World Geography Class

World Geography at AMBS
This is the image for the news article titled World Geography at AMBS
For the 5th Graders in Mr.  DeGennaro's World Geography class, learning, The foundation of class using absolute location to determine a city's longitude and latitude on a map and how to correctly map a set of data points. Rather than doing this with a handout and having the students work independently, Mr.DeGennaro turned his classroom into an 18x18 grid that represents the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude.  Each measured one foot apart. The equator and Prime Meridian are marked in red, latitude is marked in green (green means go – so they know to start with that coordinate when mapping) and longitude is marked in blue.   

The first lesson consisted of the class getting to know the grid and getting oriented. They would place key vocabulary words onto their proper location: northern hemisphere, equator…) The following class would consist of them locating the coordinates of a randomly thrown bean bag.  These first two lessons goal was to get them ready to ‘map the world’. 
Mr. D put the names of 216 major cities and world capitals on different colored post-it notes. Over the course of three class periods, working in groups the class would use iPads to search for the absolute location of each city and then would place them in the correct location on the grid.  They would be able to use visual clues if the city was put in the wrong area/hemisphere (each continent had a different color).  Mr. D also guided them along the way, reminding them to make sure their city was in the correct hemisphere. 

The final map had a rough shape of the continents!