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Let's Build A Map

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Summary

Students will gain an understanding of maps while studying the map of the Louisiana Purchase and the trail of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Students will demonstrate understanding of maps by creating a basic classroom map. Students will demonstrate an understanding of certain historical figures in United States history.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will gain an understanding of maps while studying the map of the Louisiana Purchase and the trail of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of maps by creating a basic classroom map.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of certain historical figures in United States history.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Kindergarten

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Explorer
  • President

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Keelboat
  • American Indians
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Nickel
  • Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery
  • Map

Materials

  • Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see "Preparations")
  • 1 copy of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Lesson Plan Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
  • 1 overhead projector
  • Blank overhead transparencies
  • Images of Lewis and Clark
  • Images of Monticello
  • 1 copy of a text that gives basic information about Lewis and Clark (see "Preparations")
  • 1 copy of a text that gives basic information about maps (see "Preparations")
  • Classroom map of the United States of America
  • Paper, pencils, crayons
  • Butcher paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White drawing paper

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Reverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Obverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "What Happened Where" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Things Found in the Classroom" worksheets (1 per group)
  • Make overhead transparencies of the following:
    • "Journey of Lewis and Clark Map" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheet (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Reverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Obverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "What Happened Where?" worksheet
  • Gather images of Lewis and Clark.
  • Locate a text that gives basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
    • Lewis and Clark: Discover the Life Of An Explorer by Trish Kline
    • Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West by Steven Kroll
    • A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by David Adler
    • Going Along with Lewis and Clark by Barbara Fifer
  • Locate a text that gives basic information about maps, such as:
    • Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
    • Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy
    • There’s a Map in My Lap! By Tish Rabe
    • My Map Book by Sara Fanelli
  • Mark off sections of the room that will be drawn in the map.
  • Divide the images from the "Things Found in the Classroom" worksheet into picture kits for each section of the room.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/161.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display an image of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and explain that these men are important to our country’s history. Ask the students to brainstorm ideas about what these men may have done.
  2. Engage the students in a discussion about the meaning of the term "explorers," directing them to realize that an explorer is a person who goes to a new place to find new things. Have the students brainstorm the names of other explorers with whom they may be familiar, such as Christopher Columbus.
  3. Display the "Journey of Lewis and Clark Map" overhead transparency. Note the Louisiana Territory and its position in relation to your school’s location. Explain to the class that Lewis and Clark were soldiers who led a group that called itself the Corps of Discovery. The Corps explored part of an area called Louisiana, which had recently been acquired by the United States. Explain that Lewis and Clark saw new things that they recorded in their journals, as well as collected samples to bring back to President Jefferson. Explain that Lewis and Clark were looking for a water route across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. They also created a series of maps showing the route of their journey.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about Lewis and Clark. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what will occur in different parts of the text.
  5. Read the text aloud. During the reading, refer to the "Journey of Lewis and Clark Map" and to follow along the route with the text. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  6. Display the "Return to Monticello Nickel Obverse" overhead transparency. Explain to the students that the man in the image is President Thomas Jefferson. He was the president at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and he was the man who sent the Corps of Discovery on their journey.
  7. Display the "Westward Journey Nickel Series" overhead transparency. Discuss the details of the images with the students. Tell them that these images represent key parts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  8. Display the "What Happened Where?" overhead transparency. Explain to the students that they are now going to put the important events from the coins onto their own map of the Louisiana Territory.
  9. Distribute a "What Happened Where?" page to each of the students. As a class, work towards placing the coin images onto the important places on the map. The students may color their maps when they are finished.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the text and the map from the previous session. Display the "Return to Monticello Nickel Reverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students what they see in the image. Explain to them that this is Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and Monticello is located in Virginia. Point out its location on the classroom map. Display your images of Monticello. Review that Thomas Jefferson sent the Corps of Discovery and that when they brought back things from their journey (like animal horns and skins, objects made by American Indians, and plants), Jefferson displayed some of them at Monticello.
  2. Compare the "Journey of Lewis and Clark Map" to the classroom map of the United States. Discuss the similarities and differences between these maps, pointing out that they are of the same place although they look different. Explain to the students that the same thing was true of the maps Clark drew. They used different ways of showing things but they represented the same places. Also, Clark had to make many small maps because of the size of his journal paper, and the maps were later combined to make a larger map of the whole journey.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text about maps. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what will occur in different parts of the text.
  4. Read the text aloud. During the reading, attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  5. Discuss the importance of maps and their uses.
  6. Explain to the students that they will be creating a map of their classroom. Discuss what things may be important to include in the map.
  7. Divide the class into small groups. Each small group will be assigned a part of the room to replicate on their map using their picture kits. Tell the students that there are empty squares in which they can draw things from their part of the classroom that they do not have a picture of. Explain that the class will put their maps together to create a bigger classroom map, as Clark had done.
  8. Model a sample map of something in the classroom (such as the teacher’s desk and chair).
  9. Allow an appropriate amount of time for the students to complete the activity.

Session 4

  1. Review the students’ maps from the previous session. Tell them that now they are going to work as a class to put all of those smaller maps together to create a complete map of the classroom. Explain to them that this is like putting a puzzle together.
  2. As a class, determine the location of each smaller map on the large butcher paper. Direct each group to place their map onto the butcher paper.
  3. Allow an appropriate amount of time to complete the activity.
  4. Discuss as a class why this map would be helpful to future visitors to their classroom. Relate this to the importance of Lewis and Clark’s map to future Americans and travelers.
  5. Display the map appropriately in the classroom or in the hallway.

Differentiated Learning Options

Have students use partially completed maps and use provided pictures to complete their maps.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create "discovery" questions leading to items to find in the classroom. Invite visitors in to use the map to locate the items on the list.
  • Have students create a similar map of somewhere outside of the classroom (such as their bedroom, their home, or a restaurant) and share these maps with the class.
  • Have students create a three-dimensional map of a favorite place.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ ability to meet the lesson objectives.
  • Use the student maps to evaluate the students’ ability to appropriately represent objects in the classroom.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Disciplinary Standards
Cluster: Geography
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • guide learners in the use of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
  • enable learners to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
  • assist learners to analyze the spatial information about people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand the physical and human characteristics of places
  • assist learners in developing the concept of regions as a means to interpret Earth’s complexity
  • enable learners to understand how culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions
  • provide learners opportunities to understand and analyze the physical processes that shape Earth’s surface
  • challenge learners to consider the characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
  • guide learners in exploring the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand and analyze the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
  • have learners explore the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface
  • enable learners to describe the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
  • challenge learners to examine how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface; help learners see how human actions modify the physical environment
  • enable learners to analyze how physical systems affect human systems
  • challenge learners to examine the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
  • help learners to apply geography to interpret the past and present and to plan for the future
  • enhance learners’ abilities to ask questions and to acquire, organize, and analyze geographic information so they can answer geographic questions as they engage in the study of substantive geographic content

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features