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Google Maps

After spending a weekend at FETC, I realized how important it was to teach geography to early childhood students. I have always been interested in reading maps and discovering where things were. I started thinking about what made me gravitate towards loving maps and traveling to new places. As a child, I remember exploring maps with my grandfather. I had a world puzzle that I remember doing often. And of course, I played Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? I still remember watching it on TV and singing the theme song!

In the beginning of the week I sent home a note asking parents to share where their child was born. I also asked them to share where they were born too. After receiving the responses, I created a Google Map. Creating a map was very easy but also time consuming. The school computer at school does have a slow internet connection so I think that was the reason why it took a long time. All I had to do was create a Google account and create a new map under My Maps tab.

I mapped the responses and was pleasantly surprised that my planned worked wonderfully. I had students and parents that were born all over the world. It worked out great because I started with the placemark that was farthest away and worked towards Florida. Google Maps has a feature called placemarks where you can describe the placemark. Each placemark I titled using my student's name and added mom or dad if needed.

While I was presenting the map, I asked questions like:

  • Who was born the farthest away?
  • Who was born in Florida?
  • Who was born the closest to me?
  • Why do you think most of the classmates were born in Florida?
  • Who was born near an ocean?
  • Who do you think was born in a state where there is snow?

Tomorrow, I will be mapping where each student lives. I asked the parents to send in their addresses so I could create another Google Map of their homes. I thought it would be interesting for the students to read the map and find who lives near each other or the closest to school. I will let you know how it goes!


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