Introduce a unit on kindergarten maps by reading ROSIE'S WALK by Pat Hutchins (also available in Spanish).
It is an excellent story to begin preschool and kindergarten map activities. Like all early childhood concepts, keep mapping as concrete as possible for preschool and kindergarten students.
Introduce mapping with literature
- Read Rosie's Walk to the children a few times before using the book as a basis for activities. Do not assume that young children know why the fox is chasing Rosie or that foxes eat chickens.
- Introduce the book by talking about the cover picture. Inside there is a good picture of the whole barnyard that is good for photocopying and enlarging to review all the places that Rosie went during her walk. See below for mapping ideas.
Begin with a story map.
- See the instructions in the bulletin board section for making an interactive story map for Rosie's Walk.
- Give each child their own photocopied barnyard to retell the story.
- Ask the children what they know about maps. This usually leads to a discussion of treasure maps and pirate stories! Pick their brains to discover what they know about maps, about what is a map, how do maps help us.
- Extend the activity by asking the children to create their own story map for Rosie and the fox to walk through or to choose two different animals (model the activity first).
The concept of viewpoint
Introduce the concept of viewpoint to students as you read stories to the children. "In this story the artist is showing us what the garden looks like to the bird flying overhead". These discussions will help children have a better understanding of the concept of viewpoint as it relates to maps.
- Make a simple booklet for each child
- Model the activity
- Use no more than 4 different shaped blocks to make a village
- "How does your village look when your your face is down by the floor?"
- Record in your booklet
- "How does your village look when you stand above it and look down?"
- Record in your booklet
- Discuss how most maps are made from the last viewpoint
- Vocabulary - introduce the terms, view, viewpoint, bird's eye view, cut away view
Kindergarten maps - drawing a one meter map
The following activity helps to expand children's concepts of mapping.
- As always, model the following activity first
- With an older buddy have the child mark off a one square meter or yard of ground with four popsicle sticks and string
- Give the children clipboards, pencils, a square piece of paper and have them observe and draw what is inside their square.
- To extend the activity give the children more sticks and string to mark off their square meter into four equal sections.
- Have them repeat the activity with a new piece of paper, drawing the new string lines as well and compare the results
- Introduce the word grid and how grids help us to position things more accurately
- Photocopy the pages from Rosie's Walk
- Use magnets to attach the pages to a magnetic chalkboard or use sticky tack
- As a group, have the students sequence the order of the story
- Leave the pages on the chalkboard for children to sequence at center time
- Talk about how the fox is a relative of the wolf
- More kindergarten map activities - Wolf Island
All Social Studies pages:
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Kindergarten social studies topics - what topics should I teach?
What resources are available? Recommended kindergarten and preschool social studies products
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