To introduce my students to mapping, I have them build a small
city. Each child uses a half-gallon milk or juice carton
to "build" a home or small business. We decorate our
buildings with construction paper, yarn, beads, or whatever
we have to make them look like a home or business. We then
cover a large table with paper. This becomes our city. We
start by designing "city blocks" with construction paper
streets and highways. We then assign "lots" to every home
and business. Each child is responsible for their own
landscaping of their lot which could include a parking
lot for their business. At this point we begin to
incorporate other disciplines. Below are ideas we've tried,
but the possibilities are endless.
- We hold an election to name our city and streets. We
like to do this project around Valentine's Day. Some names
the children have thought of are Romance City, Love Bug
Boulevard, and Romantic Freeway.
- We discuss the house numbering system used by cities, then
assign each building in our city a number.
-After each building has a number, we decide what our mailing
addresses would be. We write them on paper and tape them to
the top of our desks. We then address our Valentine's to
each other using everyone's correct mailing address. We
then become mailmen and "mail" our cards into the
appropriate homes and businesses.
- At times we have extra lots in our city that have not
been assigned. We hold a city council meeting to decide
the best uses for this land. We then develop the lots.