Classroom Experience with Resources – Canadian Geographic Floor Maps – Delivered Directly to Your School!
by Ewan Geddes, Assistant Curriculum Leader Canadian and World Studies York Mills Collegiate Institute
I have two maps I use regularly: the Energy Production and Transmission map and the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada map. The Energy map was the first one that was made available to schools and we used it for the Resource Management Unit in grade 9 Geography class in Ontario. The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada is especially helpful in getting the Indigenous perspective across and help students better understand conflicts and collaborations that have arisen between the Indigenous populations of Turtle Island and its settlers. One key feature of this map is the border detailing significant dates and events from European colonization to the 2000’s involving Indigenous and Settler Interrelationships. Both of these maps are a great way to incorporate the Canadian Geographic Learning Framework, especially the concepts of thinking: spatial significance, patterns and trends, interrelationships, and geographic perspective.
I have the map delivered one day before I plan on using it. At my school, I am able to use the staff meeting room as it is large enough to accommodate the floor map. I need to ensure that the space is not in use so that I do not need to fold up the map at the end of the day. I will try to have the map for two or three days to ensure all Geography classes have a chance to experience the resource. The Canadian Geographic Education lesson plans are a great resource and each Giant Floor Map has several lessons/activities that can be used depending on how the teacher would like to use the Floor Map.
The students almost always respond in awe and wonder after seeing just how big the floor map is. Students usually experience a map visually but with the Giant Floor Map they can physically experience the map by moving on and around the map, in their socks of course. The physical experience students have of the map by walking on it, manipulating its educational tools, and utilizing its rich information is very powerful.
I have incorporated the Giant Floor Maps almost every year. It is a particularly powerful tool for fostering a love of Geography, and, selfishly, it is always a joy for me to see the students’ reaction when they see the Map for the first time. The map is truly a hands-on, or more accurately, feet-on learning experience that engages students of all levels.
Ewan Geddes, Assistant Curriculum Leader Canadian and World Studies York Mills Collegiate Institute