Louisa's mom, Maggie, came to talk to us about maps. Before she arrived, I asked the children to tell me about maps.
--They can bring you where you need to go.
--You can find out where you're going with them.
--They can spin!
--He's thinking of the ball like we have one over there (points to the globe) that tells us everywhere in the world.
--It's something that you can see where you're going so you won't lose your way.
--Siri tells my Dad where to go.
Most seemed to have some understanding that maps show us where to go. We need them so we don't get lost. Freida assured us that Siri will help if we get lost, but we found out that Siri needs a map too! They also understood that the "spinning ball" (i.e., globe) was a map of the whole world. But that was pretty much the extent of map knowledge...until Maggie arrived. She showed us that maps can tell us about animals and people, and even our own houses! Maps are NOT just something adults use when we get into cars, Children can use maps too-- to see where the swimming pool and parks are in Iowa City, to find where moms go when they travel (Pennsylvania), to find the warm state our friend just moved from (Texas), to see where our teacher's mom lives (Sudan), to locate where penguins live (under the equator), to see where there are earthquakes (not in Iowa, whew!).
We got busy looking at maps, making maps, and playing with maps. Although the children seemed to always have had an understanding that the world is much larger than our school and community, exploring all of these maps seemed to broaden their world view. We talked about how maps can be of our school/house, our neighborhood and city, our state....and just keep expanding to the whole world.