Maps. They are everywhere in the world, but yet are underrepresented in our classrooms. Why is this? The truth is social studies, including maps, often is the forgotten subject. By incorporating maps into different content we can change this!
Storytime: I have the directionality of a nat, and honestly most nats would probably take offense at that statement. Give me a map and I have a bit of trouble doing anything. This becomes a bit of an issue when I work part-time for a company that puts on races, like half marathons and triathlons, where my job is you guessed it, setting up the course. This, of course, requires me to read a map, usually not to scale, with someone’s, who is not readily available for questions, chicken scratch all over it. Let’s just say it gets ugly.
So the last time I was staring blankly at a map hoping to recognize something, anything that makes sense to me I got to thinking. I really think that I have some sort of map phobia or cartophobia. I wish I were kidding.
While not doing my job, or putting off having to actually figure out the map, I started thinking about why I have such an aversion to maps. I think it really has everything to do with the fact that I didn’t really work with maps outside of identifying the parts of a map in elementary school until I was an adult. Even when I first started driving if I was going somewhere I didn’t know I would print out the MapQuest directions and go step by step (yes, this is what we did before we had phones with Google Maps), never looking at an atlas or even a city map.
That is all to say that I was inspired to introduce more maps into our classrooms because while Google Maps is absolutely wonderful, and saves me daily, I would like to think that we can inspire a new generation of cartophobia-less people.
So on with it already right? I tried to think of all the ways I could to include maps within the context of all content areas because we all know integration is the only way to make it work.
Incorporating Maps and Literature
Incorporating Maps and Classroom Community
Incorporating Maps and Math
Incorporating Maps and Writing
Incorporating Maps and Science
Incorporating Maps and Art
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