Constructivist Map Making
Have learners create and annotate a map about a given
domain. Each location should include a link to further information so that the map
becomes a gateway to a rich pool of data. For example:
- Locations in a novel (See Atlas
- Battlefields during a given war.
- Addresses of luminaries in a given field.
- Postcards of the past
- Neighborhood architecture or flora
- Field trip followup
- Walking tour creation: develop an itinerary through a small space by identifying
important stopping points and describing each one. Could be implemented with GPS
clues as well.
Provide a mapped set of markers and ask learners to grapple with questions
that are illuminated by thinking of them in the context of place.
- Where was the action in the world of 19th century painting?
- Where do cities spring up?
- Why are schools more successful in some places than in others. (Using this
map in conjunction with the census data overlay in Google Earth).
- What kinds of plants do you see in different locations around the world. (Use the
Degree Confluence site, or
- How big are things? Imagine that the Great Pyramid of Giza was moved to your school
parking lot. Take us on a tour while pointing out the features of this imaginary
Provide access to near real-time data and have learners propose
theories that explain changes or movements that can be traced on a map. Continue
to monitor the data to test the theory.
- Which way will that
whale turn next?
- Will the water temperature at that buoy be
warmer or cooler next week?
Though it's not at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy, it's important for
people to know what's where. These tools can provide motivation to learn names and
locations and more.
- Create a class travel bug and track its movements on a map.
- Write a travel account from the point of view of your travel bug.
Board games are inherently spatial. Can you take some of the structures
of an established board game and overlay them onto the earth? Novice/younger learners
could learn by simply playing such a game. Expert/older learners could be tasked with
inventing a game. See GPSGames.org for ideas.
- Combine the game of Go with
Confluence Project in some way. You get to
put your marker on a given confluence point by identifying some theme or characteristic
it has with adjacent points?
- Create an invisible version of a race game (games that have a track that one moves
along) and overlay it on a walkable space. Put clue cards and directions at key points.
© 2006 - Bernie
Dodge. Write for permission to use elsewhere.