I am going to enlighten you about the use of maps in my class.I am not sure if I find what I am about to tell you funny or sad; maybe it is a little bit of each.
Last week I had my students create a mental map of the world. They were given a piece of plain paper and they needed to draw the world. Once the world was drawn the continents, prime meridian and equator needed to be labeled. I do not care how perfect the continents are because I can not draw but their placement and realitive size need to be correct. The also need to indicate where the following places are: The Galapagos Islands, The Amazon River Basin, The Gulf of Guinea, Lake Victoria and Borneo. For those of you that do not know the importance of these is they are all on the equator. They also have a list of events, cultural items, ect. to place on the map.
I am grading these assignments and this is the part that makes me smile, laugh and cry all at the same time. Africa is smaller than New Zealand, Lake Victoria is located in Mexico, Asia and Europe do not touch each other. Mexico is bigger than South America, the Atlantic takes up almost the whole page. A few of them are actually pretty good but most of them not so much. So we will be completing more of these as the year goes on and my hope is that they get better. I also hope it is sooner rather than later.
If you know what the world looks like without looking at a map or a globe please take the time to thank your World Geography teacher.