This project is about taking the opportunity to explore where you live. What do you see? How many do you see? What is a map? What does a map of your home, garden, and neighbourhood look like?
You can start the project with reading the picture book, ‘Mapping Penny’s World’ written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy. This amusing book tells the story of how Lisa and her dog Penny explore where they live and create maps to illustrate what they see. Lisa plans, illustrates, draws to scale, labels, measures, and creates maps with a key for the areas they investigate.
You can ask the question, “What do we see?”
Creating maps and reading maps is an activity incorporating reading, science, maths, the senses, and creativity. Observing your environment and creating a record of it uses an impressive list of skills. Maps develop visual literacy, explore perspective, and introduce spatial thinking. According to the National Geographic, “Spatial thinking is one of the most important ways of thinking for a child. It involves visualizing, interpreting, and reasoning using location, distance, direction, relationships, movement, and change in space."
This is an activity where you can guide your child. Use the time to watch them explore and create. You can offer advice if it’s requested, but try to keep your influence to a minimum. Make sure all the items you select are safe for your child to use.
You can help your child to see the details, find different ways to measure things, look at shapes and sizes, think about relationships and classification. What do we see in one room of our house that is not in any other rooms? How big are some pieces of furniture in relation to other things? How could we measure the height of a room, or a tree, or a house?
You have created an opportunity to learn, ‘What do we see, and how do we measure it and record it?’ Enjoy!