#SOL20: Maps

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A board covered in canvas protecting maps. Black and white maps. Maps of farmland. Maps that showed crops, waterways, and entrances and exits for fields. My first remembrances of maps were maps that my dad used in his part-time work at the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) office.

These maps were a part of family life. We would wait in the car after Sunday Mass while Dad met with a farmer. Kids in a car. Sometimes reading. Sometimes writing. Sometimes playing games like “I Spy.”

When completed these black and white maps would have markings on them in colored pencil noting changes. Each map was a section of land. One square mile. 640 acres of land.  Math, Social Studies, and a lot of talk. An interdependence of content decades and decades ago.

History is filled with maps that share information about exploration, settlement, and expansion of populations. How do the visuals add to our understanding?

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Are maps important today?  Why?  What maps do students need to learn about?  What maps do students need to create?

Let’s face it. Maps are readily accessible through google and our smart phones or gps devices. It is easy to get oral directions or a map from a business location online.

But what about maps like Georgia Heard’s Heart Maps? What about capturing and creating  connections between ideas that I want to remember. Heart Maps add another dimension to writing and then reading. Not familiar with Heart Maps?  Check out this link for additional details.

What skills do you use to understand maps?

What maps do you use on a regular basis?

Are you a map consumer or a map creator?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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Additional Resources:

NEA and Maps (link)

US Interactive History Map (link)

Heart Maps  (link)

6 responses

  1. Love this idea of connecting how we map our hearts as writers to maps … now you have me wondering. Feeling the need to sketch a bit, study a bit, and sketch again. Thank you for jump-starting my brain this morning after a long week of travel! So glad we had time to connect.

    1. Clare,
      So many purposes for maps and remembering that Georgia Heard will be at CCIRA21 was the perfect link for my brain. Always wonderful to spend time learning and thinking together!!!

  2. My husband enjoys maps very much. Your post reminded me of the game that we used to play long ago. Each player had to say a name of a place in the map and the others had to search the place. The one who was the quickest got points. It was fun.

    1. That sounds like a fun game with a lot of learning as well! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I have heard Georgia Heard speak at several conferences and always find her interesting and informative. There are so many kinds of maps and each one takes us on a journey.

  4. I love this post for the memories it surfaces such as those hard/impossible to refold and hard/impossible to read travel maps. I’m also thinking of those maps,of sorts, my dad drew as part of his part time gig as a surveyor. Then there are also those maps I draw of what I want a room, garden, story, lesson, inservice or class to master and learn. You are certainly right in thinking that MAPS are powerful and important ways to document not only reality but also thinking.

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