Building Skills by Exploring Maps
Maps hold the promise of an adventure. And children really want to know how to read them. At the same time, they still need a lot of practice with the basic map skills of using latitude and longitude, locating places on a grid, estimating distances using scale, using indexes, and understanding common map symbols. This series uses age-appropriate maps to provide opportunities to practice these skills. Background information at the top of each page provides either more information about a map skill or interesting facts about the subject of the map.
The wonderful thing about teaching students map skills is that they really want to know how to read maps. To students maps are keys to unknown places. Maps hold the promise of an adventure.
Intermediate-grade students understand that maps represent places. However, they do not have a lot of experience reading the story behind historical maps, they assume north is straight up, and they become confused by overcrowded maps. The resources and activities in Maps: Ancient Civilizations provide an excellent bridge to a much deeper understanding of map reading by eliminating extra details-but not so many that the maps lose all context. Maps: Ancient Civilizations also provides students with practice in reading the "story" behind the map.
The social studies standards addressed in this book include the following:
Invite students to compare the ancient maps to modern maps. Encourage them to discuss where they see concentrations of settlements. Invite them to place the maps side by side and observe changes in a region over time. The story of the ancient world is the beginning of humanity. If they spend enough time with the maps and activity sheets, they will understand history's story much more deeply. Conveniently, the skills covered in Maps: Ancient Civilizations also transfer well to a standardized-testing situation.