If you have completed
the lesson "Map Mastery" use student journals for
this lesson, and skip steps 1-3.
If you have not done the "Map Mastery" lesson,
include steps 1-3 in your lesson.
Tell the students they are going to ěexploreî their
community and keep a journal of its major features.
Have students keep a journal as they travel around the
community for a week (walking to and from school, walking downtown
with friends, being outside during gym class, etc.)
Tell them to record the geography and features of their
After a week, discuss journal entries.
As a class, look to see which features were mentioned in most
journals, such as the local river or town clock.
Introduce the term ěgeographic perception.î
Discuss how different peopleís perceptions would influence
Discuss the term ěgeographic relevanceî with the class.
How can the class decide which features of the community are
relevant and should be included in every journal?
Read with the class this excerpt from the "Mapping on the
Trail" article: "Journal Maps:
The Captains also drew small-scale page-size maps. These were
drawn in their daily journals. Some are very detailed and show
features that affected river travel, such as falls, narrows, and
rapids. Others are merely sketches of large areas. A number were
derived from Indian information."
Discuss with students how their journal descriptions of the
community would be enhanced by journal maps.
Talk about the differences between their journals and some
features students may have missed, as well as features which are in
the majority of journals.
Have students exchange journals with a partner.
Each student will draw three maps in the partner's journal
based on the partner's descriptions of the area.
Students should take some time to draw the maps based on the
descriptions in the partner's journal.
Instruct students to be as detailed as possible in their map
Have students keep the partner's journal for a week, and add to
it with their own descriptions and maps.
They should add features students may be missing from their
descriptions. They should
also add details to the journal maps they have made.
At the completion of the week, partners should give back each
other's journals and take some time to see what changes and additions
have been made.
Have the above discussions again.
Talk again about geographic perception and geographic
relevance, related now to journal entries and journal maps.
Discuss as a class the benefits of having the map in addition
to just a written description. Talk
about why Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery may have included
maps, in addition to written entries, in their daily journals.