Activity Plan 5-6: Mapping Our Histories
Surprises erupt and concepts develop as children discover their families' fascinating histories
- Grades: PreK–K
- variety of maps, including city, state, and world maps, and map of the United States
- book about immigration, such as Coming to America: The Story of Immigration* by Betsy Maestro (Scholastic, 1996; $16.95)
- chart paper
- small coding stickers
- social studies
Read a book about immigration. Engage children in a discussion about what they learned from reading the book. Ask if they know of any family members who came to America or to their town or city from another place. Record their responses on chart paper.
Invite children to develop a questionnaire to take home to their family members so that they can learn where their family members came from and how they traveled. Include a question about why families came to America. Send the questionnaire home with a note to families explaining the activity.
Schedule time for each child to present his questionnaire. Create a chart to record specific information. Review the completed chart and ask children to compare and contrast their answers.
Show children a variety of maps. Ask them to share what they already know about maps. Can they point out the state or city where they live? Which country do they live in? How do we find bodies of water on a map? What other information can they find by studying maps?
Encourage children to use the maps to locate the different areas where their families came from. Begin with a local city or state map to locate where children reside. Use a map of North America to find areas throughout the continent that families may have come from. Display a world map to find other areas throughout the world. Place small stickers on the maps to indicate the different places families came from.
Ask children to review all the maps and then create a chart to organize the information. Which part of the state, country, or world did most of their families come from? How many children were born in other places? How many parents were immigrants?
Remember: If some families cannot complete the questionnaire, invite children to describe places they may be curious about and help them locate these places on a map.
Curriculum Connection: CREATIVE THINKING
Mapping Our Bedroom. Provide children with drawing materials and invite them to draw maps of their bedrooms. Ask them to think of the shape and where windows and doors are located. Then ask children to draw the different things that are in their rooms. Invite them to share and compare their work.