Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Continental Blob Maps

As a person who never studied world geography (or maybe slept through it?), I find it fascinating that my children will be able to draw maps of the world freehand by the end of Challenge A.  That's 7th grade!  (I could barely fill in the state names on a blank copy of a U.S. map by the end of 7th grade!)

Currently in Foundations, we practice tracing maps and drawing circular "blob" maps (sort of inconsistently, ahem...) in addition to our geography memory work. But I've wanted to have a slightly more accurate "blob" map to work with so that it becomes more natural to transition to the "actual" shapes of the continents. So, after a year of procrastination...

 
There are two sets - one to use across an entire sheet of paper (for simply learning to do this freehand on a sheet of paper without a template) and another that uses a more accurate spacing for the major circles of latitude (since an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper is not wide enough for accurate spacing).  Our 4th grader is using these to memorize the placement of the continents without looking at a map.  He also uses the Classical Conversations Geography Notebook grid templates to draw freehand but uses those to accurately draw the map (i.e., he looks at the map as he draws it onto a grid).



For those who previously read our Breakfast Notebook post, this is included as one of our notebooking activities.  It takes less than 5 minutes (unless we are working on a grid map).



  

These templates are by no means perfect, but they provide another version of continental "blob" mapping using a combination of triangles and rectangles with curved edges - simple drawings that can still be easily memorized but a bit more accurate than the circles and ovals we were previously drawing.

To download a copy of each, click on the captions below each picture:

Blob Map Full-Page Blank

Blob Map Full-Page Master Copy

Blob Map Full-Page Traceable Continents/Abbreviations


Blob Map Full-Page Traceable Continents - No Labels
Blob Map w/ Latitudes - Blank
Blob Map w/ Latitudes - Traceable with Labels

Blob Map w/ Latitudes - Traceable Continents/Abbreviations


Blob Map w/ Latitudes - Master Copy

Blob Map w/ Latitudes Traceable - No Labels

Please share this with others (but pretty-please link to this post instead of to the direct files)!  And, as always, I would be delighted to hear if you used it!  :)

With Blessings,
Brandy

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Update:  How we've used these during our notebook time.

The 4-year-old, the tracing stage:


The 7-year-old, free-hand while looking at map:



After using the blob maps a few times, our nine-year old son drew this free-hand without referring to a map at all.  This was directly from his brain's geography file with no external reference.

The 9-year-old, free-hand with no external reference:


Note:  We have been in Classical Conversations for a few years now, so our 9-year-old has seen the world maps over and over again.  And he's traced our Classical Conversations laminated maps with markers over and over again.  Repetition is what made him familiar with the extra details, but the blob maps have helped him to place the continents more accurately on a blank sheet of paper with very little effort.

We love Classical Conversations!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your map templates!!

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  2. Brandy - I just wanted to thank you for sharing these blob maps! We've been using them at our house this year, and I used them the first week in my CC class. I even challenged the kids (I have 7-8 year olds) to come back the second week and draw them from memory and they did AWESOME! What a fantastic resource. Thanks for all the work you put into your website! I tagged you a few weeks ago in a post I did about Cycle 2, Week 1:

    http://myfavoritekindofcrazy.com/2013/09/04/classical-conversations-cycle-2-week-1-update/

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brandy - I just wanted to thank you for sharing these blob maps! We've been using them at our house this year, and I used them the first week in my CC class. I even challenged the kids (I have 7-8 year olds) to come back the second week and draw them from memory and they did AWESOME! What a fantastic resource. Thanks for all the work you put into your website! You have been such a great resource over the years! I tagged you a few weeks ago in a post I did about Cycle 2, Week 1:

    http://myfavoritekindofcrazy.com/2013/09/04/classical-conversations-cycle-2-week-1-update/

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much for that feedback! Your site is great, and I love the photos of your children doing maps! Thank you for posting this comment and letting me know about your site!


    With blessings!
    Brandy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks a lot. If you have more new ideas to teach about physical features of the world. please do share as I am researching on the theme.

    ReplyDelete