A Grid on Our Earth, An Exploration on Map Grids

Maps, Then and Now The first maps made of our earth weren’t very accurate at all.  They were mostly drawn from imagination.  The European maps from these medieval times are called mappae mundi (meaning “cloth of the world”) and they really weren’t intended to be used for finding your way around at all.  They were more like medieval encyclopedias that were used to illustrate stories, show directions, and tell about species of animals, other races of people, and plants from places near and far.  Mapmakers of their day really couldn’t have made the accurate maps we use today because we rely on satellite imagery that wasn’t available all those years ago. Take a look at this mappa mundi.  It would’ve been used to teach stories rather than navigate.  Can you spot a story that’s familiar to you? Our world maps today are incredibly accurate, except that we still have difficulty … click to read more

Globe Trotter Geography Game

Today we looked at the globe and explored various parts of it through a discussion and then by playing Globe Trotter, a simple geography game.  We found each of the continents and oceans, the equator, the poles, the arctic and tropic circles, the prime meridian, the international dateline, the compass rose, and our location. We also compared maps and globes and listed what each is best for.  (Oh, and while we were doing that we also compared the look of certain places, like Greenland, to see if they looked the same on the map and on the globe.) Globe Trotter Game Exploration Finally, we played globe trotter.  It’s a really simple geography game that takes no preparation at all.  We took turns spinning the globe and then stopping it with our finger on a random spot.  Wherever it stopped, we Googled that spot and wrote down at least 3 things … click to read more

Layers of Learning Unit 1-1

We think you’re going to love Unit 1-1 so we’re giving it away for free . . . scroll down.   History: Earliest Civilizations in the Fertile Crescent Geography: Maps and Globes Science: Planets The Arts: Cave Paintings Description Want to build a ziggurat?  Make your own balloon globe?  Experiment with Mars’ regressive orbit?  How about take an amazing virtual tour of one of the largest collections of cave art in the world?  Unit 1-1 includes all of this, plus a printable historical map, and tons of ideas to keep your kids learning with hands-on fun.  This is a PDF. In each unit you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, lots of activities to choose from for kids of all ages, and sidebars with a bunch more ideas including Additional Layers, Fabulous Facts, On The Web, Writer’s Workshop, Famous Folks, and Teaching Tips.  Printable maps … click to read more