Journal Maps
Submitted by: Christine McCoid
Lesson Overview
Concept In this lesson, students will see how journal maps were used to record findings along the trail.  Students will use written descriptions and observations to draw journal maps of their community.
Performance Objectives

Students will be able to:
1.  Define and use the terms "geographic perception" and "geographic relevance."
2.  Interpret written descriptions to create maps.
3.  Draw and interpret journal maps.
4.  Discuss the use of journal maps on the Lewis and Clark expedition.


Journals from "Map Mastery" lesson if completed.


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.

1.  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 surroundings. 

2.  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 their journals.

3.  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?

4.  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."

5.  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. 

6.  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.

7.  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 making.

8.  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.

9.  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.

10.  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.

Teacher Notes Refer to content found in the "Mapping on the Trail" article.
Student Assessment Tools Visual presentation and written assignment:

Students will be assessed on:
1.  Accuracy and completeness of journal entries.
2.  Accuracy and completeness of journal maps.

3.  Class participation and group work.

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