Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maps, Geography, a Project Based Learning Project

We have started our Project Based Learning Project for the year! I have broken my reading curriculum into the 7 continents. We will be exploring what a map is, what a globe is, where we live: city, state, country and planet. This project will be student led by their interests in the topics. This week we introduced the terms map and cartographer! We explored maps and discussed what maps do, what kind of information can be shown on a map, who uses maps and why would you use a map? I gave my students opportunities to use higher order thinking skills and deduction skills while they explored maps in small groups.
We read part of the book "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney. Then we asked I wonder questions and did comparing and contrasting when exploring the pages of the bedroom of the little girl and the map of the little girl's room. I had my students share ideas with their partners and then let their partners share ideas with them. This activity is a great way to help children acquire language and learn to express themselves clearly when making connections to their world.
Students collaborated and shared ideas about what a map was for and why a map would be important.
We used our Reading Strategies (Good Readers make a movie in their minds and ask questions.) These students were asked to think of their favorite area in the classroom and how they would tell a new student where that area is found in the classroom.
I am really looking forward to doing this project all year and the great discussions we will have together! I expect that my students and I will be learning and growing together through this project!
Have any of you done Project Based Learning project with Kindergarten? If so, could you give me some pointers and tips that would help us to get the most from learning this way?

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