Mental maps are representations of what a person “knows” about a place. This knowledge comes from first-hand experience and impressions of places from family, friends, school, the wider culture, and various forms of media. Mental maps blend objective information, subjective impressions and opinions. In the classroom, mental mapping helps students understand how individuals visualize the world in both similar and different ways.
Are you searching for ways to make your social studies lessons relate to the lives of your students? Make memorable connections between national trends in history, economics, culture, politics, and geography with these place-based primary sources.
My last post was about quality novels to teach in the American history classroom. I would like to follow it up with some books teachers can include in their geography and civics class. In Alabama, we devote a semester each to geography and civics during the seventh grade. Often, it can seem that there is not enough time to fit in everything that we need to cover during that time frame. However, the following books are short enough to read in these classes, but “pack a punch” of information.
“It is no coincidence that, on all four sides, in all four corners, the borders of the Roman Empire stopped where wine could no longer be made.” ― Neel Burton, psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and wine-lover
This geography activity makes maps applicable to student lives bygetting students out of their chairs and interacting with the material.