Saturday, May 7, 2016

Map Memory and the 5 Common Topics

Challenge A is complete and Flower rocked the Map memory-work. In two hours she labeled countries, capitals, rivers, mountains, oceans and other features, along with all of her classmates. It was hard work. But at the end of the 30 weeks, ten 12 and 13 year olds could draw the world by heart and define at least 200-600 points on a map.

Definition, baby. Naming is defining. One of the 5 Common Topics.
And Authority. We used actual Atlas' as we drew our maps; atlas' that used accurate, up to date information taken from navigational charts, satellites and other scientific data. The kids were learning the physical world, based on physical fact.

Now that Challenge A is over, and regular map work is not required, Flower noticing maps every where we go. Yesterday, in the Verizon store, she spent most of the 45 minutes we were there checking out a historic map. She's been talking about it ever since from an analytical point of view; what placement was off, what areas where mis-named, what islands were missing, etc. She was Comparing and Contrasting the map she had just drawn to the map that she discovered in the store.
Which led us to a discussion about when the map might have been created. We decided it had to be a map from either the 1700 or 1800's; Relationship, what else is going on in the world at the time of the map's creation? In the past they relied on navigational tools, exploration, accurate record keeping. Now we rely on satellite and computer data and photographs from space.
Circumstance, right there.
We played several review games in class, including one where I would give the kids clues about a place or feature and they would have to locate and name it on the map. It amazed me how well the kids could deduce accurately what place the clues were naming. Again, Relationship.

The 5 Common Topics are very useful tools. Training our kids classically allows them to work through the 5 Common Topics, whether they are doing if formally, or not, enriching their educational experience and creating learning pegs.

Just like with memorizing a Timeline, memorizing a Map is great stuff. Memorizing the first 160 points on a timeline and the first 200 places on a map are hard work. But then you just start filling in the gaps without even realizing it. Pretty soon, you've memorized another 160 points on a timeline, and you have another 200 places on a map defined. Memory is the Mother of Learning. When you've memorized something, you own it. This is the kind of education that empowers our kids and creates educational synergy.
Check out more great posts on classical ed at Trivium Tuesdays:

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1 comment:

Sara said...

Memorizing over 200 points on a map is a great accomplishment, and it sounds like she's developing a love of maps as a result. Thanks for sharing!