Map and Graphic Skills
Published Wednesday, September 21, 2005 by CCAer | E-mail this post
Map and Graphic Skills - The World and beyond!
It is official and it is exciting! The Ontario Government revised curriculum for Social Studies grades 1 to 6 now includes a mandatory Map and Graphic Skills component.
Beginning in grade 1 students are expected to make, construct, and read a variety of graphs, charts, diagrams, maps and models to clarify and display information. By the end of Grade 4 students create and use a variety of thematic maps using symbols and legends. In Grade 6 students use special-purpose maps to find specific information. They compare various map projections of the world and use base maps and a variety of information sources to sketch the relative position of places. The Map and Graphic Skills component continues on in the Grade 7 and 8 Geography curriculum.
Why a sudden interest in Map and Graphic Skills at the elementary and intermediate levels? Could it be the recognition that maps are a form of communication that enables students to inquire, research and distill information? With the emphasis on cross-curricular linkages it is important to focus on tools that offer teachers the opportunity to integrate literacy and numeracy as well as research and communication skills into their course work.
Students are increasingly expected to apply acquired skills and knowledge to new experiences. Recognizing that we can not possibly teach children all that they need to know but rather equip them for life-long learning has been a major step forward in modern education. Incorporating maps into new programmes built on this premise makes sense. At once simple and complex, maps can also evoke images, encouraging children to think beyond the familiar and the expected.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein