ERIC Number: ED193103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov-9
Reference Count: 0
Essential Map Concepts for Young Children.
This paper discusses four key concepts to help preschool and primary grade children develop the ability to read and understand maps. Examples of student activities to develop each of the concepts are provided. The essential concepts are representation, symbolization, perspective, and scale. Representation is vital. Children must perceive that a map represents something else--a place. Block building provides an excellent opportunity for young children to develop an understanding of representation. By using non-thematic blocks, children can create with the blocks, the entity of their choice. Second, children need to know that a map is a symbol for a place that it uses other symbols such as colors for land and water and lines for roads and highways. Three activities to increase the understanding that a symbol represents a real or actual thing are "Lotto Match" in which children pair three dimensional items to two dimensional drawings of the same thing; having children write experience stories using pictures from magazines or drawings; and the game "Symbo" played like bingo in which children designate the correct sign for a river, desert, airport, school, and other map legend symbols. Perspective, the third essential, is difficult for young children and may not be fully developed until later. However, a foundation for future understanding can be provided. Children should be given many opportunities to view objects from above by taking field trips to tall buildings and observation towers. To help children discover that maps are drawn to show only the tops of things, not the vertical features, children can build towers and trace the shape of each block in the tower. In teaching the fourth essential, the concept of scale, emphasis should be placed on how maps show things as they are, only smaller. The scales of distance should be left to older children. Photographs of children can be displayed noting that pictures are just like the student, only not as large. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Atlanta, GA, November 9, 1979).