Thinking Like a Cartographer
One of the skills taught in Social Studies is how create and read maps to extrapolate as much information from them as possible. While studying varying maps of our country and areas of the world, the students were questioning why some maps looked different than others and why countries or regions sometimes look bigger in some maps and smaller in others. This led to a discipline based inquiry into cartography. Together, the students explored a variety of maps of varying content and projections to make a list of key elements of map. During this process we also began to study 3D shapes, their attributes, and how to make nets so that we could make our own global projections onto a net of a three dimensional shape of our choosing. The students then had to project the globe onto their three dimensional shape as best they could. Students were also given the opportunity to challenge themselves to create their own net of a sphere to which they could transpose their globe. This project allowed the students to explore the concept of distortion between two dimensional and three dimensional shapes and allowed them to look at the impacts of culture on map projections. Here are some results.
Grade 3 Quality of Life
In Grade 3, students have been exploring India, Peru, Tunisia, and Ukraine in Social Studies through the concept of quality of life that is woven throughout the program of studies. We read a variety of text and stories, such as If the World Was a Village and Fly Away Home, looking at elements of peoples lives and things that they may or may not have. Students were tasked with breaking down elements of what makes ones life easier to live. From here we noticed that it was similar to that of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and decided that we could make our own quality of life hierarchy of needs and index the 4 core countries we will study in Social Studies. We then explored what having these would look like and what not having them could look like, as well as how it could affect ones family. From there, we started our journey into each of these needs and what they look like in the countries that we are highlighting. As we continue our study we will be working with Brian Conger, a research associate with the Urban Policy Program at the U of C to develop our own quality of life index for the four countries mentioned above.