St. Margaret’s School has a giant floor map on loan from Canadian Geographic Education until March 9.
The Canadian Geographic Education’s giant floor maps are interactive teaching tools—SMS has been using the map across all grades as a cross-curricular learning tool. The version of the map that SMS has is called, Canada from space!
Mrs. Nahachewsky coordinated a "Reading Accross Canada" unit and planned various activities to go along with the map.
The Grade 1’s had a storytime on the map and read “Hold On McGinty” – which begins with the character McGinty fishing in Newfoundland. With the decline of cod, he decides to move across the country via train with his boat to Vancouver Island. The girls “travelled” across the map with McGinty as they read the story.
The Grade 2’s explored both non-fiction and fiction texts. The non-fiction texts were about the regions and provinces, so they could explore books about the geography & culture. For example, students examined picture books by Robert Munsch in Ontario, Michael Kusugak from the Northern Territories, Peter Eyvindson from the Prairies and Margriet Ruurs from the West Coast.
The Grade 3’s and 4's explored Indigenous communities across Canada. Finding the traditional territories on the giant floor map and reading about them while stationed at their geographical location. Reading “in location” on the giant floor map gave the girls a different appreciation for the diversity of Indigenous communities across Canada, as well as an appreciation of the expanse of their communities – ex.the girls could see and feel the expanse of the Inuit territories, and were surprised by the small amount of land the Mohawk people lived on in comparison.
The SY students also did various activities using the map. Ms. Ziebart had the Grade 9's social studies class explore colonization and Indigenous impacts, and the connection to natural resources as well as mercantilism.
Using the map has been a great opportunity for the students to step outside the traditional walls of the classroom and explore different forms of hands on learning.