The Art of Cartography…..
Essential Questions: How is cartography considered art?
Sixth grade students spend the first few weeks of school learning about maps in Global Studies classes, transition words in Language Arts, and contour line in Visual Arts. Creating a lesson that uses all of these skills is called interdisciplinary learning.
In Art class students begin by utilizing contour line to draw several different inanimate objects; i.e., vase, jar, bottle, scissors, cup, etc. This is presented merely as a practice exercise and emphasis is put on the actual drawing process, concentrating on the outside edges of the objects. These simple drawings later become the land masses on their map.
Utilizing the skills of Global Studies and mapmaking, students incorporate a key, compass rose, and latitude/ longitude lines onto their maps. Symbols are used representing topography as well as the route to the buried treasure.
Once maps are colored with oil pastels and aged with brown tempera, the students write a description of where to find the Pirate chest. Their story must include the use of transitions words learned in Language Arts. QR codes are attached to the finished works before they are displayed. Other students in the building can then use their hand-held-devices to listen to the stories.
By letting students use their imagination and creativity you increase retention and make learning fun. This is one of their favorite lessons.