Ideas for Preparing Student for
a Places and Perspectives Learning Circle
Begin by having students draw a world map from memory.
This activity usually takes about 10 minutes. Assure them that you are
not testing them, you only want to help them explore their knowledge of
the world. Show students the world map commonly used in your country.
Ask them to compare it to the map they tried to draw. Ask how many of
the students were trying to draw this picture of the world. Now ask students
to think about how people in different parts of the world draw maps. What
part of the world are they likely to place in the center of the map? Ask
students to find examples of maps from other countries. Have student collect
different projections of the continents. How are these maps different
and can we say that one is more correct or accurate than another. Discuss
how different perspectives change the way we see the countries and continents,
their size distortion, and their distance from other places. You might
want to show them a map with north and south pole reversed. Use these
examples to show that we all have different perspectives, even on something
as concrete and measurable as the land on which we live.
Classroom Guest or Field Trip
Contact your city's Bureau of Information or Tourist
Bureau. Explain to them that your students will be sharing information
about your community with students in other locations. Invite them to
tell your students how they decide which features or characteristics of
the city to advertise. If it is not possible for them to send a speaker
or sponsor a field trip, ask them to send you materials that you can share
with the other sites.
Map Reading Skills
Your students will be working with students in other
locations. Place a map large enough to show all of your partners' locations
on a bulletin board. Have students identify the location of each of the
sites with a brightly colored pin. Use the World Almanac and Book of Facts
or an encyclopedia to gather information about each of the sites. Post
this information and draw a line from the information to the map location.
Help students to use the map to make predictions about their partners.
Do they live in a city or rural area? Are they near rivers, lakes or oceans?
How would these differences influence their lives? Have your students
discuss what they know and would like to know about the other locations.
to Places and Perspectives
Margaret Riel, Copyright © 1997, Revised 2002. All rights