Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mapping Magnet High and the area

Creating mental maps of the community is an important function in developing thinking skills.

map (map), n., v. mapped, mapping, n. 1. a drawing representing selected features of the earth’s surface or part of it. 2. a map like drawing of anything: a highway way, a weather map. v. 1. to make a map of; show on a map. 2. to collect information for a map by exploring or surveying a region.

How does one describe an area to someone who needs that info? How does one get from place A to place B most efficiently? How does one plan landscaping and imagine gardens and pavilions for the future? How does one develop property and greenways? Is there a way to enrich your understanding of an area? Of finding an area's less-obvious value?

It begins with informal mapping. Sketching, measuring, thinking creatively about how to See and capture the essence of an area.

The activity moves to comparison and research: compare your drawings to published maps. Can you integrate the 2 versions? is there a way in which your informal map has value?

Sharing maps with each other and discussing ways to incorporate elements of each map in a larger collaborative map adds value to students' sense of space and geography.

Many of these maps will be more conceptual than realistic or geographically correct. The sketches and charts that will come from students offer value by showing how students and artists think and feel about their community.

Coming up after China: sketch maps of the campus.