Monday, February 4, 2013

Making your Neverland Coastline a Map

If you have not already checked out the Unit Resource Page, or the beginning steps, Modeling Your Neverland and Neverland Topography, simply click on their titles to link to these first steps and instructions.

Now that your child has a map of the coastline of his or her Neverland, he or she can fill in the land with landmarks and a variety of habitats.  In an open space on the map you'll want to place a Legend box.  Explain what a legend is and then fill it in with some of the kinds of symbols your child feels is most appropriate for his/her map. 

Encourage your child to include:
Forested Areas, Desert, Grasslands and other types of familiar terrestrial ecosystems,
Streams, Lakes, Rivers and other aquatic/marine ecosystems,
Magical landforms of his or her imagination - perhaps gumdrop fields, or an ice-cream glacier.

A Town or two and a "capitol city" with roads or pathways connecting each of these locations.

For older children, you might want to explicitely guide them into thinking about how the topography effects the likely habitation of the land.  To do this, overlaying their political information on their topographical information might help, but keep the topography lines very light so that they are mostly "covered" by the new map information.  Too many lines of equal darkness can become confusing.

You can see what Alice did in her map above.  You can also see how I gave her a couple of examples of symbols in the legend and helped her with the actual writing of the words in the legend some.

The map you see above is really only a beginning.  Over the top of this, can be added symbols for towns and cities, as well as names for locations right on the map.  To take the final steps, make light pencil lines to create a straight line where-ever a name is needed.  For example, over the central area of the "lagoon" in the middle.  Then have your child give a place name for each location. 

This is a fabulous chance to introduce or review proper nouns versus common nouns.  A lagoon is a common noun, but once it is named "Mermaid Lagoon" it becomes a specific place, similar to "girl" being a common noun but, "insert daughter's name here" (or use boy and a son's name) is a proper noun.  It is your child's job to offer up the proper nouns now for his/her Neverland.

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