8 Easy Ways to Integrate Maps and Globe Studies

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day

I've told you in the past I am a Reading Specialist from a K-2 school. At my previous K-2 school, we had half-day kindergarten. That's right...3 hours to get it all done. "How?" you might ask. Well, we never taught one thing at a time, in isolation. It all had to be integrated. Here are eight examples of how we integrated the social studies standard of Maps and Globes into our day.

1. Integrating Maps and Globes into Read Alouds

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day
I am not going to lie...I love this activity. To take them around the world in through books was really fun. We had a map of all seven continents on the bulletin board and each day we read a book set in a different continent. We can look at the different environments through the books making special notice of the clothes, the weather, the animals, you get the idea. Here are my list of favorites
  • North America - Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
  • South America - "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth by Eric Carle
  • Europe - Strena Nona by Tomie dePaola
  • Africa - Where Are You Going, Manyoni, by Catherine Stock
  • Asia - Daisy Comes Home, by Jan Brett
  • Oceania - Koala Lou, by Mem Fox
  • Antartica - Five Little Penguins Slipping on the Ice, by Steve Metzger

2. Poem of the Week about Maps

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day
First, the Shared Reading poem of the week is called Maps. The poem is read each day with a different emphasis. Students begin by echoing one line at a time, then by the end of the week they are choral reading. Lessons throughout the week include: 1-to-1 voice to word match, rhyming words, word families, vocabulary, punctuation, fluency, and comprehension. Most poems can also answer most of the questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.

3. Integrating Math with Globes

Before telling your students there is more water than
Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day

land on the earth...throw a ball at them. (HEHE) When my oldest was born a friend gave me a stuffed model of the earth. I kept it in his room for years then I moved it to my classroom. I explain to students that I will throw the ball at them, and when they catch it they need to look at their thumbs. Are their thumbs on water or land? We tally their thumbs. This tally chart becomes an anchor chart in the room. Typically, the ratio of water to land will come through in their catch. After we catch the ball and tally, we analyze the data. We come to the conclusion there is more water than land on the earth. Learning by discovery is powerful. To get an earth ball, click the link. (This is not an affiliate link, I just like the activity.)

4. Maps and Globes While Using Pre-Writes

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day
Another anchor chart which distinguishes map features is a sorting map, specifically land features v. water features. AFTER making the anchor chart, make them use it. The following week, add the anchor chart and a student chart to the Social Studies Center and have them recreate the sort. Add the anchor chart to a Writing Center and ask students to write a sentence with one land feature and one sentence with a water feature. Add the Anchor Chart to a Book Making Center and ask students to choose either column to write a book with one detail on each page.

5. Integrate Maps and Globes into Independent Writing

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day

Ask students to use the 4 squares about maps and globes to write 4 sentences on a topic. The topic is always in the center of the map, with four details relating to the topic in each box. Early writers can write four sentences with a predictable text (I like the, I see the, Look at the, etc). For more advanced writers, several sentences can be written about each square on the pre-write grid. For a complete blog post about 4 squares, check out Four Square, The Right Way.

6. Reading Strategies with Maps and Globes

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day

Students can easily be asked to compare and contrast items on and about maps and globes. Once students sort for individual assets and common assets, they can write about the sort. Students can distinguish between a map and a globe.  This is a perfect hands-on exploration activity.  Give the students maps (you can get some from AAA for free) and a variety of globes (I love looking for these at thrift shops).  Oriental Trading offers a dozen blow-up globes for $13.99.   They can see the differences.  Making a T-chart is a natural progression.  I have also cut a blow-up globe to show students how they can lay flat and show the whole earth.

7. Poetry Center with Map Poem

Integrating Maps and Globes into Your Day

The week AFTER the poem is introduced to the class, the poem is moved to the poetry center. This is a process center, meaning the product might change each week (poem), but the process remains the same. A process center creates independent success. During the first semester, students are asked to circle the word wall words and color the circles with a "light" color, like yellow. The second semester, they are asked to complete the poem with word wall words. Every week, students are also asked to illustrate the poems.

8. Making Maps and Globes in the Art Center

Integrating Maps and Globes into your Day

Like the Poetry Center, the poem is put in the Art Center, the week AFTER the it's taught. Giving them 4 strips of black construction paper, a piece of chalk, and a map key, students can make a map drawing dotted lines on the black strips for roads. They can also be given a paper plate, a black triangle, and a black outline of the earth to make a globe. Coloring the outline of the paper plate, coloring and glueing the copy of the earth, and adding the triangle as a base creates a great globe.

Anyone who teaches half-day kindergarten can tell you, keeping all our skills separate isn't the way to get it all done.  Integration is the only way to expose students to all the standards. 


If you would like a small sample of the activities listed here, click the Integrating Maps and Globes FREEBIE here.

You may also be interested in these other posts:

The CENTER of the Literacy Block, all about centers in Kindergarten


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