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3rd Graders Study Maps in Geography Unit

Our third grade Open Inquiry students have been studying maps as part of their geography unit. They have interacted with a variety of maps – working in small groups to complete puzzles of the United States, in partners to find compass roses, keys and scales on maps of the world, and individually as they explored maps of the states. Third graders are strengthening their understanding of cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) and ordinal directions (northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest), as well as working on accuracy when it comes to pinpointing a location. The children love finding places they’ve been to, places they’ve heard of, and discovering all of the symbols on a map.  

Students have also delighted in opportunities to expand their learning through art and writing. The class started by making maps of their own hearts, including the things that are most important to them, before working together in their clusters to make a map of the classroom so they could have a treasure hunt! Additionally, each student created their own compass rose based on their interests and as a way of expression. This was also a great opportunity for them to practice writing a topic sentence, supporting details, and a conclusion about their beautiful watercolor creations. The hands-on learning exercises help students build a solid foundation of map-reading skills, which will allow the class to delve deeper into their study of geography. 


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