March 28, 2008

Map Day

We just began our third unit of Tapesty of Grace Year 2, which covers the colonial time period. This has been a year of change and experimentation for me as far as how I implement Tapestry of Grace (TOG). I decided to change the way we do mapwork by doing all of the maps for the unit the week before we begin. I think it will be advantageous for my children to see "the lay of the land" before encountering it in their reading, as well as during their reading. I am also hoping that they will have more time to do projects if we do the maps ahead of time - I am really bad with hands-on activities for TOG!

We took a week off between units to file and organize everything from unit 2, revamp our schedule, do some decluttering, and prepare all of the maps for unit 3. I wanted to do all of our timeline work together also, but we didn't get to that - yet.

I own the MapAids for Year 2, so I printed out all of the teacher maps and enough student maps for each child. We did the first one together, but I decided I would let everyone work on their own maps in any order they chose. I let them cheat and use the teacher's maps, but they had to include everything on the maps. We use maps often as a part of our studies. It has been my experience that my children learn a lot just by handling the maps, which is the reason I allowed them to use the teacher's maps. I might change my mind next time, so if any of my kids are reading this, it is subject to change! :-) I will be printing out some blank maps and doing testing periodically just to make sure everyone knows the most important information.

IMG_4858When everyone completed their maps, they bound them with the ProClick binding machine (hat tip to Angi at Peakmore Academy and Deborah at Notebooking Pages), which I absolutely love! The kids are expected to refer to their maps during their weekly readings and check the geography assignments for extra labels or suggestions. So far, so good, although this is only the first week of the unit. The bound books of maps are the beginnings of their notebooks for the unit. We will be adding notebook pages, writing assignments, pictures and descriptions of projects, and any other pertinent assignments to it. I am hoping that we will also put together a fold-out timeline to include with each of the notebooks.

In case you are interested in trying this and don't have maps available, there are tons of free maps available online. I have listed some favorite map sites and resources in my Free Geography Resources category. TOG also offers links to geography resources for each year plan (click on the year plan to go directly to the geography links page): Year 1 (Creation to the Fall of Rome), Year 2 (Fall of Rome to the signing of the American Constitution), Year 3 (World History During the 1800s), and Year 4 (World History During the Twentieth Century and into the Present). These links would be helpful regardless of which history or geography curriculum you are using.

As I already said, this is subject to change. I think it might work out well for us, though. Everyone is already doing projects, and it's only the first week of the unit. Nathan has a huge project planned, but I won't unveil it yet. Allyson already completed what was supposed to be a unit-long project: a card game using figures and information from the unit. Now she and Kathryn are working on a medieval card game since I am so bad about getting to projects and we did very, very little for the middle ages! Jordan made this Jamestown replica from Home School in the Woods. I'll try to post pictures of projects and notebooks as they are completed.

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Mar. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

Wow! Didn't you just take those pictures???

Mar. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lcourtneymom

Hi, I visited your blog to read the Front Porch "assignment." Your blog is beautiful. I am going to read some more about Tapestry of Grace. I am really looking for something different next year for history, and this is one I keep seeing come up. Looks interesting!

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