Saturday, May 25, 2013

Measuring the Miles on a Map

Last year, I stumbled upon a way to have my students measure the miles that Uncle Reuben traveled in his adventures in the 1920's and 30's for The Uncle Reuben Project that I thought I would share here.

We studied the map key on the large wall map that we used to mark Reuben's travels. I showed them where the key showed how long 100 miles is on that map. We talked about whether that would be the same for our small map in our notebook or the large carpet map in our classroom until I felt they understood that the map key was for that particular map only.

Then, I gave each student a 12 inch length of ribbon (the curling, gift wrap kind) and a tiny piece of paper the length of 100 miles on our map. The students marked ten 100 mile marks on their ribbons with a pen so they had 1000 miles on the ribbon.

They learned very quickly how to measure using the ribbon.

Read about their success during the first year of the project by clicking here.

The Uncle Reuben Project - Year 2

Here are some end products for year 2 from May 2013's Open House.
More about the process later! It was an exciting spring!

  • black and white dioramas
  • canoe sketches and blueprints with measurements
  • realia in the form of a 16.5 ft. canoe and two small metal models of Uncle Reuben's childhood home and school wth students to answer all of their questions
  • video interview between "Uncle Reuben" and a reporter
  • silent movie made by five 2nd graders
  • posters about the 1920's popular culture
  • photographs of transportaion from the 1920's and 30's
  • posters of students' family trees that were completed at home with their families
  • timelines of Uncle Reuben's life
  • demonstrations of how to use the scale key on a map to measure the miles
  • notebooks full of primary sources to explain to visitors
  • 20 confident seven and eight year-olds proudly talking about their newly acquired knowledge
  • one proud teacher who was already planning their next authentic learning experience in her imagination