In choosing a theme for this next piece of work I wanted to move beyond the school and grounds to explore the school locality, i.e. the city of Wakefield. The `Top Ten Places’ idea gave us a focus for this next stage of work.
The next set of maps I’ve grouped together because they appear to represent routes to places in the locality. Some of these cover a relatively short area while others are more wide ranging.
Joseph’s map shown here, was possibly the most complex. However the following week he could not recall what the map showed. This map reminds me of the story-maps that were created by my daughter when she was about three.
Katie’s map is one of the most complex and she lists more places than any of the other children. She has not yet grasped the idea that map convention requires North to be at the top of the map. The relative location of some of these places is muddled. This maps shows the route to Ismael’s house and is a fairly accurate route map. The position or shape of the river is not accurately drawn suggesting that children would benefit from looking at OS maps & Google Earth. Route to the Showcase cinema from school and possibly home
These maps cover an area close to the school. In the top left example only the locality of the school is shown, whereas the other two maps also include Thornes Park. All of these map-makers use the convention of line to depict routeways and solid squares and rectangles to represent larger spaces, e.g fields and parks. The maps all show North at the top of the page. Using line and space
Nathan and Tobie are the only pair that chose to represent an area to the south of the school. This area basically shows the route to the Asda supermarket. They have not accurately located Pugneys Lake which is to the west of the supermarket. Lines and space are represented on this map. Interestingly the railway line is shown as a pictorial representation, something that is often done by much younger children.
I find this to be one of the most interesting of the maps drawn. First because it uses a spatial representation to show the buildings, similar to a large scale OS map and second because it is based on a grid. You could find your way easily using this map. North is at the top The map still uses pictograms (the main featured key in Local Studies). We probably need to moving onto exploring map convention next.
Finally I have selected these two maps because the children have started by representing areas of land (and water) that have a particular meaning for them, i.e. sporting places and leisure places. Neither of these maps are complete and it seems likely that these four children would go on to add routeways when they complete their maps.
I’ve been really wowed by what I’ve learnt about children’s spatial awareness, their maturity (in terms of the way they represent their world) and their locational understanding (which for most children is good and for some excellent) from setting this very open ended task.
The task was too open ended for some of the pupils – but proved to be a very useful activity for allowing children to demonstrate prior learning and knowledge and understanding of their local area.