International Children’s Education
Sharing resources, supporting families and teachers overseas...
by Ruth Crum
Ruth Crum earned a M.Ed. degree from Seattle Pacific University. She taught for 25 years in the state of Washington (grades 1-9) and 12 years overseas in Peru, Yemen Arab Republic, and Taiwan. She has served as a volunteer helper at the International CHEDmm office in Dallas.}
It’s true, by virtue of living abroad and traveling in the states on furlough, your children are probably more aware of the size of our world than those who never leave their local area. But a knowledge of the world by map study is still valuable.
You might like to try this. Get a large paper map of the area you are focusing on, or blow up a small one with an overhead projector. Trace two tissue paper copies. Stitch one onto black felt by sewing machine using white thread. This will outline all the state, province, or country lines in white. Tear off the tissue.
With the other copy, cut each area out of multicolored felt and voilá, you have a quiet jigsaw puzzle that your children may enjoy for hours. It’s a hands-on thing that builds in awareness of shape, relative size, and location far better than just looking at the atlas!
You can add details by printing on sturdy paper or tag board such things as capitals, major cities, state birds, flowers, or dates of admission—any details you want to emphasize. Blue yarn can indicate major rivers, and triangles can denote high mountains. You’ll think of more as you evaluate what you want your child or group to learn.
Arrows with messages such as “I live here,” “My grandparents live here,” “I want to go here,” or “I’ve been there” might be fun.
Perhaps you can persuade Grandma or a Sunday School class to make these maps for you. They are inexpensive to mail. But don’t overlook the value of letting your own kids do it for themselves.
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