Monday, November 02, 2009

Mapping the Library

Each year, when the second grade does its mapping unit, we have a great time bringing skills home by creating maps of the Lawrence library. Together, students and I place tent cards around the library that label its sections. Then we look at a schematic map of the library, seen from above, that has outlines of the prominent parts of the library: the various bookcases, the study tables, the circulation desk and so on. We even have a compass rose tucked up into the north corner of the library, toward the playing field!

Just like adults, some students find it easy to make correlations between a map and where they themselves actually are in real space; some find it more challenging. But again and again I see students having "Aha" moments as they get oriented and begin labeling their own maps. This exercise pays lots of dividends: it extends the curriculum, and it helps students become more confident, independent library users.