Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Me on the Map

Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
Illustrated by Annette Cable

This book is adorable. Follow the main character, a little girl just like your students as she shows you how to make a map! She starts with the concrete location that students could understand and gradually gets farther and farther out. Her first entry is a picture of her, then a picture of her in her room. Then a map of her in her room. She shows her house and a map of her room in her house. She shows her street and a map of her house on her street. She does this for her town, her state, her country, and her world. Then she turns it around! If she wants to figure out where she is, she finds her country on the map of the world and her state on the map of her country all the way until she finds her in her room. Then she speculates how every person all over the world has their own special place on the map.

I thought this book was great as an introduction to maps for young children because it starts out with what they know and works it's way all the way to the world map. I'm using it in a unit I am creating for Kindergarteners for my Social Studies Methods course. Maybe when I get some feedback on it from my professor, I can share it with you all! I've been planning and teaching some pretty fun lessons and I hope to share them like the many other lessons I have read about on all the other blogs! My lesson focuses on how to use maps and directional words to tell where something is in relation to something else. When I just now looked for an image of the book, I found so many great projects teachers have done with this book, they are amazing! Check out Jenn's from Finally in First. This one is my favorite! Houghton Mifflin Reading also has an awesome site where you can learn about the book and meet the author, Joan Sweeney and the illustrator, Annette Cable.

It is so important to find quality children's literature when teaching about the content areas for young students. In my kindergarten class, we don't have specified time for social studies and science everyday. When it is incorporated, we read a book about it aloud and then students do their language arts work based on the book that we read. And really without textbooks in the younger grades, the literature is really the only way students learn about these topics. I am very happy to find out about this book and I look forward to using it when I teach my lesson this spring! 

There are a lot of great illustrations in this book. They're mostly all full bleed pictures with a lot of color. I liked that the maps the little girl drew looked like they were hand made maps that a child could've made. The coloring on these maps looks realistic and the way things are drawn really looks like a child's work. Because I'm sure the cat isn't laying on it's side with all four legs out and the lamp on the side table isn't laid on it's side either. Not that I'm critiquing the maps! Just pointing out how they're realistic and probably similar to how a student would draw their room.

I found this adorable video of a First Grade class performing a song adaptation of this book. It is so cute! Definitely check it out! It's also a great way to integrate the performing arts into your social studies curriculum! An interdisciplinary lesson my professor would love!!

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