Young children first get to know their local area by walking around and over time, they begin to develop geographic awareness. Where we live and what is around us grows on us naturally as children become familiar with a variety of geography tools such as models, maps, and globes. There are many ways to engage children in social studies activities using maps. Integrating geography skills in foreign language classes can help students develop a framework for studying people and places near and far, from the world students know best, their neighborhood, to the larger, less familiar world, the earth. They will become familiar with descriptive words to describe their location as well as use cardinal directions to find locations in a neighborhood and on a globe. When traveling abroad, they will also feel more comfortable when asking for directions.
Jiejie completed Lesson 7 Where Do You Live? in My First Chinese Reader, Volume 1 quite some time ago. We had misplaced the map he created and I thus wasn't able to write about the extension activity in which he took part until now. We found it tucked away in another book.
Jiejie enjoys creative projects and like most boys, is very active and loves making noises for cars. Together, Laoshi Shawn and Jiejie created an imaginary street map similar to the one pictured in the textbook. The street names are written inside the green squares and the pink sticky notes represent little cars with the name of the owner/driver on each.
The lesson began with the cars all parked off the map and as Laoshi described where each person lived, Jiejie would have to listen carefully and then drive the vehicle to the appropriate house. They then reversed roles, giving Jiejie an opportunity to speak.
What activities have you done?