To create a topographical map of your Neverland, you will need to have Created a Neverland in the first place. The directions for doing so are given on the linked article.
In addition to the materials used in creating your Neverland, you will need a toothpick or other pointed tool to scratch lines into the dough used for your model, a ruler, and a way to secure the toothpick to the ruler and still be able to move it again. We used scotch tape and a firm grip.
What to Do:
- Choose and increment and attach the tooth pick to the ruler at a low increment that makes sense for your child's island (and age). For example, Alice's Island rose to about two inches and at age six she still struggles with precise fine motor skills so 1/2 inch increments made sense to demonstrate topographical lines on a map, while not over-doing the project. If she was a little better and precise action with her fingers, I might have had her do 1/4 inch increments. Likewise, if her island had had little to no relief (was relatively flat) we would have needed smaller increments to give her something to measure.
- You can see Alice "scratching out" her one inch increment in the picture below.
- Trace the scratched lines in much the same way as tracing the coastline of your Neverland.
- Add a key denoting the elevation line increments and a title stating what the map is depicting.
Once all the Topographical lines are traced, you can make a copy onto a regular piece of paper, or use tracing paper to get the topographical lines transferred onto paper on which your child can color in the rest of his or her map. If you plan on doing the whole unit, you may want to have at least three copies of the map. In the picture below, you see Alice tracing her lines of elevation onto her topographical transparency with a Crayola Dry Erase Crayon (not a paid advertisement).
Discuss with your child how the closeness of the lines show steep inclines. Where there are "steep slopes" or "cliffs" the lines come really close to one another, but where the lines are further apart the land moves like a gentler hill. Compare this map with some other topographical maps to help your child see a "real" topographical map (Printable online topographical maps) and how it represents important information to those moving around on the land that was mapped. For example, I suggest having your child pick out the shortest distances to travel up a mountain side and then also find routes that would be the "easiest routes" even if they are longer. What kind of additional equipment is needed for the shortest route?
The beginning of the Neverland Unit Article is linked Here. Don't forget to also have your child make a political/ecological map of his or her Neverland. For instructions, click here.