Kindergarten Geography: Mapping Skills


Day 1:  Maps can help us move from one place to another.  When we move, we often use directionsDirections are words that help us understand how to do something.   If you were going to give me directions on how to move from this spot over to my desk, what words would you use to direct me to my destination.  My destination is the place I want to go to.  What words can we use?  As you tell me, we will make a list on large chart paper.

Let's practice these words and others, as we explore some games on our laptops with partners.  Click on the blue words below to find the game Go George Go, where we will show different animals how to get from one place to another using directions!  We will find out how to play together, and then you can play with your partners on your own!  As you and your partner work together, use words for directions as we have learned, like: up, down, left, right, near, far, beside, next to, in front of.


Now that we are done showing George and his friends how to get from one destination to another using our directions, let explore our classroom.  Every partner pair will have a stuffed animal.  Partners will need to work together to get their animal from the classroom door to one of the following destinations: top of the mailboxes, under the teachers desk, sitting on the rocking chair, on top of the refridgerator in the house area, in the doll house,  next to the pencil sharpener. After, you successfully get your animal to your chosen destination, use this blank map of our classroom to draw your trip.  Now let's get into a line to get started.  We will revisit our laptops tomorrow!

Day 2:  Yesterday, we explored directions and made a map of a trip within our classroom.  Today, let's look at a map of our country.  Look at our classroom map, and let's notice the directions used on this map: North, South, East, and West.  Here is a complass rose to help us understand map directions.  If we look towards the North, we see these states.    Here are some symbols used to show us different places on the map.  If we look to the West, we see mountians.  If we look to the East, we see oceans.  Let's share some ideas about what you each see on our map.  Use your words to show us what you see. 

Now, click on the blue words below to have an on-line island adventure learning about map symbols.  We will work in partner pairs, as we help each other learn.  Remember to use our direction words!


Day 3:  We have looked at classroom maps and a map of our country as we learned about map directions and symbols.  Today, we will explore a map of our country and the states within it.  We will explore different symbols and what they mean.  Then, we will create our own map of our country!  In patner pairs, take turns and work as a team to complete the matching game.  First, let's click on the blue words below to play a match game.  Let's remember to use of direction words as we play!


Now, let's Make Your Own USA!  Here is a blank map of our country.  Here is a seperate sheet with symbols on it.  Let's review the symbols together: mountains, rivers, lakes.  Also, here is a sheet with animlas on it.  Place them onto your map where you think they should live.  You will find a whale, a squirrel, a snake, a dolphin, and a bear.  Please find on the supply table what you will need: scissors, glue, and contruction paper.  Cut out the symbols and glue them onto the map.  Then, glue your map onto construction paper as your final project.  Please, remember to include a map key and a compass rose on your final project to show your symbols!

Teacher resource: http://www.yourchildlearns.com/make-your-own-usa.html

Day 4:  Together, we will explore animlas around our world, where they live, and how they live.  As we explore together, we will wonder about why they live where they do, what they eat, and where in the world they are.  Click on the blue words below to get started.  


Now, we will look at globes and how they are similar and different from maps.  What do you notice?  How are they the same as maps?  How are they different?

Let's play a game!  We will get into a circle, then gently pass the globe from one friend to another.  When you catch the globe, look to one of your thumbs.  Where did it land: on water, land, a country, a state, in the North or South?  Use our learned words to desribe where your thumb landed! 

Now let's get into groups of 4, so we can continue playing now that you know how!

Day 5:  Today, we will work with partners to create maps of our school as we help animlas find their destinations.  The library is full of trees in the forrest of books.  The playground and the gym have climbing walls and mountains of fun for some animals.  In the cafeteria, you will find plenty of water for our ocean and river animal friends.  Choose from the following stuffed animals:  dolphin, bear, deer, fish, bird, mountain goat, whale, or a snake.  Help your animals find their way home by providing directions to your partner and creating a map together. 

Here is an empty map of our school.  Draw your trip on the map as you find your way from our classroom to the animals home! Have fun, and remember to use the words and skills we learned this week!

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