Back in the days before satellites, maps were based on careful observation.
Sailors would pay attention to how far they traveled and the distance between
land masses. They would then record this information on rough
How observant are you? Make a map of your home, your classroom, the playground or your neighborhood. Do your best to space objects to scale. After creating the rough design, embellish your map with original artwork.
A New World
The land Columbus discovered was vastly different than the land from which he came. People looked different. Dress and behavior were different. Houses were different. Even plants and food were very different.
Encourage children to pretend that they themselves have discovered a new world. What do the inhabitants look like? Where do they live? What sort of plants grow there? Instruct them to draw pictures of their imaginary worlds, then describe their worlds to their classmates.
Pattern Block Ship Mosaics Encourage children to use pattern blocks or tangram pieces to create a ship. Once they complete a design that they like, show them how to trace around the blocks using a pencil. Next, direct them to trace over the lines with a black crayon or marker. Third, have them color in the blocks, using lots of colors. Last of all, have them cut around the outside of their ship mosaic and glue it onto a sheet of construction paper. Torn tissue paper waves, cotton ball clouds, and other embellishments may be added as desired.
For young children, the teacher may wish to supply a predrawn pattern block ship form. Children then need only color, cut, and paste.
heavy paper or cardstock
crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils
permanent markers (Sharpies are ideal)
Cut 8 1/2-inch x 11-inch (or A4) sheets of transparency film and paper or cardstock in half horizontally. Give each child one of each. Instruct children to draw on ocean scene on the paper, including an island. They should then lay the transparency film on top of the paper and draw three ships on it (making sure the ships touch the water), using permanent markers.
Once both pictures are complete, students may bring the ends of the paper to form a cylinder and tape. They should then wrap the transparency film around the paper, leaving room for the transparency circle film to turn freely around the paper cylinder, and repeat the process. By turning just the transparency film, they can help Columbus sail the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria around the round earth.
Ask a local appliance store for three large boxes. Divide students into three
groups. Assign each group to re-create one of the three ships that took part
in Columbus's first voyage. Use the box to form the ship's body. Poster board
may be used for sails. Fingerpaints, posterpaints, markers, crayons, and
construction paper can help decorate the boats. Once the ships are completed,
let children take turns "sailing" them
in the World?
While Columbus may have used a different method of transportation than most
people do today, travel is still very much a part of our lives.
As a class, discuss some of the reasons people travel, as well as the kinds
of places people visit today. Encourage each child to think of the most distant
place to which they have ever traveled, then create a poster about the
Each poster should be illustrated with photographs, original drawings, and/or
mementos) from the trip. Older students may also include a short list of
facts about the place (population, climate, primary industry, etc.). Somewhere
on the poster, students should post one or more paragraphs telling about
their trip -- when they went, what they did, what they enjoyed most, and
After all posters are completed, give each student a chance to tell the class
about his or her trip. Discuss the kinds of places students have visited.
Who traveled the farthest? Which trip sounds most interesting?
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