Some of you may have heard about or were able to host the Giant Traveling Map that visited DCS elementary school libraries last November for Geography Awareness Week. This initiative has been so successful that in honor of the Alliance Network’s 30th anniversary, National Geographic has gifted each state in the Network of Geographic Alliances with a number of State Giant Traveling Maps.
To prepare state alliances for implementing a state map program, a training institute was in Washington, DC. Stacy Morgan, media coordinator at Friedberg Elementary,was selected by the NC Geographic Alliance to represent North Carolina. This is her story:
National Geographic State Giant Traveling Maps
In July, I traveled to Washington DC to be part of National Geographic’s State Giant Traveling Map initiative. The training lasted two days and included two educators from every state on the east coast (west coast educators met in Colorado). During training, we attended a variety of breakout sessions where we were able to view a printout of our state’s map details, practice using some of the included basic map lessons, work with our state colleague to create state specific lessons, and complete Phase 1 of National Geographic Certified Educator training.
Thanks to National Geographic, each state will be gifted a set number of traveling maps (NC will have two). If you used the Pacific Ocean map that traveled around Davidson County last year, these maps are similar, just a bit smaller. The traveling maps will come with a handbook of generic lessons that can be adapted to different subjects or grade levels. As they are, the generic lessons would be great to practice those 2nd grade map skills or to acquire more NC knowledge in 4th grade. The maps will also have a few basic supplies such as lanyards, plastic chain, etc.
During our lesson planning time, my NC colleague and I focused our efforts on lessons that would work with 4th grade social studies standards. We wanted our lessons to include as much content knowledge as possible while still getting the students moving and incorporating a little competition when possible. We also wanted the educator who used our lessons to not be taxed with a great deal of prep work. Our final 3 lesson products were Native American Tribes of NC, Revolutionary War Battles, and Civil War Battle Bingo. These lessons will help students focus on the locations of tribes and battles in a way that is much more “hands on” than using a small map or computer.
When I can schedule one of these maps to stop by Friedberg, I will complete Phase 2 of the Nat. Geo. Certified Educators program in which I put my lesson plans into place. Stage 3 will be a capstone reflection of the process. The purpose of this program is to put more emphasis on the often overlooked subject of geography in our schools. If you have any questions about the Giant State Map or the certification program, see these links or contact me anytime!
State Maps http://nationalgeographic.org/education/giant-traveling-maps/
National Geographic Certified Educator Program http://nationalgeographic.org/education/programs/educator-certification/
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