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Strand: GEOMETRY (K.G) Standard K.G.1
This activity focuses on helping students understand the location of their physical community and the relationship they have with the community and the neighborhood.
This activity focuses on helping students understand the location of their physical community and the relationship they have with the community and the neighborhood. Therefore, student participation in the previous lessons: ABC Community Walk and Patterns And Shapes In Our Community is beneficial preparation for this lesson. Based on these lessons, students already have an understanding of a community and neighborhood. This activity is best done in the context of a class study of the school and surrounding community.
Students will review, reinforce, and apply their knowledge of number recognition, counting to ten, and spatial relationships. Prior exposure to these math concepts will further the students feelings of success.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Invitation to Learn:
Following an introduction to the students’ school, community, and neighborhood through several class walks around the school and local environment, show the students a professionally created map of the area (can be found in the phone book or on the Internet). Ask the students to comment on what they are viewing and what they know about maps. You may also want to show a variety of maps (topographical map, street map, surveyor’s map, etc.) that show different uses of maps and techniques of map making. Discuss with the students why we need maps and how we can use them. For example, we use maps to help us find how to get to a new city; we use maps to help us find a store in a mall; or we use maps to help us find a friend’s house.
On the map of the area, point out where to find the school and other important buildings in the area. Show other familiar areas (e.g., the park, local swimming pool, or the areas you saw together on a class walk).
Continue the discussion of why maps are used and how they can show us where our community/neighborhood is located. Tell students we are going to create our own map to help us identify the spatial relationships (where things are in relation to other things) between important locations in our community.
Prior to using pictures, students may need a more concrete way to identify and practice the spatial relations vocabulary. Tape a grid on the floor; place two students on the grid. One student moves to meet the other student, counting blocks (steps) and identifying direction as s/he moves. Class members can also assist in directing one student to the other.
Construction Paper Buildings
Have students use construction paper to create the community buildings for the map instead of using photographs. You may also allow the students to create their own community by making representations of buildings they would like to have in their community.
Create small grids on an 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. sheet of paper to use in a center. Write coordinates with accompanying icons for students to navigate through the map.
Using small grids, students work with partners to describe directions for the partner to follow. One student places a small token (Unifix cube or counter) on the grid where two lines intersect. The other student gives a direction such as move two blocks up and three blocks over. The first student moves his/her token according to the instructions. Switch roles.
How Many Ways?
Using small (8 1/2 in. x 11 in.) student grids, students draw two buildings on the grid. Students try to find as many different pathways from one building to the other. Using a different color of crayon for each path the student draws a path from one location to the other. Students must stay on the grid lines. Students should also be expected to tell about their paths and may have the opportunity to record their information (idea adapted from Navigating Through Geometry In Prekindergarten-Grade 2, Carole E. Greenes (editor), a NCTM publication).
Three Dimensional Community
Read Roxaboxen. Allow students to create a three-dimensional community using boxes, cardboard, blocks, and construction paper. Again have students use spatial relation vocabulary to describe their location in the “town” to others. For example, “My building is close to Matthew’s but it is far away from Jessica’s.”
Partner students and have them decide on an item they would both like to photograph. Both students will take a photo of the same object. However, have one student take a near picture while the other student takes a far picture. Print the pictures and share as a class book. Show the students the meaning of near and far. Have them identify the near/far photo for each pair of students.
Make a class graph of how you got to school (e.g., walk, ride, bus, bike, etc.). Have a class discussion of why students get to school in a variety of ways (e.g., those who live close to school may walk because the bus can’t pick them up; while students who live farther away will ride the bus). Point out to the students that some students may consider their house near to the school while others may be far away.