This might seem like a really random time of year to share this lesson, but something made me think about it today. I was re-hanging everything that had to be hidden or covered during TCAP testing. As I happily hung the maps of the library back up, I was reminded of this lesson and how much I enjoy it.
At the beginning of the year, I teach everyone about maps. Maps help us find what we need. Kindergarten students need a map of the school so they can find the library. My other students know how to find the library, but it is my job to help them find the books and neighborhoods in the library independently. A great way of helping the students get acquainted with the library is having them map it themselves!
First, we start off by learning about why we need maps. Two of my favorite books to use are:
My Map Book by Sara Fanelli and
Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy.
Next, we talk about how the library has neighborhoods just students live in neighborhoods! Each neighborhood has different call numbers on the spines of the books so the students can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This is a free lesson from the SMART exchange that I like to pair with this lesson for my kindergarten and first grade students. I've edited this lesson a bit and added a picture of my neighborhood and house with street address using Google Maps so we can talk about neighborhoods and addresses (call numbers) in the library.
My older students enjoy mapping the library on their own. I give them choices of different kinds of candy: Skittles, Hot Tamales, peppermints, Lemon Heads, and Mike and Ike's work well. We talk about cardinal and intermediate directions and the neighborhoods in the library. Each child has a blank template that I've created on my SMART board and walks around the library and labels each bookshelf with its correct neighborhood name: B for biography, E for easy fiction, F for fiction, etc. Then, each student gets to decide how they would like to use each type of candy as symbols on their map designating different neighborhoods in the library. They also have to include a map key that shows what each symbol means. Students receive their candy to label their maps when their sloppy copy has been completed and checked. The hardest part about this lesson is hot gluing the candy down on the maps, so you might want to have a parent or assistant on hand to help you glue the candy on the maps. Here is what some of our finished products looked like:
You can also laminate student maps that are completed without candy if you wish. I hang these around the library for other students to use as a reference if they need help finding materials.