We started off working through Jack Knowlton's, "Maps and Globes".
The books goes through basic concepts very simply. It starts off with a simple history of maps that shows the children that maps are simply representations of the world. It discusses how early maps were incorrect and then moves onto the age of exploration as a way to introduce the globe.
Ben and Shira had a little trouble understanding how a flat map is a distortion of reality. I need to check on their understanding tomorrow as I am not convinced they understood the concept, even though they made the right motions.
The book then moves onto the language of maps. Ben, as I could have predicted, was very excited to learn about scales. He and Shira spent well over half an hour measuring distances on various maps and working out the real world distance. I had fun having them measure the distance between Lisbon and Madrid on maps with different scales.
Another activity that they thoroughly enjoyed was to be given the latitude and longitude of two places and then to work out the distance between them. (I only worked with the grid lines on the maps, so they have not worked with degrees and minutes yet). I need to work with latitude and longitude some more as I think Shira's struggling with the concept a tiny bit.
We finished off by learning about physical and political maps and drawing our own maps.
I have a Readers Digest Atlas of the World that is perfect for the children with which to work.
The children asked me if I could write up a quiz for them, so here is the one I plan on giving the children tomorrow:
Look at the map of Europe on pages 74 & 75 of the Readers Digest Atlas of the World.
- List the countries that lie on 15 deg E.
- List the countries that lie on 15 deg W
- Which city is closer to the equator, London or Madrid?
- Which sea is to the south of Italy?
- Which country is larger, Portugal or Turkey?
- What is the capital city of France?
- List France's neighbors.
- What see is north of Turkey
- What is the distance between Paris and Madrid?
- What is the distance between Madrid and Rome?
- List all the seas that you see on this map
Look at the map of Australia on pages 180 and 181.
- Does Australia get a lot of rain over the interior? Why do you say that?
- What is the distance between Perth and Sidney?
- What country is to the north of Australia?
- Is there more wasteland or forest in Australia?
- What is the approximate latitude and longitude of Darwin?
- What type of vegetation surrounds Darwin?
- How wide is Australia?
- What is the name of the island off its southeastern tip?
Now I need to go through our library and find books to read to them on the subject of map making and exploration.