Giant Map Provides Student-Centered Approach to Geography

A half court-sized map of Europe traveled between Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools in Westfield in May and early June as part of a more student-centered approach to geography.

In a geo-scavenger hunt, of sorts, students used latitude and longitude to find an assigned location on the National Geographic Giant Map, set up in the schools’ gymnasiums. Once at the location on the map, the students found an envelope with instructions on how to proceed with their lesson on European History.

“You will be assigned a number that corresponds with coordinates on the map,” said Roosevelt social studies teacher Mariefrances Pugliese as she instructed her students on June 6.  “You’re trying to find out what happened in this place we studied. What was the major impact?”

District K-12 Social Studies Supervisor Andrea Brennan says her department worked with building principals and parent-teacher-student organizations at both intermediate schools to purchase a Giant Map of Europe.

“During department meetings and the district in-service day, social studies teachers worked in grade level teams to develop meaningful activities that connected to the curriculum for their students using the Giant Map,” Brennan adds. “This is our first year with this activity so I’m sure there will be lots of lessons to learn as I debrief the department.  Early feedback is that the kids loved it.”

Source: Westfield Public Schools