I have previously posted about our map-making projects here and all related posts can be found under the label Geography.
Our attempts at implementing Leigh Bortin's (The Core) geography concept known as "blobbing the continents" continue.
After showing mastery over the map of South America, we have moved on to the smaller continent of Australia and surrounding countries.
This is Seth's most recent map, which include the capitals of Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand. It really is amazing how improved your sense of geographic locations become by drawing the maps yourself.
Last week, CBC reported on a geography crisis at a major university in Newfoundland where students as reported by a long-time professor are failing her geography quiz on which they must label things like Africa and the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the semester. Her observations and quiz results seem so ridiculously absurd that you wonder if she is exaggerating. Her remark that she has had to continually simplify the quiz over the years is staggering to consider.
As I listened to the news story on the radio, I was not in the least surprised that many high school students graduate without even a rudimentary knowledge of the world and that when faced with a blank outline of map make major gaffes. Schools do not teach geography or map-making as a basic skill. I took a geography course in college and yet it was not until I began lesson prep for our History lessons that I actually began to understand the geographic layout of the world. Now that we are onto map-making, my understanding has improved and I feel confident that I could pass the professor's quiz, but I prefer to do better than that. I need to make more maps myself and really know where in the world that place is.