Modern transportation and communication technologies have made all of us more aware of our global community. Maps and globes are used to help people locate places.
We use directions (north, south, east and west) to help us determine relative location. A globe should be used to teach the global directions because a globe is the only accurate way to present the Earth.
The transition of going from the round globe to the flat surface map is difficult concept. Use the map and globe at the same time in this lesson, helping the student to see how the two are alike and also how they are different.
Shared Book Literature Source
I Hate English, Ellen Levine.
Mei Mei is a Chinese immigrant who would not speak English until her teacher got an idea that worked.
Other Materials Needed
United States Discovery Map
World Discovery Map
As a pre-reading activity, help the students to locate China on a map or globe. Also locate your area. Develop examples to show how far away Mei Mei was from her homeland. For example, ask the students if they know where their grandparents live. Find those locations. Are these locations near them on the map and globe? Compare this to the location of China.
In a shared book experience read the book with the children. Discuss how people often feel in new settings. Ask the students to share how they felt when they moved to a new neighborhood or a new school in a different town, city, or state. Discuss how much more difficult it would be if the student didn't speak the same language as the other children.
Ask the students to brainstorm way in which they could make a newcomer feel better about starting to attend a new school. List the things they name such as showing the new student where places are located in school. Suggest that students make up a new student folder with special things inside that would be helpful such as a new pencil and some paper with stickers on it, new crayons, a set of books, and stick-on name tag.
Suggest that another thing that is helpful to people who are not familiar with an area is a map. Have the students share how they or their parents have used a map to find places. Ask the student so help you draw a map of the school and the playground by fist listing all the places at a school such as the library, the office, the restroom etc. Using a large piece of paper, determine where you will place the directions of north, south, east, and west. (You may want to place the map on the floor to label the directions by using a compass and then place it on he wall so that children do not think north is up. Next, take a walk around the school so that the students can visualize the buildings and the playground setting. Back in the classroom, as the students begin to identify placements on the map, point out the need for symbols and determine how to make them and place then in the legend. Once the map is satisfactory, trace it onto a large piece of paper and let each student make a small copy to go into the newcomer's folder. Have students vote to select which one will be used. (Look for accuracy and neatness.) Others may be displayed on a bulletin board entitled: Where Are We?
Pass the globe among the students. Tell the students there are special features on the globe that help us find other places. Today the students will locate the North Pole, South Pole, and Equator on the globe. Write these vocabulary words on the board.
Show the World Discovery Map. In the upper left corner of the map is a Location Skills inset map with global projections. The North Pole and South Pole are identified. Circle the North Pole on the inset map, then circle the North Pole on the globe. Read to the students the definitions stated on the map. Ask the students if they think it is cold or hot at the North Pole. Is there land or water at the North Pole? (Water- Arctic Ocean)