures and technical pro- jects that describe very or making accurate maps of small areas. and the mapping activities you do be this glamorous. But the specific techniques f THE EXPLORERS’ CLUB M...— turally emerge out of a school yard mapping project or oject, but you’ll have to be willing and able to take he core idea is to simulate the experience of living the fifteenth century. The continent is well ex- t there. in the great beyond, is an unmapped This activity can na a neighborhood maps pr lots of short field trips. T in Europe at the end of «Ami/9A m’irl manned. but on W - - v WWW;W(/,W_,M_, , AAPMAKING MITH CHILDREN world with vast resources and surprises. What’s out there, and can we map it and claim it as our own? Many social studies curricula call for studying the explorers in fifth grade, and this kind of project is a down—home intro— duction to that kind of unit. This project can be done either by small groups or as a whole—class activity. If you’re focusing on children’s neighborhood maps, then they’ll have to work individually or in small groups. To explore around the school, you can work as one large team. My focus here will be on projects for the whole elementary classroom. In the beginning, have children discuss what they know about the known world of the school and the surrounding neighborhood. Create a freehand map on the board of the school grounds and ask the children to draw what lies beyond. This initial mapping project is intended to elicit questions about areas near the school that the children don’t know about With teachers at a public school in Schenectady, New York, we focused on the area named Back Secret, a big patch of city land that abutted the school but that the teachers had very little sense of. Once you’ve got a completed sketch map of the known world (of your Europe), then you’re going to empower the children to go forth and explore the unknown world. A good piece of literature that parallels this process is Secret Water by Arthur Ransome (1984). A father drops his five children off with camping equipment and a sketchy map in the midst of a large British estuary Their task is to map all of the islands and channels in the estuary by the time he returns to pick them up in five days. To do this as a class activity, you’ll need three different forms of pre pared outline maps. First, you’ll need a large wall map that shows the school and the known world and sketchy outlines of the unknown world to explore. You need enough definition to create boundaries, but not too much definition so as to take the thrill out of the discovery The bigger the wall map the better. Four square feet is good, and if you have the space and a way to provide access, five or six square feet is not too big. To create this map you’ll need to find a small~scale map of the local area or you’ll have to sketch a map of the school and its surroundings. Using an over— head projector or an opaque projector, project the map image on a large piece of paper and trace the school yard and the areas you want to explore onto the basemap. Identify six or seven areas around the school that you want to explore, delineate these with colored markers, and label them. Each small group of children will be working on mapping just one of these sections. Second, you’ll need 81/2~by—ll-inch versions of the same prepared outline map for the children to use (see Figure 5—1). They will use these maps to collect data in the field Third, for the final stage, it makes sense to provide each small group with an enlarged outline map of just the section they are working on. This piece of the map should be just as large as the final wall map. This actual- sized section allows the students to do a rough draft of their map section. Recruit as many parents and school volunteers as you can, and head out for your expeditions. I recommend two to four expeditions, spaced a few days to a week apart. initially, the challenge for each group will be to create sketch maps of their areas. Make this process easier by providing children with an inventory of things they should look for. in a suburban neighborhood, the inventory might be: Man~Made Structures Natural Features Roads Prominent trees Bridges Hills Houses (especially of people Streams and ponds you know) Rocks and cliffs Public buildings (fire station, Fields churches) Hedges Stores Flowers Graveyards Good hiding places It Takes a Village | 69 to Raise a Child FIGURE 54 A prepared outline map for exploring and map- ping Back Secret, an urban woodland in Schnectady, New York. A large prepared outline map was used on the wall and individual prepared outline maps were used by students for collecting field data. APMAKING lTH CHILDREN After each group has returned from the first exploration, have them use their sketch maps to start to create maps of their findings in their own area. This is where you need the actual~sized copy of the piece of the wall map that they are going to complete. This intermediary map al- lows students to plan and revise their section before their results finally go onto the wall. A second or third expedition will serve to flesh out the details of the areas the children are exploring. It may be important for you to meet with each group to help them frame their goals for each exw pedition or to charge them with things to find out. The third and fourth expeditions can serve as a chance to collect materials from their areas that the children can use to represent some of the places on the map. For example, children may want to represent a sandbank by gluing sand to the map, or a pine forest by selectively cutting some club mosses (princess pines) and attaching them to the map in the right lo~ cation. After the final expedition, the teacher should approve the rough draft of the map for each group’s section. Once this is done, children can then begin work on the wall map. Encourage children to figure out ways to make their section of the map integrate smoothly with adjacent sections. Complete this project by having children identify all of the things they learned about the school neighborhood as a result of the proiect. STREAM EXPLORATlONS By the time children have reached fourth and fifth grade, an understanding of the local watershed becomes appropriate. On their maps, children this age show an increased inclination toward connectedness and networks; they correctly show road relationships and brooks flowing into streams flowing into rivers. just this morning my fourth—grade daughter wanted to know if Harrisville Pond and Silver Lake, two of our favorite swimming destinations in town, were connected. She is trying to figure out how it all fits together. Consequently, now is the time to get children out following and mapping streams. Regrettably, this genuine acrivity is often transmuted into learning the water cycle. Starting as early as second grade, children do little experi~ merits in jars and soon thereafter draw those diagrams of clouds, conden~ sation, rivers flowing to the ocean, and evaporation back to the clouds. The denatured words have little connection to the real world. Rarely do children step outside, investigate puddles, collect rainwater, make minia- ture landscapes, or follow streams. instead, they draw the same diagram, ad nauseam. throughout the elementary years. The water cycle isn’t something to be taught in two weeks; it’s appropri— ately done over the six or eight years of elementary and middle school. The watercourses of the landscape are ‘ and we can only learn them by following them, literally and metaphorically. Just as it is valuable to have ch'ldren trace their own bodies and then map out the circulatory system or the digestive system or the skeleton, it is equally valuable to present children with an outline map of the town or the local region and have them map out the water drainage system. Just as chil- books to discover their inner biology, it is appro— dren work from reference priate to have children use small—scale, detailed area maps to extract information about the watershed. These kinds of studies are grounded and enhanced through stream following and mapping experiences. David Millstone, an elementary social studies teacher in Norwich, Vermont, recognized the allure of stream fol— lowing and the potential curricular value, so he decided to try something unusual. He initiated a class expedition to follow a stream, not knowmg where the stream would lead them. In a student—produced newspaper about this expedition, one child wrote: The Deep Dark Dungeon ” I thought to myself. We were walking “1 can’t see five feet, ' llowing this stream that runs behind the through a giant culvert fo school and through the Nature Area. “Watch out, dripping water,” Mr. Millstone warned us. I finally realized what is beyond the steel grates that you see along the street. I looked up it and saw the grate twenty feet above me. The culvert seemed to be moving. 1 think we took a turn somewhere. “The end,” someone shouted. . . . i had to walk with my feet widely apart. We got out alive, had snack and continued on our adventure . Millstone, in an introduction to the newslette wnstream for many reasons. 1 was curious about the stream myself, and found in conversations with others that no one really seemed to know where the stream went. The trip expanded our recent emphasis on mapping lilorxvich neighborhoods. The search would challenge the classs map~ making skills; similarly, an adventure into the unknown would stimulate children’s writing. . . . The experience of followmg a stream would reinforce a fundamental concept in topographic ows downhill. The stream flows directly under the maps——water fl . he area which we will be surveying for our own new playground, t r ‘ contour map. I wanted children to experience the thrill of posmg a question and working direcrly to find the answer. And not least of all, T thought this trip would be fun. We went for the Great Hike Do r, describes his motives: ItTakesa Village ‘ 71 to Raise a Child WMNMW lPMAKING TH CHILDREN 2 am explo- iur girls after like Down- )avid Mill— 5 in Norwich, Like any true adventure, what started out as a simple idea grew more complex as we trudged along. We ended up doing things that i had not anticipated, and going where i had not planmd to go- There was valuable learnin for b ' - th h adults in dealing with the unexpected. g 0 C lldren and :ach child in the class was responsible for drawing an individual 0 group map of the journey {see Figure 55—23. These maps show a fine 5 r thesis of exploratory enthusiasm and cartographic skill. They ortra )fff- children‘s excitement at walking through the long culvert undelr3 the illitere state'highway, negotiating their way down a tricky waterfall and actualln figuring out where the stream led. From a cartographic pers ective it iy ev1dent that the children were challenged to put the maps in Scale to or: ent them appropriately, to use symbols, to start to try to represent to o phy, and to show the relative location of other main landmarks p gm- Teachers commonly use reflective writing as a way of preservin new experiences, but maps are underutilized in this way Maps in fact Ere of— ten much better vehicles for representing the experience of rnovin through the landscape—especially as documents of exploration Kee it? mind the notion of graphicacy—the skill of communicating relationshi that cannot be successfully communicated by words or mathematical not}: t. . . . , ion alone. The interpretive map is more effective than words in capturin a streamSide expedition. g ~K ~ :7 '7 («J-O] “inland; “an i M Fem WHERE DOES THE 2) “:55 WSW“, M _ STREAM 60????“ '°‘ Mg u my" .nm‘ USlNG GRID FRAMES FOR NATURAL HISTORY STUDIES Focused studies of local flora and fauna are enlivened by using grid frames to make detailed maps of small areas. The mapping techniques are the same as described in the previous chapter, but the questions examined are different. As a graduate student, one of the most compelling field ecology courses I ever took was a course on marine ecology The main project for this course was to map two tide pools, one that was high in the intertidal zone and one that was low and was only exposed for two hours each tidal cycle. Both tide pools were small, ten to fifteen square feet, but the process of mapping them was fascinating. The mapping process served as a kind of magnifying glass, m...
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