SOLSC: If You Give a Child a Map

Inside the book, we read about a boy who uses his imagination to travel to places he finds on a map.  We discover a seashore, an icy tundra and the lush Amazon.

I unroll a world map, just like the one in the story.  Our knees hold the edges down as we huddle around the colorful shapes of our nations.  Fingers point toward home: Finland, France, Estonia, Seattle, Holland, Uzbekistan…some of us don’t know where to place home.

“Where’s Japan?’ bellows N.  Fingers cover the islands.

“Yes, but it’s not really there anymore,” announces A.  “It should be more over here,” and she drags her finger across the Pacific Ocean.  I confirm her assertion, “Yes, it’s said that Japan moved during the earthquake.  It was that big! It was the fifth largest earthquake in history.”

“I want to know where the biggest earthquake was,” N’s inquiry explodes the moment.  His body pulls away from the map. With a nod from me, he heads for the computer.  It turns out Japan’s earthquake is the fourth largest, and in 1950 Chile had the largest earthquake. Before I can learn how big the earthquake was, N is onto a new quest: the largest tsunami – Lituya Bay, Alaska.  His inquiry has drawn an audience, and we are all clustered around the computer when the bell rings.

“Ahhhh!” they groan.  “Just one more question?!”


12 responses to “SOLSC: If You Give a Child a Map

  1. You are nurturing curiosity and wonder, that’s what makes the learning stick. Way to go!

  2. What a great way to capture the inquiry process and showing how you support their questions.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. I love that kind of teaching!

  4. This snippet is so well-written. I can imagine completely the huddle around the map, discovering and determining places. I love the idea of “finding home”. It is always refreshing to hear tales of children inquiring and inspecting. Eager to learn just one more thing. Where there is interest, there is learning.

  5. These are the moments I live for. True interest and curiosity about the world we live in. I can just see everyone huddled around and hear the excitement when you find answers. Love it…love the title too, very catchy!

  6. My four-year-old grandson loves maps! He looks at them when his family is on a trip and just likes them. Now he is making his own maps. The every day things are the best.

  7. I feel like I’m in your classroom, watching the action. Thanks for allowing curiosity and inquiry to drive your classroom.
    Happy teaching,

  8. I could just hear these curious voices..hopping from question to question as you open up the world to them. Great slice!

  9. Love the title. Love the curiosity. Love the opportunities you provide for your students to flourish. Just one more question?! Can we visit your classroom?
    Keep the learning alive! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Reminds me of one of my favorite Indigo Girls lyrics – “Get out the map, get out the map, lay your finger anywhere down…”

  11. I once visited the family of a good friend of mine. In their home a map hung on the wall next to the dinner table along with a whiteboard. I liked the idea of the conversations it allowed them to carry and their immediate accessibility to world connections.

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