Today we had a guest visitor Dr. Rebecca Theobald share the National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps program with our 4th grade students. First, we want to thank Dr. Theobald a professor from Colorado Springs, for taking the time to travel to Greeley and bring this great opportunity to our students.
Learning with a giant map of the state of Colorado was an incredible way to engage students and interact with geography.
Our students began by sharing their map knowledge with Dr. Theobald. She was impressed that our students knew about the compass rose, a key or legend, a scale, the continental divide, as well as the equator and more.
After discussing how we use a map and why, students formed into small groups to build a map using a container full of various materials. During this time, groups began to make connections such as building a small town near a river, since people need water. These are the types of geography connections we want our students to discover. We have also discussed how people change and impact our environment.
After our time in small groups creating maps, we came together as a class to explore Colorado’s change in population. First, students located the 15 Colorado cities with the largest populations in 1890. Next, we tracked the population change over 40 years, to discover that in 1930 the 15 largest cities in Colorado had changed.
Finally, we used census data from 2010 to locate our 15 current most populated cities in Colorado. Students discovered that some of the more populated cities in 1890 (Leadville) are not our most populated cities of today. Our students noticed extensive growth in population in the front range of Colorado. The geography connections that students made occurred through interpreting the information on the map.
Our learning was visual and fun, in a GIANT way, thanks to National Geographic and Dr. Theobald for sharing this wonderful program with our school. Our 4th grade students now have new connections about the state of Colorado, as well as enhanced map skills.
Check out our “4th grade mountain views”.