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Would you like to visit your local site?


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Giant-Size Outdoor Map

Map your own neighborhood—or anywhere you can imagine—and create a place to play on the playground at the same time.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. With the class, make a list of features of a town or city such as the one where you live or go to school: restaurants, gas stations, swimming pool, parks, police station, stores, hospitals, and other buildings. Remember to include roads, signs, and bridges. Choose whether to map your local area, a city somewhere else in the world, or an imaginary urban environment.
    2. Students form small groups and choose neighborhoods to represent. Each team takes a different section of town. Sketch maps of each area on roll paper with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Try to include everything your group can think of that might appear on a map. Review the work of each group and figure out a way to coordinate the maps to create a giant drawing on the playground.
    3. Find a large outdoor area on which to make a detailed map. With Crayola 3-D Sidewalk Chalk, the colors will "pop" most on a dark surface such as asphalt.
    4. Plan how to coordinate sections using the same scale so all parts fit together. You may find that starting with streets works best. Design the map. To create the best 3-D effects, leave a small black space showing between each chalk color. Place cool colors such as blue, purple, and green near warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange for maximum 3-D depth. Try on the glasses as you draw to see the effects.
    5. Label landmarks and street names. Add a compass rose to show the map’s orientation. When the map is complete, take a stroll through your town. Add more details before the rain washes the city away!
  • Standards

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

    SS: Estimate distance and calculate scale.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Use Google Earth to investigate the accuracy of team models.

    Student teams investigate various architectural styles such as Colonial, Victorian, and modern.

    Working in small groups, students design a block in a fictitious downtown. Students need to investigate various architectural styles and incorporate several into their block design. What stores or companies do you want in your town? What conveniences should be available in your downtown? Is there a color scheme to your block? Are there any landmarks that you will be working with or around? What is the climate like in your town? Will that influence your design? Prepare a 3-D model to present to classmates. The model should be accompanied by a written summary of the team's process in designing the downtown block.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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