Let me introduce you to my favorite homeschool purchase of the past two years.
Mapping the World with Art is a geography resource unlike any other! Mapping marries detailed but easy-to-follow drawing lessons for each part of the world with chronological history lessons and wonderfully creative learning activities. By the end of the study, your students should be able to make a detailed physical map of the entire world from memory. Along the way they will have learned lessons about exploration and cartography from the Babylonians through Polar explorers of the early 20th century.
Now you might be wondering about the title. Doesn't that sound an awful lot like another curriculum called Mapping the World by Heart?!?! Well, yes, and that is not unintentional. Author Ellen Johnston McHenry had used MWbH, but like many others, myself included, she found it to be lacking in some respects. My family has used Mapping...Heart twice, and while it has been a great experience each time, using the skeleton of an outline provided in that book required enormous time in planning and preparation. (You can see the maps from our last go round here and here.)
Mrs. McHenry, a professional illustrator and homeschool mom, had a different vision in mind when she created her product. Yes, children will learn to make memory maps, though these focus on physical maps rather than political ones. But a couple of things set this program apart from the other. First of all, it is MUCH more user friendly!
|Ben starts his map by making guidelines he'll later erase|
|Nile River valley drawn on papyrus|
Mapping...Art has thirty lessons which can be completed over a year. It's generally recommended for students at least 10 years old. When we began our co-op, the children ranged from 9-12, so we decided to take two years rather than one to complete the program. This curriculum works great as a co-op class!
Each of the lessons interweaves the three segments (history, map drawing, and activities) beautifully. At first, the order in which maps are taught will seem strange, but give it time, and you will begin to understand the big picture. Since it takes a chronological approach, lessons and drawings begin around the Mediterranean and then move on from there. The activities range from making cookie maps (cuneiform "clay" tablet maps) to crafting a model of the Santa Maria to playing a Viking Voyages board game. Review maps periodically help students put the various smaller maps together into a cohesive world map.
|Co-op class prepares to make South America tortilla maps|
|tortilla features key|
A small amount of daily practice makes all the difference.
|Ben finished this practice map while I was writing this post|
But maybe you are wondering WHY anyone would want to spend this time learning to draw a world map anyway. I'll answer that in the next post!