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.
Blob Maps with Equator Only
To download a copy of each, click on the captions below each picture:
Blob Maps with Great Circles
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! 🙂
Update: How we’ve used these during our notebook time.
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!