Format APA Map Skills: A Social Studies Lesson Plan Showing Proper Guided Practice References
Academic Level: Masters
Volume of 1 page (275 words)
Assignment type : Coursework
Alignment of Objectives, Learning Activities, and Assessment
Map skills are taught in many social studies curricula in United States public schools. Basic geographic literacy is an important skill. A lesson built around this concept from 7th grade social studies can serve as a good example of the alignment that should exist between the objectives, learning activities, and assessment involved in good teaching.
The materials required for the lesson include pictures of various geographic locations, a computer with internet connection and digital projector, Dry Erase board and markers, several copies per student of blank coordinate maps reproduced from blackline masters, and historical meteorological data for hurricanes, the coordinates of which will be used for a practice exercise. Preparation includes finding the geographic coordinates of several different global locations to be used for guided and independent practice. Students will also need their textbooks, Discovering the World of Geography (Shireman, 2003).
The state curriculum standard this lesson is meant to satisfy is for students to “understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technology to report information” (Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, 2013, para. 1). The specific intended student learning outcomes are: (a) students will be able to find a geographic location on a map by using latitude and longitude coordinates; (b) students will be able to report the latitude and longitude coordinates of various geographic locations provided to them; and (c) students will be able to correctly apply map-related vocabulary terms including latitude, longitude, Prime Meridian, equator, legend/key, compass rose, scale, orientation, and projection.
Anticipatory Set or Introduction
The teacher will show various pictures of interesting geographic locales such as Tahitian islands, an African plain, Aztec ruins, and Scandinavian fiords. The teacher will ask students where on the globe they think these locales are situated. After allowing some student participation, the teacher will ask students how they think scientists communicate specific locations to one another in a way that achieves precision and removes any doubt about where the location might be. The teacher then explains that the lesson for the day answers that question.
To model the skills, the instructor will project a map of the world onto the whiteboard and ask students to volunteer to point out features such as lines of latitude, lines of longitude, the equator, the Prime Meridian, etc. Starting from the intersection of the equator and Prime Meridian in the Gulf of Guinea, south of Ghana, the instructor will demonstrate how to count east and west away from the Prime Meridian to arrive at east-west coordinates, how to count north and south away from the equator to arrive at north-south coordinates, and finally how to combine both to arrive at the exact geographic coordinates for specific locations on the globe.
Check for Understanding
The instructor will read out a series of coordinates, such as 38 degrees north and 77 degrees west (the coordinates for Washington, DC) and other locations, and ask students to write down the continent or country where each location is situated. Students will be asked to hold up their paper after each location is announced so the instructor can informally assess the degree of mastery students are exhibiting. Some clarification and/or reteaching may be needed before the guided practice.
Working in groups of 4 or 5, students will be provided with blank maps. Each group will be given the coordinates where a hurricane was first identified and where it made landfall, as well as a few coordinates pinpointing its location at different stages of its development. Students will be asked to chart the coordinates of the progress of the storm provided by the teacher. Each group will share their completed map with the class, and all students will be encouraged to verify their classmates’ results.
Working independently, students will be asked to choose five major world cities in different continents and report the geographic coordinates of those cities. Students will also be provided with five sets of coordinates for world landmarks (the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Brazilian rainforest, the Sahara Desert, the Rock of Gibraltar, etc.), and be asked to report what famous site is located there.
Assessment will be achieved through a teacher-made pencil-and-paper test including short answer items (for the vocabulary), multiple-choice items that require map skills to answer, and blank map items that require students to plot coordinates. The test will be made up of a combination of teacher-generated questions and questions from the question bank of test items supplied by the textbook publisher. When students can demonstrate the ability to find a geographic location on a map by using latitude and longitude coordinates, report the latitude and longitude coordinates of various geographic locations provided to them, and apply the map-related vocabulary terms to geography problems presented to them, they have mastered the objectives for this lesson. The assessment described here is an opportunity for students to display this knowledge.
This lesson exhibits proper alignment between objectives, learning activities, and assessment. The objective is for students to learn to plot geographic coordinates, the learning activities all provide practice in such skills, and the assessment asks students to demonstrate the skills they learn. A methodical approach such as this helps ensure that resources such as instructional time are not wasted and that students achieve the learning gains expected by parents and the community.
Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. (2013). Next Generation Sunshine State Standard 1. CPALMS. Retrieved from http://www.cpalms.org/Public/PreviewIdea/Preview/858
Shireman, M. (2003). Discovering the world of geography: Grades 7 and 8. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa.
Map Skills: A Social Studies Lesson Plan Showing Proper