Students will be able to:
- describe ways their personal lives are connected to oceans; and
- create a simple map showing ocean-related places within their community.
In this activity, students discover local links to the ocean and sketch them in a map.
community sketch map, coloured pencils
We need good maps to find our way in unfamiliar territory. Maps also help us see familiar places and relationships, such as our connection with the ocean, from a new perspective. Maps in this activity should focus on the theme, "Our Ocean Community." All maps should include a title, a scale, a north direction arrow, and a legend.
Imagine a sea-faring friend has come to visit and is homesick for the ocean. Have students create a map of their community's ocean-related places to help the friend feel at home. (See "Local Ocean Features" below.) You will need a basic community map showing streets and waterways from your chamber of commerce, municipal office, or town Web site. You can also use MapQuest maps showing the locations of features and businesses in most communities (although you should check accuracy). These maps can be printed at different scales and taped together.
- Prepare materials. Copy a community map showing major roads, waterways, and landmarks or have the students research these features and prepare the map.
- Discuss the students' knowledge and personal experience of maps. Explain the purpose of the map they will create and the basic information (title, legend, etc.) maps need.
- Help students brainstorm features for their map. Use headings listed under "Local Ocean Features" on this page, or from the activity "Discover Your Path to the Ocean".
- Give each working group the basic map. Have them find the community's ocean-related features using phone books, the Internet, class visits, or a scavenger hunt; then have them create a legend, depicting these features, and mark them on their maps.
- Have students illustrate their maps. Encourage them to use colour and imagination!
- Have the groups exchange maps and try to use them to find the indicated features.
- Summarize and lead a group discussion to highlight how maps are useful and how your community is connected to the ocean.
- Choose a local wildlife species as a seafaring friend. Migratory species work well (gulls, terns, herons, ducks, shorebirds, and salmon). Describe its habitat needs and map suitable habitat in your community. Map how it might safely travel about your community.
- Display the maps in an Oceans Day festival or presentation.
Have the students use and evaluate each other's maps, asking:
- Does the map include all necessary information?
- Are features accurately located?
- Is the map clear and easy to use?
- Is it attractive?
- Is it complete?
- Does it work?
Local Ocean Features
Can you add to this list of ocean-related features in your community?
- Restaurants serving seafood
- Grocery stores and markets selling seafood
- Pet shops selling marine fish
- Shorelines and waterways leading to the sea
- Public access to waterways (docks, beaches, parks, etc.)
- Marinas, fishing stores, nautical supply stores
- Places with ocean information (libraries, bookstores, and museums)
- Places with ocean-related movies and music
- Places with ocean-going wildlife, such as gulls, terns, herons, shorebirds, and salmon
- Travel agents selling ocean vacations
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