Mapping the World by Heart: Maps in Progress

Amanda and Faith early in the process.
We're down to crunch time. As a culmination of our year long study of world geography, the kids are now making memory maps. Jon (11th), Peter (10th), Manda (8th), and Faith (7th) are drawing the world, while Paul (4th) is mapping the U.S. and Ben (1st) is making a map of Indiana.

Over the past couple of months, the kids have learned locations and coordinates first for continents and then for countries, practicing on blank laminated longitude and latitude grids. Each night they are allowed to review and practice drawing, and then in the morning - with no notes or resources - they draw as much as they can.

We've more or less  followed plans  based on the Mapping the World by Heart curriculum which I used over  a decade ago with my older children. The latest edition include ideas for younger children to map the U.S. alone. But my much older version otherwise seemed quite serviceable, and I didn't want to lay out $70 for the newer model just for that. Instead, I found an e-book from CurrClick called Memory Mapping America for just $9.95. This program really fit the bill for Paul. Designed to be used over 14 weeks, we had to condense it some, but I love the printable maps which gradually weans students from guidelines until they can create a United States map on a blank grid, just like the older kids are doing with the world.

At times during the three week drawing process various ones have had severe reservations about his or her ability to complete the task. One young perfectionist who could draw the U.S. very well on his practice maps was almost paralyzed when faced with his full-sized artist's paper.

Paul drawing on his practice grid.

But day by day the maps are coming along very nicely. The older ones should have all countries drawn by the end of this week, leaving the last week to add some artistic touches. I'll post finished maps soon.

Update: You can see the kids' finished maps here.

Or check out our edible geography series in these posts:

North America
South America
Antarctica and Australia
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