Lauren's mom, who works at the State Museum in Harrisburg (where we are going for our field trip!), brought in a 20 foot by 30 foot map of the state of Pennsylvania. This map had a compass rose, lines of latitude and longitude, a scale, a grid, cities, counties, county seats, rivers, and landforms. We talked about so many different things that we could learn from this map. We discovered that most people in Pennsylvania live in the southeastern corner of the state, and that is where the best farming land is found. In the northwestern corner of the state there are not many people, but there are many mountains, forests, and wild animals to enjoy.
Kids from our class and Mrs. Towsen's class had the chance to locate the different parts of the map, use the scale to find out it's about 300 miles from Erie to Philadelphia, and use the grid to find some of Pennsylvania's cities and important highways. At the end of the presentation partners and groups of three each got an animal that was native to Pennsylvania and had to find its habitat on the map. We had to work together to use our map skills to correctly place all of our animals.
We really appreciated that Lauren's mom was willing to take time out of her day to come in and show us how we can apply map skills in a different way. We are looking forward to having her come back to make Pennsylvania's history come alive!