Teaching Vocabulary and Remembering it! Globes and Maps

On Monday, I walked in to the building and there stood the Persistent Principal, smiling ear to ear, holding a GLOBE! The kids were huddled around her throwing questions at her. She was pointing out the land versus the water and helping them find where they would be on this globe. As the different children came in that morning, we got an idea of where each one of them stood on the subject.
My favorite was the pig tailed wide eyed wonder who came in and as her eyes were about to pop out of her head said, “That’s a Uuuuu-NIVERSE!” Some of the kids knew words like orbit, sphere, planet, and oh wait! I almost forgot the little tike that immediately found Mexico and said, “It’s Mexico. Cha Cha Cha!” while he pretended to play his imaginary castanets!
(I can’t make this stuff up!)
This time, we labeled the globe that first morning and placed it on “the corner” for kids to see and talk about with their teachers as they walked by or lined up.
I made an anchor chart to display the words that the kids had used in our morning interactions.
For my language groups that week, I used this labeling activity for globe and map from Flying Into First Grade.
We read Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney (affiliate link)
Fortunately, the Kindergarten team had decided to count down the last few days of school using the alphabet and the very next day was “A” for “ART” so we talked about the hand drawn maps that the little girl drew in the book. Each group named her before we started the book so I could use her name to ask “WHO” questions throughout.
The key is in our next book, Map My Neighborhood by Jennifer Boothroyd was hand drawn.
We discussed why the little girl would choose that item for each symbol.
(affiliate link)
We also flipped through the book Maps and Globes by Harriett Barton and identified maps and globes.
We talked about a map being FLAT and a globe being ROUND. The kids were quick to also point out that the map can FOLD and the globe can ROLL!
(affiliate link)
After the word “globe” was mastered by the majority, we added the word “map” to our morning look and learn lessons.

We started with a book of maps while teaching the term ATLAS.

We had to talk about the differences in the globe and the atlas: The pages and pictures are flat, there are different pages with different countries, there are MANY maps in the atlas amid other things.
Our favorite interaction that morning was when the Persistent Principal held out the atlas for a little kindergarten girl to see and asked, “Do you know what this is?”
The cute little blondie replied, “An expository text.”
Ummmm…”Yes, yes it is!”
We were just in awe. We have the smartest kids on earth!

Do you know how hard it is to buy a map?!? I went to three gas stations and the grocery store one morning before school before finding one (that was not our county or city but a neighboring one).
MANY of the students knew the word “map” but several did not. When I presented it to them the first morning, the Persistent Principal and I gave a LOT of cues, my favorite being “What does a pirate use to find the treasure?!?” THAT clue was effective.

The kids were able to identify land and water. It took very little cueing for them to find a highway and train tracks. The kids were SO interested in the map! I labeled it and hung it on the wall with the words used that morning. We talked about it being flat and the globe being round or spherical. It folds where as the globe can roll and spin.

The Canny Counselor found a map of the zoo in her car and thankfully had vocabulary on the mind when she saved it and brought it in. The kids were SO excited to see the different animals. She pointed out the restrooms, places to eat, and all of the other areas noted on the zoo map.
This was definitely their favorite map so far!
My plans for this vocabulary unit also include mapping out the playground and possibly going on a treasure hunt, drawing a map of the school and following it around during speech one day, having students draw a map of the speech room…but we have less than a month left of school and I feel like I’m running out of time!
If you have any further ideas, please always feel free to leave them in the comments because I am SURE we will do this again next year and I hope others try it in their schools.

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