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    map skills
    By Leah

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    I also teach 4th grade and do a fun activity every morning. We have a "World View" place of the day. I give them the name of our place and some hints to find it ( North, south etc). I always start with the continents so they can use these later for reference points. Later I teach them to find places using latitude and longitude and only give them the coordinates to find the place on the class map. A weekly project I use is I have a bear named Gerald that I introduce to the students at the beginning of the year. I tell them that he is a world traveler and read them the book LETTERS FROM FELIX, explaining I left him in the airport as a little girl just like Felix and that he to got to go on many wonderful journeys. I have an old leather suitcase that He sits in along with memorabilia from a place he has been to. This changes every week. I include a letter from Gerald describing some sights he has seen and giving clues to where he went. Students have a week to find out where Gerald went. I extend this activity by letting the students write letters to Gerald with questions, draw postcards as if Gerald was sending them to a friend, create brochures of his travel destinations or write stories of his adventures. They love it. A great resource has been a local travel agent who gives me tons of outdated flyers and guide books that I use to make "photo albums" from his trips. Hope this helps. Leah

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