Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Storytelling and map making

My kids are having trouble drawing maps.

They can tell me that they are supposed to pretend that they are floating on the ceiling and look down to draw it- but then they turn in maps that look like they stood at their door and took a picture.  I don't know if it's just an age thing or what- but "perspective" is kicking my butt.

Also because of their age, paying attention for any good length of time- also tripping me up.  I decided to combine something I knew they liked- being told a story- with creating a map they could look at from up above to get some perspective.

You know from previous posts that I dig on The Three Pigs.  So we all sat down on the carpet and I grabbed up some construction paper, a pair of scissors, and a roll of tape and set to work.  I told my version of the three pigs.  (I'm working on putting it into book form- so you'll see it soonish, promise.) As I told the story, I cut simple shapes of paper and folded them into house forms.  This enthralled my ducks, I have to say.  WHOA! HOW DID YOU DO THAT?  They went absolutely nuts at just about each house.  Which also tells me, crafting will be fun with them this year.  They clearly haven't had a lot of experience- so if I can integrate that into the lessons, I'll get their attention.

At the end of the story I had a pretty simple map.  We each took a turn standing over the top of it to see how it looked.  I took this picture with my iPhone:

And then I popped it up on my promethean board, drew the basic outlines overtop of the photo and then removed the photo so the kids could see a map from an overhead perspective.  And then they went out to make their own.  They haven't finished them yet- but they are doing a much better job that previously. 
I've decided to get some other things to help with up in the sky looking down perspectives.  I figured- why not use dollhouse furniture when we try to make maps of rooms?  You can lay out the pieces in any arrangement and then just lean over the top of your desk to draw it- or even take a picture and put it up on the board like I did with this picture.  I also have lots of Toobs ( I bought mine at Hobby Lobby- but I think Michaels sells them too, and also Amazon) that I think I can also use to set out these little landscapes and create maps.  And then- here's the big moment- after I do this a couple of times- then THEY can create scenes and make maps.

I love map making, how about you?

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