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May 1st Activity Bundle

MAPPING YOUR WORLD

BY SAM

There are many ways we can think about mapping. We have the traditional way that we might see in an atlas with different countries, terrains or oceans. Or a road map that includes things like street signs, a compass rose with the directions (North, South, East, West), highways, state lines, etc.

Other ways to map out what we see is to use our memories of places we have been, people in our lives and where we live. Think about places you go or where you have been.

For example:

  1. What is at the library?

  2. How is it set up inside?

  3. What buildings are next to the library?

  4. Try and have the kids describe and draw a map of the layout of the library. 

You can also do this with ECHO! It’s one of our favorite places to go. Think about what lives there? Are there stairs? Maybe draw the tree house and slide. Think about your favorite thing at ECHO and map it out! Mapping out your house, neighborhood, or school will also help with recall, memory and geographical placement.

Create a marker for your map:   Landmarks are things we take notice of to help us understand our location.  They are an important aspect of mapping because they allow us to understand relative location and how to get to somewhere.  (Example: BCS is near Little Park.)  Write/create a picture or  message out of natural materials in your yard, neighborhood, or as part of the area you are mapping for others to find.  Perhaps it will become a landmark and will be used by someone in creating their mental map of the space.  This will also spread a little kindness which we can all use right now. 

Hint: There has been a peace sign and a heart down by Salmon Hole on the Winooski River. 

mulch heart

Ask questions about the colors they see, the shapes and sizes of things they remember. This will help focus on detail and remember special places that they love. When engaging younger children you can focus on mapping out faces. Point to your eyes, nose, ears and head. This helps start the process of navigating their bodies through space, finding/naming specific features,  pointing things out and remembering where they are. Draw with them to create faces of people in the family. 

Have fun using your imagination!

ME ON THE MAP BY JOAN SWEENEY

READ BY NATALIE


AS THE CROW FLIES: A FIRST BOOK OF MAPS BY GAIL HARTMAN

READ BY NATALIE


MY MAP BOOK BY SARA FANELLI

READ BY NATALIE

INFANT VELS:

SELF AWARENESS

Goal 1: Children demonstrate an awareness of own personal characteristics, skills and abilities

  1. Show awareness of own body

  2. Recognize physical attributes of self and familiar people e.g., baby’s toes, gramma’s glasses, daddy vs mommy

YOUNG TODDLER VELS:

PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.

  1. Explore places in home environment, as well as in other familiar places

  2. Locate where favorite objects are kept

OLDER TODDLER VELS:

PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.

  1. Identify usual locations of familiar objects and people (e.g., points out own cubby)

  2. Point out places in the community where they have had experiences (e.g., library, store)

PRESCHOOL VELS:

SELF AWARENESS

Goal 1: Children demonstrate an awareness of own personal characteristics, skills and abilities

VISUAL ARTS 

Goal 1: Children create art using a variety of tools and art media to express their ideas, feelings, creativity; and develop appreciation of the art created by others.

PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.

  1. Identify features of the physical environment around them (e.g., roads, buildings, bodies of water)

  2. Describe or draw features of the geography of their classroom, home, and community

WALKS

AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH

BY MELISSA

Maybe your child isn’t interested or ready to map their world but you want to promote  their observation skills.   This can be used as a guide to support you helping  children notice details and think deeper about their world. 

Walks- An Integrative Approach:

Everyone knows walks are great for physical wellbeing and development and many experience the mental health benefits of walks.  Fresh air, nature, slowing down, listening carefully and being in nature can be very calming.  Walks are also a wonderful opportunity to supporting children’s cognitive development as they learn about the world and make observations.

Much of what we do at BCS centers around supporting children’s curiosity, exploration and investigative processes and observation skills.

This post is meant to support you in engaging your child to notice, make observations and ask questions about the things they experience on walks. It uses photos and clips taken from Red Rocks Park in South Burlington.

The investigative approach and types of questions can be used on any walk including ones around your neighborhood.  The questions are meant to help children explore what they experience on a deeper level, promote curiosity and make connections..

Disclaimer: Some of the audio/video clips have been included in the Earth Day blog post. 

My dog Fern and I  have been loving Burlington Parks.  They feel like a real break from the daily pandemic chaos.  

Here are some things Fern and I have found on our walks:

Listen to this audio recording “Birds in the Forest.”

What do you hear?

Do you hear bird noises that sound different from each other?

Do you hear the same bird sound again?  Do you think one bird is answering another or is it the same bird making the noise again?

Where do you think the birds are right now?

Why do you think the birds are making their call noises?

Things on the ground:

bark

What do you notice about this piece of bark?

How do you think it feels? Why do you think it feels that way?

Can you look around and guess which tree it came from?

feather

Who do you think left this here?

What else do you see?  

Do you see any signs of spring near the feather?

Do you think the bird noticed that it lost a feather?

stick

What do you see on the ground?

Can you find the small white rock?  A piece of acorn?  leaves?

How many sticks do you see?  How many different kinds of kinds of greenery do you see? How many different kinds of leaves?

What do you notice about these two sticks?

What is the same?  Different?

Do you think they are from the same kind of tree? Why do you think that?

Trees:

Close your eyes and listen to this video clip.

What do you hear?

What do you think makes the different noises? 

Now open your eyes and watch.

Do you hear the birds? Wood? Wind?

Why do you think the trees make that noise?

Has anything about these noises surprised you?  What has surprised you  about these noises?


How many different types of trees do you see?

How do you know they are different kinds of trees?

Do you see any fallen trees?

Can you see any animals?

trees 2

Why do you think this tree looks like that?

Do you think it is healthy?  How can you tell?

If it is dead, how do you think it is helpful to animals because it is still standing?

What evidence do you see of animals visiting the tree?

Here is a close up:

tree close up

What do you see?

What do you think made these marks? Lines? Tiny holes?

We came upon this:

tree fallen

There were three big logs. Each log had holes all the way through the center.

The stump was huge and looked like this:

stump

Do you think these logs were once all one tree?

What do you notice about them?

What do you think happened? 

I notice there are holes in the center of all the logs and the stump.  How do you think the hole(s) were made?  Do you think the hole was there when the tree was still standing or were they made later ?  

One of the sections:


What do you notice about this log?

How do you think an animal might find this log helpful?

What clues are there about the kind of tree this log was when it was part of a tree?

tree holes

How many holes do you see?

What do you think made those holes?

What animals might make those holes their home? Do you think those animals would like to live close to other animals, as close as the holes are to each other?


tree broken

What do you think happened to this tree?

What do you notice that makes you think that?

VELS:

Infants and Toddlers:

DEVELOPING SELF – APPROACHES TO LEARNING

INITIATIVE 

Goal 1: Children show curiosity about the world around them and take action to interact with it and learn.

  1. Use senses to explore the immediate environment

PROBLEM SOLVING 

Goal 1: Children display an interest in novel situations and demonstrate flexibility, creativity and innovation in solving challenging tasks.

  1. Make discoveries about self, others, and the environment through a variety of multi-sensory/motor interactions

LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD – SCIENCE 

PHYSICAL SCIENCES 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts of the properties of matter, sound, motion and energy through inquiry, exploration and investigations.

  1. Attend to and demonstrate interest in objects in their environment, using all of their senses to explore

INQUIRY 

Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.

  1. Explore objects in a variety of ways

Toddlers:

PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.

  1. Explore places in home environment, as well as in other familiar places

Younger Preschoolers:

EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about Earth’s systems, the impacts of human activity on these systems, and Earth’s place in the universe through observations, exploration, and investigations.

  1. Compare and describe texture of different earth materials

INQUIRY 

Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.

  1. Ask “why” and other questions to gain information, and attend to responses given

PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts about the physical characteristics and locations of familiar to more distant places, and the impacts of people on the environment. They also construct concepts about their own cultural identity and learn to appreciate others’ cultures.

  1. Use simple positional terms to describe location of familiar objects and people

Older Preschoolers:

PROBLEM SOLVING

Goal 1: Children display an interest in novel situations and demonstrate flexibility, creativity and innovation in solving challenging tasks

  1. Use imagination and creativity to interact with objects and materials

PHYSICAL SCIENCES 

Goal 1: Children construct concepts of the properties of matter, sound, motion and energy through inquiry, exploration and investigations.

  1. Use evidence to discuss what makes something move the way it does and how some movements can be con trolled

  2. Describe objects by their physical properties and states of matter

INQUIRY 

Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.

  1. Ask questions and participate in simple investigations to form hypotheses, gather observations, draw conclusions, and form generalizations

3.Describe and discuss predictions, explanations and generalizations based on past experience

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