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Christine Pawlowicz

Making a Map
Grade Level
3rd Grade

The goal of this lesson is for students to understand the parts of a map and how to make one, to
the degree that they are able to map a part of the school they are in.

Provided appropriate instruction and materials, students will be able to draw a map of the
hallway that includes a compass rose, scale, map key, at least one symbol, and is approximately
75% accurate in regards to scale and shape.

NYS Standards
Social Studies Standard 3: Geography


Graph Paper

Time Allotment
40 Minutes

1. Begin by asking what a map is. Write the word "Map" on the board, and write down words
related to it as the students call them out. The formal definition of "map" is "a diagrammatic
representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc." Have the
students come up with a definition of 'Map" they all agree on.
2. Start the powerpoint presentation. Ask the students what they think it's a map of. Write these
down on the board.
3. Click to advance to the slide with the scale. Ask again what they think it may be. Cross off
any things that are now ruled out. Discuss what a scale is.
4. Click again. Repeat the previous step. Discuss what symbols and colors are used for on a
5. Click again, and repeat. Discuss what a key is and what it is used for.
6. Click and repeat again. Discuss the importance of a title.
7. Ask the students what is still missing from the map. (Compass Rose)
8. Click through to the slide with the compass rose, and discuss what a compass rose is used for.
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9. Ask the students how they think Sara mapped her room. Write these ideas down on the board.
10. Separate the students into pairs, and give each student a piece of graph paper.
11. Tell the students they are going to map the hallway just outside the classroom.
12. Tell the students they can use whatever method they would like to map the hallway.
13. Ask the students what they should have on their map. (Scale, title, symbols/colors, key,
compass rose)
14. Click to the final slide, which has the parts of the map.
15. Set the students loose in the hallway to map as much of it as they can in 20 minutes.
16. After 20 minutes have passed, or all students have returned to the classroom, share the maps.

1. Have each pair show their map. Each group should talk about how they decided to make the
scale, what the title is, what symbols or colors they used and what they wrote in the key, and
anything they wish to share about the process.
2. Ask the students if this was hard or easy. How do they think the explorers a long time ago
mapped coastlines and new land? Were their maps always accurate?
3. Anything else anyone want to share?
4. Have the students put their names on their maps and hand them in.

This lesson leads directly into the lesson on following a treasure map and clues.

Each map should have the following:
At least 2 symbols or colors
Compass Rose
The maps should be approximately 75% accurate, accounting for errors in scale translation,
miscounts in floor tiles, etc.

Were the students able to complete the maps in 20 minutes?
What different ways did the students use to map?
Were the students able to identify parts of the map?
Was the map in the presentation too easy to guess?
Would it have been better to do the mapping in larger groups or individually?

Planning the Journey

Christine Pawlowicz

Grade Level
3rd Grade

Students are going to plan the route they will go for the rest of the year/unit. This lesson is
designed to work as part of the introduction to the unit. The route will be planned, the distance
will be calculated, and the time it takes to complete the journey will be estimated. Finally, the
time it takes to complete the journey will be converted into a scale, such as 4 journey days per
every 1 class day, or whatever is appropriate considering the calculated length of the journey.
This lesson should begin after basic multiplication and division is taught, after continents and
biomes have been taught, and after students have been given some information about voyages
and journeys.

Provided materials and appropriate instruction, and discussion, students will work together to
plot a voyage course around the world.
Students will choose the shortest route.
Students will use multiplication to convert the distance on a map to actual distance.
Students will use multiplication to convert distance to time travelled.
Students will use division to convert the total days travelled to number of voyage days per actual

Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry, and Design
Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek
answers, and develop solutions.
Standard 3: Mathematics (Approved 1996)
Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically,
by applying mathematics in real-world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems,
geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.
Standard 3: Mathematics (Revised 2005)
Students will understand the concepts of and become proficient with the skills of mathematics; communicate and reason
mathematically; become problem solvers by using appropriate tools and strategies; through the integrated study of number sense
and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and statistics and probability.
Standard 7: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and
make informed decisions.

English Language Arts

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data,
facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and
electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted
conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction
Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the
accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and
listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.
Social Studies
Christine Pawlowicz

Standard 3: Geography
Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world
in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s

World Map
Push Pins


Time Allotment
40-60+ minutes, depending on length of discussions

17. Introduce the unit to the students by telling them they are going on a voyage around the world.
They are going to explore the world and learn about the places they visit. This introduction may
be supplemented by another lesson that goes into greater depth about journeys and exploration.
18. Explain that they are going to decide where to journey to, with some restrictions. We want to
visit as many different kinds of places as possible. For example, we don't want to visit both NY
and VA. Instead, we'd want to visit Egypt and Antarctica. Ask the students to suggest different
areas or types of areas around the world. A previous lesson should go over the types of biomes.
19. At minimum, there must be one destination in each of the following areas: Desert, Tropical
Rainforest, Savanna, Arctic/Glacial, Tundra/Evergreen, Tropical Islands, and Temperate Forest.
Each of the seven continents must be visited as well.
20. As students suggest regions of the world, write them down on the board. Once all of the
mandatory areas have been listed, stop and circle them. Tell the students that at a minimum,
those are the places they need to go.
21. Begin listing places to visit, and placing pushpins on the map where they suggest.
22. Once at least one each of the mandatory regions has been chosen, stop. Look at the places
picked and remove any places that are unnecessary. Place a pushpin in the area the school is
located. This is the start and end point.
23. Tell the students that they are going to board their very own pirate ship to sail the seas around
the world and travel to their destinations. The majority of travel must be done by sea.
24. Ask the students to help figure out what the fastest way around the world will be. Mention
that you will need to make stops to get more food, fuel, etc, so to keep that in mind.
25. As the students choose the most direct path, thread the yarn around the map, wrapping it
around the pushpins. Have a student help with this part, either by wrapping the yarn or writing
on the board the order of stops.
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26. When done, discuss if this is the best path, if there are any better ones, what's good about it,
what's bad about it, etc.
27. After the course has been set, take a black sharpie and mark where each destination/pushpin
is. Also mark where each shore is, or where the ship will be docked with blue sharpie.
28. Point out the scale on the map. Explain that now you are going to figure out what the actual
distance of the whole trip is going to be. Write the map scale on the board.
29. Work with the students to measure the entire length of the yarn. Write that on the board.
(Make sure to use the correct units, according to the map scale.)
30. Discuss how they could figure out the actual distance. (Multiplying, according to the scale.)
Write the math problem on the board, and give the students a few minutes to figure it out. Go
over it with them. Review multiplication with them if needed.
31. Measure the length of each leg of the journey, from beach to beach. Write those distances on
the board.
32. Change the first three legs into math problems, leave the remaining ones as just the numbers.
Ask the students to work by themselves or with a partner if they wish to figure out the distance
for each leg.
33. After the students have been given time to work, go over them together as a class.
34. Ask what they would need to know to figure out how long it would take to travel. (Speed)
35. Use 25 mph as the speed for your ship. Figure out how many miles you could travel in a day,
together as a class. (600) Figure out how many days/hours it would take to complete the entire
journey. Do this on the board together. Round up to the nearest day.
36. Tell the students you have 140 class days to complete the journey. Explain you will have to
pretend that each class day is more than one voyage day. Decide on an appropriate time scale,
taking into account you will need some time to stop and visit places.
37. Now, the course is plotted! You set sail as soon as all your supplies are ready, and jobs are

Review all of the decisions made in the lesson. As a class, go over the trip, where they will be
going, what region/biome it is, what continent it is on, etc. Review how they figured out the
distance and time. Discuss any other things they will need to consider for the journey, and write
those on the board.

The next lesson will help the students decide what they will need to bring with them, and how
much of it they should bring.
Assess based on class participation and the paper with the math problems. Collect the sheets the
students used to calculate distance and time, and make not of common errors. Work with
students who need additional help in that area.

What lessons needed to be taught as a precursor to this?
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Was this lesson too difficult?

Were students able to bring up the thought of error in measurement?
Would this lesson better be broken into sublessons?

Ocean Currents
Grade Level
3rd Grade

Christine Pawlowicz

The goal of this lesson is to show students that the water in the ocean moves all around the globe,
and reveal some of the forces that drive the movement.

Given appropriate instruction and materials, students will be able to name 4 forces behind ocean
currents, and give at least 1 supporting detail for each.
Given appropriate instruction and materials, students will be able to draw their observations of
the experiments.

NYS Standards
Science Standard 1—Analysis, Inquiry, and Design
Science Standard 4 - The Physical Setting

2 large clear jars
2 glasses
Food Coloring
Ground Pepper
Ice Cube Tray
Colored Ice Cubes
Table salt
Stirring stick
Tin pie plate
"Landmass" such as foil, cap, etc.
Worksheets with jar outlines
Plastic Globe
Dry erase marker

Time Allotment
Approximately 40 minutes

38. Open the powerpoint document and display the first slide of the Midway Atoll. Tell them that
on this island live birds called Albatross. Flip to the next picture of the Albatross.
39. Show them where the island is located on the next slide. The island is in the middle of the
Pacific Ocean.
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40. Show the next picture of the dead albatross chick with plastic in its stomach. Say, "This is a
picture of an albatross taken on the Midway Island.
41. Ask the students to describe the albatross.
42. Prompt them. What is in its stomach? How did it die? What kinds of things are in its
43. Flip through the rest of the pictures, giving students time to describe what they see.
44. Ask the students how they think the plastic got in its stomach. The mothers are attracted to
bright objects and feed it to their young. Ask the students where the mothers got the plastic
45. If the island is all the way out in the middle of the Pacific, how did the plastic get there?
Ocean currents. The water in the ocean moves, taking the garbage with it. The garbage washes
up on the shores.
46. Show the next slide, which is a map of the ocean currents. Ask the students how or why they
predict the water moves. Write these predictions on the board.
47. The three types of ocean currents that will be demonstrated are salinity, temperature, wind,
and the Coriolis Effect. If any of those are predicted, stop and begin with that experiment.
Procedures for the individual experiments follow.

48. Have one student pour fresh, salt-free water into the large jar, filling it halfway.
49. Have another student add several spoonfuls of salt to the remaining water, adding blue
food coloring.
50. Ask the students to predict what will happen when the blue water is added.
51. Another student slowly adds the blue water to the jar.
52. Ask the students to make observations about what happened. Ask how this might be
related to ocean currents.
53. Have the students draw on one of the worksheets how the water moved, using labels and
arrows. If this is the first experiment, model it on the board.
54. Explain that highly salinated water sinks, and less salinated water rises, causing deep
ocean currents.

55. Fill one of the large clear jars halfway with hot water (Use a tea kettle.)
56. Have a student sprinkle pepper on the surface.
57. Ask the students to make predictions about what will happen when the red ice cube is

58. Have another student place a colored ice cube in the water and watch where the water
goes as it melts.
59. The sinking ice water should move the warm water ahead of it, causing a current that
moves the pepper grains to the bottom of the jar.
60. Have the students draw their observations. If this is the first experiment, model the
drawing on the board.
61. Take a look at the map and point out where the cold and warm areas are, and how the
currents reflect that. Heavier cold water floats along the bottom of the ocean, until it
warms up near the equator and rises.
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62. Have one student fill a pie tin with water.
63. Have another student drop several drops of food coloring into the tin.
64. Have another student blow at the food coloring gently, creating a wind current.
65. Place a mass of tin foil, a bottle cap, or anything that will block water flow in the pan to
act as a land mass. Have the student blow through the straw again.
66. Experiment with blowing up close, far away, gently, and forcefully.
67. Have the students draw their observations. If this is the first experiment, model the
drawing on the board.
68. Relate these currents to the wind belts.

Coriolis Effect
69. Hold a dry erase marker at the north and south poles of a plastic globe.
70. Have another student rotate the earth in the correct direction.
71. As the student is rotating the globe, move the markers toward the equator.
72. Compare this to the ocean currents map, and have students make observations.
73. Have the students draw their observations. If this is the first experiment, model the
drawing on the board.

Review what the 4 types of forces that move ocean currents are.
Ask the students to describe what happened in each of the experiments.

Talk about the Albatrosses again. How did the plastic get there? Which currents
brought it there? Where was the plastic from? Talk about environmental impact.

Ask the students to label each observation they drew with the type of force it was, and
write one sentence about each.

Students will be assessed on their observation sheets. Each should be labeled by the type of
force it was. Each should have labels within the drawing that shows the student observed the
experiment. Each should have one correct sentence describing the force.

How successful were the experiments?
Were students able to relate the experiments to the ocean?
How were the Albatross photos seen? Too graphic?
Were the observation drawings too difficult?
Google Earth
Grade Level
3rd Grade
Christine Pawlowicz

The goal of this lesson is to integrate technology into the unit and give students actual satellite
images of the places they are supposedly exploring.

Provided appropriate instruction and a computer with Google Earth and internet access, students
will be able to master the basic controls of Google Earth, correctly place approximately 80% of
the markers, and use the path tool to follow the journey path with 80% accuracy.

NYS Learning Standards
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Standard 2: Information Systems
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
Standard 5: Technology
Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy
human and environmental needs.
Social Studies
Standard 3: Geography
Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world
in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s

Coordinates of interest, based on the points in the journey chosen for the unit
Website containing said links accessible to students via google maps

Computer with Google Earth installed

Time Allotment
40 Minutes initially, varied afterwards.

74. Set the students up in the computer lab, and instruct them to open the Google Earth
75. Give the students some time to explore the application. Describe the basic controls of clicking
and dragging to move the earth, scrolling or double clicking to zoom, and using the search box to
find locations.
76. After 5-10 minutes of the students exploring the application, guiding them and helping where
needed, instruct the students to type in the school's address in the search bar. (Check beforehand
to make sure the search brings it to the right place.)
77. On a projector, guide the students to zoom in directly on where their classroom is.
78. Allow students to attempt to find their houses.
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79. Once the students have had ample time to play with the application and are familiar with the
controls, direct them to your website containing the geo-coordinates of the locations selected for
the journey. Explain that on Google Earth, you are going to create a path that shows the journey
you will take. The Google Map links will help locate the destinations on Google Earth.
80. Demonstrate the first two legs of the journey, asking students to follow along with you.
81. Zoom in on the school.
82. Click on the yellow pushpin on the top toolbar.
83. Move the pushpin to the desired location. Rename the pushpin, "1. School"
84. Click on the Google Map link to the second place in the journey. Zoom out to get a better
idea where it is located. Find that same location on Google Earth. (To make this task easier,
students can copy/paste the coordinates directly into Google Earth. However, it may be better to
let students explore the maps instead.)
85. Click on the yellow pushpin, and place it at the desired location. Rename it, "2.
86. Repeat this for the 3rd location.
87. Allow the students to do the same on their computers for the rest of their journey. Guide
them as needed.
88. Once all students have placed all the pushpins, show how to create a path, using the first 2
legs of the journey.
89. Click on the ruler icon in the toolbar. Click on Path.
90. Click right at the first pushpin to start the path.
91. Move the map to the next location. Clicking and dragging before releasing the mouse button
will not place a second marker, so it is OK for navigation.
92. At the next location, click again. Make a note of the mileage.
93. Repeat this for the 3rd location.
94. Have the students repeat this process for the remaining legs of the journey, guiding as needed.
95. Once everyone has completed, have students share the total mileage they got. If someone is
very off, check to see where they went wrong. Correct as needed.
96. Tell students to close the ruler box, so the path will not change. Allow them time to zoom in
and follow the path to see if there's anything interesting along the way.

1. Compare the mileage calculated with Google Earth with the mileage calculated from the initial
2. Discuss whether or not the calculations for time and supplies should be changed.
3. Ask students what interesting things they saw when they zoomed in.
4. Discuss anything else that may be relevant or brought up.

The website will be updated daily with a Google Maps link to the current location of the class, as
Whenever the class has "landed," time will be taken to explore the area through the satellite
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Students will leave their computers logged in. Students will be assessed based on their ability to
place markers and complete a path.
If the journey has 10 destination points, correctly placing 8 of them would be acceptable, with no
more than 2 out of order with the path tool.
If the student is able to correctly place 80% of said points, it is determined they have mastered
the basic navigation controls.

Was Google Earth too hard or too easy to control?
What was the range of error in the mileages?
Did students spend too much time trying to find the journey points?
Did they find anything interesting along the path?