using memory and imagery to get kids to think about “place”

The last assignment for my EDUC 616 students has been to create their own “When I Was 10” maps.  I always use that age based on the the ideas about the geographies of childhood, inspired by the guidance of Edith Cobb (The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood) and Gary Nabhan and Stephen Trimble (The Geography of Childhood / Why Children Need Wild Places).  Basically, the age around 5th grade, more or less.

My students are making digital or paper versions of their maps.  They’ll likely all use planar perspectives, though in other versions of this assignment I’ve stipulated that students *must* include elements drawn from additional (oblique, frontal) perspectives as well.  Here’s a simple one on Flickr where the mapmaker used transparent areas to indicate location, then annotated.

In the digital world, we can jump down to street view for an immediate frontal perspective.  Here’s a website for a childhood walk that had the idea for narrated descriptions of such places.  Esri is promoting the idea of “story maps too;” their ideas here can readily adapted for youth-oriented projects.

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