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Michele Masucci Principal Investigator Building Information Technology Skills Among Inner City Youth A Program Funded through the NSF ITEST Program 2004 – 2008
© Copyright 2010 ITSRG Temple University All Rights Reserved
This curriculum was made possible with generous support from the National Science Foundation and Philadelphia Youth Network.
Table of Contents
Overview of the BITS Curriculum Guide …………………………………….. 4 Curriculum Matrix ……………………………………………………………… 11 Lesson 1: Introduction to Geographic Information Technology ………….. Lesson 2: How do I define my community? ………………………………... Lesson 4: How do I find a Place on a Street Map of My Community? .… Lesson 5: Scavenger Hunt Field Exercise …………………………………. Lesson 6 Assessment of Student Learning about Community Maps …… 14 23 28 30 31
Lesson 3: How do I find my way in my community? …………………….… 26
Lesson 7: What is a map? ……………………………………………………. 32 Lesson 8: What types of maps are there? ……………………………….… 34 Lesson 9: The Basics for Taking Field Notes ……………………………... 37 Lesson 10: Collecting Data for a Map ……………………………………… Lesson 11: Field Exercise: Mapping My Neighborhood ………………….. Lesson 12: Scale and Community Mapping ……………………………….. Lesson 13: How do I find a place on a street map of my community? ….. 38 40 41 43
Lesson 14: Using Google Earth to Create Map Layers …………………… 45 Lesson 15: Hands-on GIS – Making Layers using Acetate ………………. 47 Lesson 16: Organizing Geographic Observations …………………………. 49 Lesson 17 Where does my food come from? ………………………………. 52 Lesson 18: Food Mapping Exercise …………………………………………. 53 BITS Glossary ………………………………………………………………….. 56 Online Resources ………………………………………………………………. 63 Appendix: Sample BITS Lesson and Student Work ……………………….. 69
Overview of the BITS Curriculum Guide
This curriculum guide was developed to support an out-of-school time program called BITS, Building Information Technology Skills. The BITS Program consists of three elements: an After School Program model that involves high school students in two-four hours per week of hands-on, field and computer laboratory based experiences working with digital technologies, urban exploration, and social media. The Summer Program models include more indepth experiences in field research methods in geography, examining local environmental problems, and learning about local landscapes in Philadelphia. More advanced students have opportunities to participate in Internship experiences in research lab and library settings at Temple University where they learn how to conduct research using map and data archives, participate in teams of researchers on environmental and social problems of concern in urban settings, and work in teams to depict local environments and gain advanced geographic information technology and social media experiences. This guide is a resource guide intended to support student mentors and faculty instructors involved in the program. It provides lessons that can be implemented or adapted to meet different program implementation approaches. The lessons provide an introduction to the technologies associated with geographic information systems and mapping, an orientation to field experiences and how to connect them with the program model, examples of how to integrate
mapping activities into thematic discussions related to the program curriculum, and career exploration resources and activities. In addition, a web resource guide and glossary are provided as aids for non-technical and non-expert instructors. BITS Program Overview The Building Information Technology Skills (BITS) Program was implemented as an out of school time informal learning program from 2004-2008 through support of a grant from the National Science Foundation. The Program model included After School and Summer Intensive Programs that served 350 students through offering 400 hours of educational activities. One of the main objectives of the program was to engage underrepresented students in the fields of geography and information technology to engage skills and experiences that could increase their interest in the fields. We achieved this goal through involving a large number of female, Latino and African American students from North Philadelphia in the program. Overall, 56% percent of the participants were female; 61% were African American and 16% were Latino. The program has continued with additional support from local agencies, with over 300 participants engaging summer and after school programs since the NSF funded program concluded in 2008.
The BITS Program experiences included: (a) lab-based experiences in geographic information technologies, spatial analysis, and cartographic design; (b) field-based experiences in landscape observation, documentation, and analysis; (c) project-based experiences in the development and integration of digital media and GIS; (d) internship experiences related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields of study; and (e) opportunities to present project outcomes through live and virtual formats. Significant outcomes and deliverables of the BITS Program deliverables have included: (a) the creation of a North Philadelphia Community GIS that can be used in informal learning settings; (b) an outcomes assessment of the participatory model implemented to design and develop the community GIS; (c) the informal science education curriculum found in this guide – developed for 912 grade high school students enrolled in after school and Summer Intensive Programs designed to provide experience-based GIS learning; (d) an evaluation of the outcomes of student participation in GIS experience-based learning by assessing students’ interest in geographic information science (GIScience) fields of study and careers, as well as students’ knowledge of geographic and cartographic information prior, during, and at the end of the program. This program has resulted in major contributions in the following research themes: (a) the usefulness of a participatory model that incorporates hands-on, inquiry-based learning in projects leading to the creation of a North Philadelphia
Community GIS, (b) the usefulness of our model as an effective means to examine spatial processes in urban contexts, such as environmental quality management and economic development; and (c) the impact that involving youth in project-based, after school and summer intensive activities designed to develop North Philadelphia Community GIS resources has on the overall levels of technological literacy in a community. Lessons learned from the BITS Program have informed the national discourse surrounding best practices for involving underrepresented groups in STEM related fields of education and careers through geographic and information sciences. The program has also worked to address the particular challenges and strategies that apply to English language learners with a special focus on Latino youth. Finally, the program has aimed to influence the interface between geographic and information science technologies through basic research on three main aspects of GIS development that apply to the analysis performed at local scale: (a) the interoperability of qualitative and spatially descriptive information in the design of a GIS, (b) the effects on youth’s overall understanding of spatial informatics of shaping user interfaces to correspond with specific knowledge frameworks, and (c) the effects on youth’s engagement and learning of using and developing spatial informatics by learning scientific principles associated with the fields of cartography and GIScience.
About this Curriculum Guide
This curriculum is designed to provide participants with an experiencebased approach to learning about and contributing to the development of a community geographic information, called BITS-GIS. We have developed and implemented lessons based on a project, hands-on, inquiry approach style of learning on how to: (a) use, manage, interpret, represent, and analyze spatialinformation data and data sources pertaining to Philadelphia;(b) catalog information resources about local areas; (c) represent observational data using software applications for GIS, design, and visualization; and (d) analyze patterns and observations in relationship to real-world phenomena observed in informal and formal activities, such as field trips and site visits.
The BITS curriculum incorporates academic standards set for STEM and geography by the Philadelphia School District, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the National Academy of Science. Our principal focus is on: (a) environmental quality, (b) naturally and humanly induced hazards, and (c) science and technology in local, national, and global settings. The context of our work is that of an inner-city educational setting. Therefore, our instruction consists of providing project-based, hands-on, inquiry-based experiences incorporating the challenges of: (a) local environmental quality and health landscapes, (b) geographies of every-day life associated with
community history and development; and (c) landscape effects associated with the industrial transformation of the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Our approach to GIS education provides instruction on basic standards for math education, including instruction on numbers, operations, and computing fluency. Participants gained skills in measurement, scale, area, and distance, and object relational analysis. In addition, it includes, through direct instruction or in field activities, support for the crosscutting core competencies required by Philadelphia School District. Among these are problem solving, school to career communication, and multicultural learning objectives. Crosscutting skills that are emphasized in the curriculum include: (a) learning how to acquire and evaluate data in electronic formats; (b) gaining experience in organizing and maintaining computer files; (c) using technology devices to process information; (d) applying skills in transforming the form of information in order to send, retrieve, and store data; (e) interpreting technical manuals, specifications, diagrams, and designs; and (f) using e-technologies to access local information resources.
Finally, students involved in bITS engaged in career exploration activities to learn about the STEM fields, including geography. These consisted of structured internships and completing a portfolio that reflected experiences gained through the internships.
Themes of the BITS Program Curriculum Geographic Information Technologies • • • Defining and visualizing community through maps Geographic information technologies Learning how to use Web GIS and Web log tools for connecting visual media
Geographies of Place • • • Historical Geography of African American Memory Urban Geography of Women’s Daily Lives Enabling Spaces
Geographies of Community Development • • • The Legacy of the Stetson Hat Factory in North Philadelphia Gentrification Processes in Temple-town Landscape analysis of the local space economy
Health Geographies • • • Learning how to identify the community health-scape Examining Community Food Resources Analyzing the diffusion of a contagious disease
Career Explorations • • • Assessing interests in STEM careers Meeting STEM Professionals Visiting and interning in STEM work settings
Sample lesson Inquiry questions Technology / software Didactic components / activity Verbal and pictorial representations of community. Working in teams, division of tasks. Map reading and interpretation, visual and graphic association in map projection. Taking field notes, collection of field information. Retrieval of information of information through a web site. Creating a presentation, group presentation of projects, learning about other world contexts - the relation of local to global contexts. Excursions
Experiential basis for the acquisition of spatial "Where knowledge we live" and spatial analytical skills
How do I define my community? How do I find my way? How do I find a place on a map?
Internet navigation, 2D computer graphics (Adobe Illustrator, digital photography
Local neighborhood walk
Where does my food come from? How does it make to the store? Who are the people who grow, produce, deliver this food?
Internet web browser. Word processing, email
Local super market and retail clothing outlet.
Module Two Interpersonal skills, forming interview questions, What is the Neighborh documentation of meaning of Digital video ood interviews with community to and editing, interviews digital video and the residents word and oral audio. Summary who live processing histories transcription of there? interviews. Documenting cultural heritage. 2D Computer What did my graphics and neighbor hood layout, map look like when Adobe production, Document my parents Illustrator and Introduction to Web ation of where my age, PhotoShop, design and neighborh -when my Microsoft graphical ood grandparents FrontPage, interfaces. change were my age? use of Organizing group Why does it scanning presentations, look the way it introduction to does now? spread sheets and databases. "Then
Mapping the experiences of Community
Neighborhoo d visitations
Temple University urban archives.
and now" photographic documentation collecting historical photos, maps.
Module Three Interpretation of existing cartographic information. Systems approach to understanding and interpreting the environment. Conceptualization of environment as composite layers of information. Production of a new neighborhood map. Site documentation and inventory, including geometric area calculation. "Ground-truthing" and physical attribute verification, Introduction to GIS through internet applications. Introduction to website design, and graphic presentation of information on group website.
Linking observations to baseline cartographic information, air photos, and imagery
What are the differences/ changes observed Site between Document existing City of ation and Philadelphia analysis cartographic baseline maps and aerial photographs?
Adobe Illustrator Microsoft FrontPage, ArcExplorer
The City of Philadelphia Office of Information Systems
Creation of a Community Database
Based on field observation, what changes do you observe compared to existing aerial photos and city maps?
PDA – handheld GIS, Adobe Illustrator Microsoft Excel and Access, Microsoft FrontPage
Module four Methods of community environm ental quality assessme nt. How do I assemble the information I collected? Is there nature in the city? Can a map have ideas? Urban infrastructures and Environmental Quality. Database creation and management with spread sheets, Understanding relational databases.
Developing Spatial Databases from Observed Phenomena
ArcView, Microsoft Excel and Access, FrontPage
Visitation to University of PENN Urban Forestry Lab at Morris Arboretum
Landscape Quality Assessment and the aesthetics of community Module Five
How can the assembly of information improve our community?
Adobe Illustrator, ArcView, Microsoft FrontPage
Environmental aesthetics and collecting community ideas. Scenario writing, website design, public presentation of projects to Community.
Temple University GUS (GIScartography) computer lab
Summer intensive workshop at Temple University
Community Planning with GIS
How does this information help my community? What does our community need to make it a better place to live?
ArcView, Microsoft Excel and Access, FrontPage
Developing problem statements and community needs assessment. Scenario writing as the formation of a neighborhood strategic plan. Application of GIS in community planning projects.
Residence on Temple University's Main Campus
Lesson 1 Introduction to Geographic Information Technology
Objective In this lab, students will become acquainted with the parts of a computer. Materials picture of abacus picture of mechanical adding machine picture of first generation computer picture of punching card laptop PC desktop PC—with monitor, mouse, keyboard, drive (magnetic and/or optical ), and peripherals, such as speakers computer printer scanner external modem—optional digital camera—optional disposable motherboard disposable microprocessor disposable floppy disk—with its magnetic disk showing CD—with clearly visible grooves in the backside DVD— with clearly visible grooves in the backside serial port cables parallel port cables USB cables FireWire cables phone cables Ethernet cables Safety Instruct students to use electrical equipment with care. Also, remind students that pouring liquids or food over computer equipment can cause permanent damage.
Procedure • Explain to students that the term PC stands for personal computer, a computer designed for individual use. Point out to students that throughout the year they will be using IBM-compatible PCs that run with Windows. • Summarize the history of computers, starting with the definition of the term computer. Ask volunteers to provide the meaning of the term to compute. Students should answer that to compute means to calculate or figure out an answer. Ask other volunteers to draw on what they already know about the term to compute to figure out what the term computer means. Students should answer that a computer is a device that calculates or figures out answers. • Tell students that the first computer ever invented was the abacus, a device with beads along rods that can be used to make arithmetic calculations. Other early computing devices include mechanical adding machines invented in Europe in the 1600s and a tabulating machine developed for the US Census of 1890. In the latter case, information was punched into stiff paper cards and then a mechanical device would sort and tabulate the cards. • The first computers to use digital electronic technology were developed in the 1940s by the US Army. Explain that digital electronic technology means that the computer understand and processes information using “on” and “off” electrical signals that correspond with the binary digits 0 and 1. The computer understands an “off” electrical signal as a 0, and an “on” electrical signal as a 1. The advantage of using binary digits is that regardless of changes in the voltage, the computer knows that the lack of electricity stands for a 0 and any electricity at all stands for a 1. Add that so as it is possible to use ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3,...) to perform the mathematical operations that we are accustomed to, it is also possible to perform mathematical formulations using only 0s and 1s. Tell students that later on in the year they will learn more about binary digits and mathematical operations. • Explain to students that the first computers to be developed, called first generation computers, were gigantic devices, occupying a very large space and only capable of handling small amounts of information and performing one task at a time over a long period. In these huge computers, different units performed different tasks. Vacuum tubes were used for the circuitry and magnetic drums for the memory. Because the vacuum tubes let off big amounts of heat, these computers required a large cooling system. Information was input in the computer through punch cards and paper tape, and the resulting answer was output in a printout. • Second generation computers were developed in the 1950s and 1960s. They
used radio transistors instead of vacuum tubes, so they were much smaller, requiring less space. Another modification was that these computers could store information in their memory. • Third and fourth generation computers were first developed in the 1960s and 1970s. These computers use integrated circuits, which allow them to be very small and fast. An integrated circuit is a small silicon chip that contains several miniature transistors and can store information and perform a whole series of tasks in one unit. An important improvement in third and fourth computers is that information can be input with a keyboard, instead of punch cards, and that answers are output on a monitor, instead of a printout. Another important improvement is that these computers run with an operating system, a central program that oversees all memory and computation tasks at once. • Fourth generation computers, the computers that we use today, work with microprocessors. A microprocessor is a silicon chip that houses thousands of miniature microprocessors and can perform thousands of computations in a fraction of a second. Fourth generation computers also use a mouse and can work with graphics—before, computers could only work with numbers or letters. • Fifth generation computers, being developed today, are the computers of the future. They use the latest advances in artificial intelligence and nuclear physics, chemistry, and biotechnology. The goal is to create a much smaller (microscopic), much faster computer that can respond more easily to human language. For example, a fifth generation computer will be able to recognize the human voice. • Emphasize to students that the tendency has been to develop smaller computers that can store more information and handle more difficult tasks in a shorter amount of time. PCs are the result of all these developments. A PC uses a microprocessor. In a PC, information input and output is handled with a keyboard, monitor, and mouse. A PC is small and very fast, and can perform many tasks. • Tell students that IBM (International Business Machines), the largest US manufacturer of computers, developed the first PC in 1981. Then explain that the term IBM-compatible refers to computers that imitate the original PC manufactured by IBM. Because the original PC mostly used technology that was in the public domain (technology that was not patented), many manufacturers came up with clones or imitations. Today, there are many brand names of PCs in the market, manufactured by companies from the US (Dell, Hewlett PackardCompaq, IBM, eMachines, Gateway), and other countries (Japan: Sony; Taiwan: Acer).
• Add that there is another type of PC in the market that is not IBM-compatible. This PC is manufactured by Apple and is commonly known as Mac or Macintosh. Macs run with their own operating system: Mac Operating System. • Distinguish the difference between a laptop PC and a desktop PC. A laptop PC is a small computer with all its components integrated into one unit. Laptops are portable, or designed to be easily carried from one place to another and used in different settings. Laptops can be powered with a battery, in addition to receiving power from an electrical outlet. Desktop PCs, on the other hand, are designed to be used in one place, such as a desk, and the different components in a desktop PC are separate. Desktop PCs run with power from an electrical outlet. • Show the different main components in a desktop PC: CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables, and so on. • Describe the CPU as the main body of the computer. Explain that the term CPU stands for computer processing unit. The CPU is the box that contains the motherboard, microprocessor, memory, hard drive, and so on. • Explain to students that computers work by storing information in the memory while the microprocessor performs calculations. Describe the motherboard as a flat surface where the memory, the microprocessor, and the connections between memory and microprocessor are located. In addition, the motherboard houses sockets that connect the memory and microprocessor to other parts of the computer (input and output devices) and the battery for the internal clock of the computer. • Remind students that the microprocessor is a small silicon chip that contains thousands of integrated circuits. The microprocessor is the brain of the computer: it computes all tasks. Because its circuits are integrated into a small unit, the microprocessor can perform tasks extremely fast. Ask students if they know the meaning of the word silicon. (Silicon is a chemical element, one of the most common on Earth. It is an excellent conductor of electricity.) • Explain that the performance of the microprocessor is measured in megahertz. The higher the speed of a microprocessor, the higher the number of megahertz. • Define RAM (random access memory, or simply memory) as the place where the computer temporarily stores information while it is performing calculations. The larger the RAM, or memory, in a computer, the more tasks the computer can perform at a higher rate. Motherboards have a set number of slots for memory chips. For example, most PCs have a motherboard with only two slots for memory. Memory chips hold 128-MB, 256-MB, 512-MB, and 1-GB of memory.
• Explain that computer memory stores information using bits (0s and 1s). Typically, computers work with sets of 8 bits, for example, 00110011. A set of 8 bits is called a byte. If we count all the possible combination of 0s and 1s in a set of 8 bits, we come up with 256 possibilities. This is equivalent to 28 (i.e., 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x2). Copy the following table on the board. 00000000 00000001 00000010 00000100 00001000 00010000 00100000 01000000 10000000 00000011 00000101 00000110 • Explain the computer memory capacity is expressed in megabytes. A megabyte is equivalent to 1,048,578 bytes or 220. Students may wonder how to get to that figure. Explain that since computers work with a binary system of 0s and 1s, calculations for memory are made using exponential numbers with 2 as the base. Copy the following table on the board. Ask a volunteer to find 256 in the table and tell how many times 2 x 2 equals to 256. Ask another volunteer to find 1,048,576 in the table and to tell how many times 2 x 2 equals 1,048,576. 20 = 1 21 = 2 22 = 4 23 = 8 24 = 16 25 = 32 26 = 64 27 = 128 28 = 256 29 = 512 210 = 1024 211 = 2048 212 = 4096 213 = 8192 214 = 16,384 215 = 32,762 216 = 65,536 217 = 131,072
218 = 262,144 219 = 524,288 220 = 1,048,576 • Describe the hard drive, or hard disk, as the unit in the PC that stores permanently most of the information, such as the operating system, computer applications, and files. • Distinguish between storing memory temporarily and permanently. The RAM, or memory, stores information only while the microprocessor performs tasks. If you turn off a computer, whatever was in the RAM disappears. The hard drive, on the other hand, stores information permanently; if you turn off the computer, the information saved to the hard drive remains there. • Explain that the CPU may also contain cards that control sound, images, and the PC’s ability to connect to other computers. Define a card as a small circuit board that performs a specific function. For example, a graphics card controls the creation and manipulation of images. Add that for a PC to be able to communicate with a to a digital camera, it must have a graphics card. • Explain that in addition to the hard drive, a PC may have other drives that can read and/or write information. To distinguish between the hard drive and the other drives, we call the hard drive internal drive and the other drives external drives. Add that there are two types of external drives. Magnetic drives, found in older PCs, read and write information to floppy disks. Show a floppy disk, pointing out the magnetic disk where the information is stored. Optical drives, on the other hand, can read and/or write information to a CD (compact disc) or a DVD (digital versatile disc). Explain that an optical drive uses a laser beam to read and/or write information to the CD or DVD. A laser beam is a concentrated beam of light. Show a CD and a DVD, pointing out the grooves in the backside where the information is stored. Explain that a CD-ROM is a type of CD that can only be read, for example, a commercial music CD. ROM stands for read only memory. Then explain that some hard drives can actually write to CDs, DVDs, or both. Drives that write to CDs and DVDs are called burners. Most burners can only write to a CD or DVD once. • Show the monitor, or display. Explain that the computer monitors display information. There are two basic types of computer monitors. CRT monitors work with a cathode-ray tube, just like a TV set. They occupy a lot of space. LCD monitors, on the other hand, work with liquid crystals that react to different electrical charges and light. LCD monitors are thin and occupy much less space. Laptops use LCD monitors. The newer desktop PCs also use LCD monitors.
• Show the mouse. Explain that the mouse is a pointing device that allows us to place the cursor (the symbol that allows to know where to input the next character on the screen) on a desired spot on the screen. There are different types of mouses. Some use a trackball; others use a laser light. Lift the PC mouse and point out whether it works with a trackball or a laser light. Add that the mouse in a laptop can be a touch-sensitive screen or a pointing stick. Show the mouse in the laptop. • Show the keyboard. Explain that the keyboard allows to input information to the computer through the use of letter, number, and function keys. Point out the different kinds of keys. • Show the different computer cables that connect the CPU to the keyboard, mouse, and other peripheral devices. Show the back of the CPU, pointing out the different ports and sockets. • Explain that the type of cable determines the amount of information transferred and the speed of the communication between the CPU and the other devices. Then explain that a port is a type of connection that requires a specific type of cable. Ports have different shapes to make it easier to distinguish between them. • Show a parallel port and the cable that connects to it. Indicate that parallel ports are usually used to connect an older printer to a PC. Have students pay attention to the shape of the port and ask them to count the number of pins or holes. • Show a serial port and the cable that connects to it. Indicate that serial ports are usually used to connect an older printer or modem to a PC. Have students pay attention to the shape of the serial port and ask them to count the number of pins or holes. Note that serial ports are smaller than parallel ports. • Show an USB port and the cable that connects to it. Indicate that USB ports are used to connect all kinds of devices to a PC, such as a mouse, keyboard, or a newer printer. Explain that USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Have students pay attention to the shape of the USB port and ask them to count the number of pins or holes. Note that USB ports are smaller than serial and parallel ports. Note that the size of the connector to the computer may be larger than the connector to the device. • Show a FireWire port and the cable that connects to it. Indicate that FireWire ports are used to connect devices that transmit a lot of information to a PC, such as a digital video camera. Have students pay attention to the shape of the FireWire port and ask them to count the number of pins or holes. Note that the size of the FireWire connector to the computer may be larger than the connector to the device.
• Show a SCSI port and the cable that connects to it. Indicate that SCSI ports (pronounced “scuzzy”) are used to connect older scanners to a PC. SCSI stands for Small Computer Systems Interface. Have students pay attention to the shape of the SCSI port and ask them to count the number of pins or holes. • Show the power supply cables. Point out the connectors, paying particular attention to the three prongs. Explain that the three prongs are in the same direction. The third prong grounds the computer to earth. • Show a phone cable and an Ethernet cable. Have students pay attention to the connectors and the number of pins and/or holes in each connector. Ask students to describe the colors of the wires in the connectors. • Show the back of the CPU and point out any logo next to a socket. Also point out any logos on the cable connectors. Explain that these logos are meant to make it easier to know which socket and cable go together. • Point out other connections on the back of the CPU, such as the connection to the monitor, the phone connection for a dial-up modem, the Ethernet connection for a fast speed modem, the power supply connection, the Joystick port for video games, and the audio, video and headphone/speakers connections. • Stress that cables and connectors are fragile. Students should be careful in plugging and unplugging devices. They should press gently on the connectors and never unplug a device by pulling on a cable. Also, students should never twist a cable or force it to coil into a particular shape. • Plug the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, modem, scanner, an other peripherals to the CPU. Plug the power supply into the electrical outlet. Start the computer, pointing out that you pressed the power buttons on the CPU and on the monitor. Let the computer start up until the Windows logo appears on the screen. Point out that the Windows logo refers to the computer operating system, a program that runs all the operations of the computer. The operating systems allows for the user to communicate with the computer through keystrokes and mouse signals. It also runs small routine programs that allow for the other applications to access information, perform tasks, and output results. • Show the cursor on the screen and how you can control it with the mouse. • Shut off the computer using the mouse and/or the keyboard. Click on the Start button and then on Turn Off Computer. After the Turn Off Computer dialog box appears, click Turn Off. If the message “It is now safe to turn off your compute” appears, press the power button off.
Assessment In groups of four, have students plug the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals to the CPU. Ask them to plug the appropriate cables to the electrical outlet and to start the computer. After the Windows logo appears on the screen, ask students to take turns at manipulating the cursor with the mouse. Then have students shut off the computer, following your instructions. Discussion What are some design changes you think may happen in the future? Design a fantasy computer. Draw a picture of what you think it will look like. What are some purposes for the use of this computer? What changes in technology of today are represented in your design?
Lesson 2 How do I define my community?
Objectives In this lesson, students will be introduced to the basics of cognitive mapping. Students will start by drawing a map of the significant landmarks, roads, intersections, public spaces, and so on in their community. Students will then be asked to reflect on some of the factors that play a role in the definition of the features that they identified. What role do sensorial clues play in the definition of a landmark? What role does previous experience with a landmark play in its definition? Is there a difference between individual and group defined landmarks? Materials 11x17 sheets of white paper colored pencils Procedure • Have students first brainstorm and then draw a map of the features that define their community, such as major landmarks, roads, intersections, public spaces, and so on. Remind student that the word community refers to a group of people who live in an area and who share similar characteristics. Community also refers to the area where a group of people lives. Explain to students that a landmark is a feature that stands out in a place. Landmarks give identity to a place and serve as a way to find it. Examples of landmarks include a church, a park, a large billboard, a major intersection, or a vacant lot. • Ask students to label the features in their maps and to include a map title, the date, and their names. • Have students discuss the sensorial clues used in the definition of the landmarks that they have identified in their maps. Remind students that the word sensorial refers to the sense organs. For example, a large billboard is visible from a long distance, a bakery can be smelled blocks away, and a major intersection is noisy. • Then ask students to discuss what role previous experience with a landmark plays in its definition. For example, students may indicate that they chose to identify in their maps a backstreet as a landmark, because that was the place
where they learned to ride a bicycle. • Ask volunteers to display their maps on the board. Is there a consensus on what constitute major landmarks in their community? Is there a difference between individual and group defined landmarks? • Have students discuss how far their community extends. Is there a consensus on the boundaries of their community? What factors seem to determine the definitions of what constitute the boundaries of their community? For example, students who walk to school and other public facilities may say that their community is smaller than students who drive to the same places. Assessment Using their cognitive maps as a basis, students will write a short description of their community, indicating major landmarks and its boundaries. Engage students to discuss key concepts and terms in their own terms related to this exercise. Students can add others they think are important. Have students maintain a list of new terms and definitions in their notebooks. Concepts and terms included in this lesson: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Cognitive Map Street Map Compass rose GIS Cartography Sensorial Clues Landmark Scale Orientation Symbols Legend Community Landmark Public Space
Discussion Questions and Follow Up Activities Write a short description of your community. Does your community include people, buildings, or both? Be sure to indicate major landmarks and boundaries. Use the terms you have learned when appropriate to describe your map. Discuss how your experiences affect the ways in which you have identified and represented landmarks. Did you choose the same landmarks as others in your group? Search for a location on your community map that can be found using Google Maps, an Internet-based map application. Compare the map you drew to the map you found on the Internet. How similar is your map compared to the map you found on the Internet? What are the differences? Which map is the most useful? Why? What feature(s) would you change on your map? Which would you keep the same? Why? Note At the end of the lesson, collect student maps for use in future lessons. Sample Community Maps and Commentaries
Lesson 3 How do I find my way in my community?
Objective In this lesson, students will develop way-finding techniques using their previously created cognitive maps. Students will deduce that in order to find one’s way using a map, that map must have a scale and orientation symbols, such as a compass rose. Materials cognitive maps developed in the previous lesson 11x17 sheets of white paper colored pencils Procedure • Ask volunteers to explain how they go from one place to another in their community. For example, how do they go from APM to the nearest grocery store. As student volunteers describe their way from one place to another, write on the board all the landmarks and direction words that they mention, such as, turn left at the corner of such and such building. Ask students what key words are necessary to explain one’s way from one place to another. Repeat the same activity using different major landmarks. • Have students discuss individual versus group way-finding. What differences are there? Students may answer that in order for all to understand how to go from one place to another, directions must be given in relation to clearly defined landmarks that are meaningful to the group as a whole.. Although certain landmarks may have a very special meaning for the individual, such as a back alley where one learned to ride a bicycle, that place may be meaningless to the group as a whole. Groups use landmarks that make sense to everybody. • Have students exchange their cognitive maps. Ask them to write down in a separate piece of paper how to go from one place to another using a classmate’s cognitive map. What may be missing from the map that would make it easier for all to find their way? Are distances between places clearly defined? What may help to give a more realistic idea of distances between places? Can they tell from the map which direction to go? What could help to indicate directions on a map?
Assessment Have a students write a paragraph about the advantages and disadvantages of using their personal maps to find their way in their community. How “realistic” are their cognitive maps? Can anybody understand them? What needs to be included in a map for everybody to understand it?
Lesson 4 How do I find a Place on a Street Map of My Community?
Objective In this lesson, students will learn the differences between a cognitive map and a formal street map. Students will also learn about map scale and to locate landmarks using the street layout as a reference. Materials street map of the community colored pencils scratch paper cognitive maps developed in the previous lessons Procedure • Provide students with a street map of their community. Discuss with students the basic differences between their cognitive maps and a street map. • Explain to students that maps are representations: objects on the ground cannot be represented on a map at their actual size or with the same amount of detail. Point out the scale on the street map. Explain that the scale is a very important devise that allows for an easy way to tell the actual size of an object on a map. For example, a scale of 1 inch = 1 mile indicates that one inch on the map equals to 1 mile on the ground. Explain that a map scale is a ratio where one Unit on the map represents that same Unit so many times on the ground. • Explain to students that map scales are represented in different ways: 1 inch on the map = 1 mile on the ground, as a ratio 1:63,360, and as a graphic scale. The advantage of a graphic scale is that if you reduce the map, for example, with a photocopying machine, the graphic scale is reduced proportionally, remaining accurate. Nevertheless, the other two types of scale are not accurate once the map has been reduced. • Explain to students that large scale maps show objects with a lot of detail, whereas small scale maps show objects with little detail. One way to figure out which map will have more detail is by paying attention to the ratio of the scale: 1/10,000 is larger than 1/25,000,000. The first map has a larger scale and will show more detail. Explain to students that the street map they are using has a
large-scale map because it shows greater detail. • Explain to students that objects cannot be represented in full detail on a map; they have to be generalized. Some details of the object are represented on a map and others are left out. Symbols on a map are generalizations of objects on the ground. A common symbol for a church is small square with a cross on top and the common symbol for a school is a small square with a little flag on top. Ask students to identify other symbols on the street map. • Explain that to locate objects whether on the ground or on a map, we use a point of reference. Point out that a grid with vertical and horizontal straight lines is a good point of reference to indicate the location of objects on a map. Streets in a grid pattern are a point of reference. Ask students to locate on the street maps major community landmarks using street addresses. Assessment Ask students to make a list of the basic elements on a map. Have them choose one element and write a paragraph indicating why that element is so important for a map to be understood by everybody.
Lesson 5 Scavenger Hunt Field Exercise
Objective In this lab, students will learn to find their way in their community using a map. Materials street map showing correctly and incorrectly a number of important community landmarks colored pencils scratch paper for notes Procedure • Have students look at the street maps carefully. Does the map provide enough information? Are there any map elements missing? Are the symbols clear? Is the scale realistic? Are there landmarks on the map that may have been placed in the wrong spot? • In groups of four, students will walk in their community, trying to locate the landmarks indicated on the street map. Students should use their previous knowledge of the community as well as the street map to locate the landmarks. • Have students take notes of each landmark they find in the scavenger hunt. How does the landmark on the map differ from the landmark on the ground? What additional information did they gather in their scavenger hunt? Assessment Ask students redraw the maps using any information they gathered before, during, and after the scavenger hunt. Explain to students that ground truthing means to correct the information on a map based on additional information, such as previous knowledge and checking against the actual place, as they did during their scavenger hunt. Then have them write a paragraph about the cons and pros of ground truthing.
Lesson 6 Assessment of Student Learning about Community Maps
Objective In this lesson, students will create a concept map of the terms they have learned and heard discussed in the program thus far. The students will use the concept map to reinforce their understanding of community maps, wayfinding, and map interpretation as well as the role of computers in mapping. Materials Computer Paper and pencils List of terms and short answer questions from their notebooks Procedure • Students may use the computer to look up various terms until they have created a vocabulary list of key concepts and terms that will form the basis of their concept map or diagram. Students will draw a diagram that shows how key concepts and terms they have learned are related to each other. Students will group terms in classifications, hierarchies, itemizations, or other schemas they think best captures how key concepts are related. Students will use concept maps to generate a list of discussion questions. Students will take turns presenting their concept maps in small groups. Students will introduce one discussion question from their list to generate additional ideas about how to organize their concepts. Students will revise their concept maps based on the group discussion.
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Lesson 7 What is a map?
Objectives Students will learn the basics of map projections. Materials several three-dimensional objects, such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, and pyramids several two-dimensional shapes cut out on thick paper, such as a square, a rhombus, a triangle, whole orange with its peel knife wire sphere flashlight large piece of paper acetate copies of map projections Procedure • Pass around several three-dimensional objects. Ask students to define a three-dimensional object. Students should answer that a three-dimensional object has length, height, and depth. Pass around several two-dimensional shapes. Ask students to define a twodimensional object. Students should answer that a two-dimensional object only has length and height. Peel an orange and use the peel to demonstrate that in order to “fit” a threedimensional object into a two-dimensional object, a transformation must occur. Just like the orange, the Earth is a three-dimensional object. A map, on the other hand, is a two-dimensional object. Press on a piece of orange peel and show that the peel breaks as you flatten it. Pass around pieces of orange peel and have students repeat the same procedure. Explain to students that a map projection is a transformation that allows for a three-dimensional object to be represented using a two-dimensional object. Also explain that since Antiquity cartographers, the people who make maps, discovered that a map projection is similar to having a light shine on a wire sphere and projecting the shadow onto a piece of paper. Have volunteers
help you demonstrate the concept using the wire sphere, the flashlight, and piece of paper. Ask students to describe what happens to the shadow projected onto the piece of paper as you change the position of the flashlight. Point out that the angles between the wires, the areas enclosed by the wires, the distance between the wires, and the direction from one point to another change as you change the position of the flashlight. • Explain to students that map projections have four properties: area, angle, distance, and direction. In transforming the three-dimensions into twodimensions, at least one the properties of the projection will be distorted. Display an equal area map projection and explain that in this type of projection the area is preserved, but the angles are greatly distorted. Ask a volunteer to point out the distorted longitude lines. Display a conformal map projection and explain that in this type of projection the angles are preserved, but shapes of areas are greatly distorted, particularly of large areas, such as the continents. Ask a volunteer to trace the areas of Greenland and South America. What are their areas in real life? Display an equal distance map projection and explain that in this type of projection the distance is preserved, but only from one point to all points or from several points to all points. It is impossible for any projection to preserve the distance from all point to all points. Ask a volunteer to trace the distance from two points at the equator and two points near the South Pole. Display an azimuthal projection map and explain that in this type of projection the direction from one point to another is preserved. Further, in this type of projection the direction can be preserved along with one of the other three projection properties. So, it is possible to have an equal area azimuthal projection or an equidistant azimuthal projection.
Assessment Have students write a paragraph defining map projection using the example of the flash light shining on a wire sphere with its shadow projected on a piece of paper. Students should include in their paragraphs what happens to the four properties of map projection, as the position of the flash light changes in relation to the wire sphere and the piece of paper.
Lesson 8 What types of maps are there?
Objectives Students will learn about different types of maps. Students will also become familiar with common symbols used to represent physical and human features on a map. Materials different types of thematic (population distribution map, land use map) and reference maps (road map, topographic map) Procedure • Ask students to define what is a map and to list the most important parts in a map. Students should answer that a map is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object. Maps have title, author, date, compass rose, scale, map projection, and legend explaining the symbols in the map. Pass around samples of different types of maps and have students examine them. Explain to students that there are two basic kinds of maps: reference maps and thematic maps. Reference maps give general information about the location of specific features. For example, a road map is a reference map. It gives information about the location of streets, roads, highways, and so on. Point out that some road maps give the location of cities as well. Another example of a reference map is a topographic map. Topographic maps give information about the location of physical features, such as rivers, lakes, mountains, and so on. Point out that contour lines indicate the elevation of the terrain. The distance between contour lines is an indication of how steep or flat the terrain is. Close together contour lines indicate steepness whereas set apart contour lines indicate a flatter terrain. Point out that only the index contour has a label indicating the altitude. Point out that topographic maps have labels for latitude and longitude. Remind students that latitude is the distance, north or south, from the equator. Longitude is the distance, east or west, from the 0 Meridian. Have students read the legend. Ask them to identify several physical and
human features using the symbols in the legend and giving the location of the feature using latitude and longitude. • Explain to students that thematic maps show the distribution of a specific theme or topic in place. For example, a population distribution map is a thematic map that shows the distribution of people in a place. Have students look at the land use map sample and ask what it the theme or topic of this map? What type of land use is more common? Less common? Assessment Have student compare and contrast thematic and reference maps using a Venn diagram. Then have them write a paragraph summarizing similarities and differences between thematic and reference maps.
Lesson 9 The Basics for Taking Field Notes
Objective The purpose of taking field notes is to provide an archive, or official record, of the purpose, date, and location of your observations and data collection activities. Field notes record immediate impressions, communicate any special circumstances, and details that provide an important context for analyzing data collected during a field activity. For example, if photographs were taken at a particular location, field notes may record information about the weather at the time the photograph was taken or provide an explanation of why a particular photograph was taken. Here are some tips on how to write field notes for beginners. Materials Composition book Pen Digital Camera Procedure • • Students should be encouraged to always carry their composition book and a map of the area with them during field activities Students should record information about what is being observed, the purpose of the observation, and information that provides a context for the observation. Note the date, location, and type of data collection method used related to the observation. For example: January 1, 2005 4:10 pm Intersection of Broad and Cecil B. Moore Streets Took photographs of traffic at the intersection • Students should be encouraged to write notes neatly. Emphasize that the notes will be used at a later time to support other activities. Students may
write writing reports, compare observations, and analyze information gathered based in part on their notes. Students should be encouraged to draw diagrams, sketch maps, or diagram observations if appropriate. Students should note the names of their group members or work partners in the field. Students can compare notes with their group members or partners when they draw from them to create reports and complete other projects. Instruct students to note observations before consulting with other information sources. The purpose of these observation is to describe the context in which they are collecting data or gathering information gathered, circumstances related to data collection or information gathering, and impressions that students have at the time of your observations. This should be done before the students cross reference other sources of information or analyze data. Encourage students to describe only what they see individually if working in a group. They should describe only what they observe in the field. Students will write descriptions later based on their observations. Work with students on recording details and observations. These will provide contextual information that supports their analysis of data collected or information gathered in the field. After students have recorded their observations, encourage them to consult reference material to examine one aspect of their field notes in more depth. Perhaps they will compare a photograph taken during the field visit to one taken 10 years earlier that is available in the library.
Student field notes can be used as the basis for writing a report of your field observations, data analysis, or interpretation of information gathered.
Lesson 10 Collecting Data for a Map
Objectives Students will be introduced to the steps necessary in conducting field observation and data collection in their community for the specific purpose of making a map. Students will also learn about symbolization and the choice of data intervals. Materials 11 x 17 sheets of paper colored pencils writing pad land uses chart different base maps Procedure • Review with students the importance of field observation and data collection as necessary steps before one can make a map. Field observation and data collection consist in taking careful note of phenomena as they occur on the field. For field observation and data collection to be successful, it is necessary to determine: (1) what kinds of data are to be collected, which kinds are essential and which are not; (2) the scale or level of resolution of the data; (3) a classification system; and (4) a base map. Explain to students that they will be collecting data about the land uses visible from the street along both sides of the bloc where APM is located. Discuss with students about the kinds of data that constitute land uses. Display the land uses chart and ask students which uses may be essential and which may not. For example, students may have useful including land uses about building structures and not useful including land uses about farming. Encourage students to use their previous knowledge in selecting essential land uses. Discuss with students the scale of the data to be collected. Explain to them that they will not be concerned at this point with micro phenomena, such as
the different colors of paint on a building or the amount of garbage per square meter. • Discuss with students the classification system that they will use. Together design a land uses chart. Decide on what symbols will represent the different land uses. Pass around different base maps and have students decide on the best base map. For example, a street map may be better fit than a detail map of soils.
Assessment Have students write a paragraph summarizing the factors they need to keep in mind when choosing what land uses to map in their community.
Lesson 11 Field Exercise: Mapping My Neighborhood
Objectives Students will conduct field observation and data collection for a land uses map of their community. Materials 11 x 17 sheets of paper colored pencils writing pad Procedure • Have students draw an outline map of the street on the bloc where APM is located. Remind students to include in their maps a title, author, date, scale, legend, etc. Remind students about the importance of a legend: What symbols will they use to represent the different land uses they expect to find? In pairs, have students walk on one side of the street, keeping track in their maps of the different land uses and physical structures that they see, such as buildings, vacant lots, and so forth. Have students repeat the same procedure on the other side of the street. Have students share with the rest of the class their observations: Can they assess the most common land use? The least common? What type of buildings are predominate in this location? Are most buildings tall? Crowded? Vacant? In bad or good shape? Assessment Have students write a paragraph describing the street on the bloc where APM is located.
Lesson 12 Scale and Community Mapping
Objectives Cartographic scale can be defined as the ratio of the distance between two points on a map to the real distance between the two corresponding Cartesian coordinates portrayed (source: Columbia free dictionary online). We will analyze the scale that you used to draw your community maps and overlays during the last two weeks. Materials Community maps and layers drawn in prior lessons T-Square Two different colored pencils Vellum Procedure • Use a new sheet of vellum paper to create a new layer that we will use to analyze the distance portrayed on your community map. Register the layer using the registration points depicted on your base community map. • Draw a grid using one of the two colored pencils you selected. Use the tsquare to draw inch tick marks on the left and right hand sides of the vellum. Connect the tick marks using the ruler. Use the t-square to draw inch tick marks on the top and bottom of the vellum page. Connect the tick marks using a ruler. Your vellum layer should now be covered by a one inch square grid in one color. • Using the second colored pencil, draw four line segments connecting two point features from the base map on the new layer. • Label each segment numerically. Measure the number of inches for each line segment and note the total next to each segment. • Using Google Earth, zoom in on the area that is depicted by the community map that you drew. Make sure that the entire map fits within the area on your computer screen.
• Select the measure tool on the Google Earth menu. Use the tool to measure the real world distance for each of the four segments you drew on your vellum layer. Note the distance on the layer next to each line segment. • For each of the four segments, divide the real world distance by number of inches drawn to find out how much distance is equated with one inch. Express the scale for each line segment by completing this ratio: one inch = ? miles Discussion Questions • • • • Are the scales for each segment the same? Why or why not? How accurate was your community map in terms of scale? Discuss. How might you go about re-drawing the community map with one consistent scale? Could you redraw the map at a smaller or larger scale? If so, how?
Lesson 13 How do I find a place on a street map of my community?
Objective In this lesson, students will learn the differences between a cognitive map and a formal street map. Students will also learn about map scale and to locate landmarks using the street layout as a reference. Materials street map of the community (Get this from the computer lab) colored pencils scratch paper cognitive maps developed in the previous lessons Procedure • Provide students with a street map of their community. Discuss with students the basic differences between their cognitive maps and a street map. • Explain to students that maps are representations: objects on the ground cannot be represented on a map at their actual size or with the same amount of detail. Point out the scale on the street map. Explain that the scale is a very important devise that allows for an easy way to tell the actual size of an object on a map. For example, a scale of 1 inch = 1 mile indicates that one inch on the map equals to 1 mile on the ground. Explain that a map scale is a ratio where one Unit on the map represents that same Unit so many times on the ground. • Explain to students that map scales are represented in different ways: 1 inch on the map = 1 mile on the ground, as a ratio 1:63,360, and as a graphic scale. The advantage of a graphic scale is that if you reduce the map, for example, with a photocopying machine, the graphic scale is reduced proportionally, remaining accurate. Nevertheless, the other two types of scale are not accurate once the map has been reduced. • Explain to students that large scale maps show objects with a lot of detail, whereas small scale maps show objects with little detail. One way to figure out which map will have more detail is by paying attention to the ratio of the scale: 1/10,000 is larger than 1/25,000,000. The first map has a larger scale and will show more detail. Explain to students that the street map they are using has a
large scale map because it shows greater detail. • Explain to students that objects cannot be represented in full detail on a map; they have to be generalized. Some details of the object are represented on a map and others are left out. Symbols on a map are generalizations of objects on the ground. A common symbol for a church is small square with a cross on top and the common symbol for a school is a small square with a little flag on top. Ask students to identify other symbols on the street map. • Explain that to locate objects whether on the ground or on a map, we use a point of reference. Point out that a grid with vertical and horizontal straight lines is a good point of reference to indicate the location of objects on a map. Streets in a grid pattern are a point of reference. Ask students to locate on the street maps major community landmarks using street addresses. Assessment Ask students to make a list of the basic elements on a map. Have them choose one element and write a paragraph indicating why that element is so important for a map to be understood by everybody.
Lesson 14 Using Google Earth to Create Map Layers
Objectives Learn how to create and analyze map features located on different map layers. Learn how to scan hand drawn community maps and integrate TIFF files with graphic software applications and Google Earth. The main objective of this lesson is to provide students with an understanding of electronic processes associated with creating, editing and adding overlays to an existing spatial data set. In this case, the existing dataset is derived from satellite images that are available through Google Earth. The overlays will be created from the community maps students have already created. Materials Electronic version of community map, TIFF file format, stored on Classroom CD (or other media storage device) Computer Google Earth Software Notebooks and Pencil Procedure • • Open Google Earth on your computer workstation. Use the Add command to create a New Folder and Label it Student Work:MY Name (insert your first name). Save the folder in a temporary folder on your computer’s hard drive or on a media storage device. Use the Fly To command to locate the area that matches the location depicted in your community map. Frame what appears in the screen to match as closely as possible the area that you depicted on your map. Place the Classroom CD (or other media storage device) in the CD Drive (or media slot) of the computer.
Use the Add command to create an image overlay. In the first box, name your layer. Use the Browse tool to select your map from the CD you have placed in the CD Drive. Select your map and click OPEN. Notice that the map appears on the screen. Adjust the position of the map, stretch and rotate the map and set the opaqueness level until it matches as closely as possible the area shown in the satellite image. Write a description of your map in the description box that appears on your screen. Save your map when complete.
Use the Add command to enter 4 placemarks onto your map. The placemarks should identify locations or landmarks of significance in your community. Write a short description of why you think each place is important in the description box. Save each placemark in your Student Work folder.
Discussion Questions • • • How well does your community map layer correspond to the boundaries of the Google Earth Image layer? Explain a procedure that would allow you to create a layer that matches the scale of the Google Earth layer. What information does your map provide that is similar to the landuse information found in the Google Earth layer? What information does your map show that is not found on the Google Earth layer? Write two questions about the location you mapped that you have based on the overlay that you created. Describe how you might answer each question based on the use of overlays.
Lesson 15 Hands-on GIS – Making Layers using Acetate
Objective Students will learn about layering in GIS. Students will deconstruct a map by its various layers. They will create individual layers on acetate by tracing streets, building types, green spaces and surface lots. Materials 8 x 10 pieces of acetate Different Colored Overhead Markers Main Campus Maps Loose Leaf Paper Procedure • Explain to students that GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software uses layers to create maps. Each layer represents a different data set also referred to as a shape file. Some examples include streets, county lines, zip codes, buildings of different types, green spaces, and vacant land. Take a look at the main campus map and ask students if they can think of the different layers exhibited on the map. Students should explain what they see: streets, buildings, green space, parking lots and anything else they see. Hand out pieces of acetate and one marker to each student. Tell them to trace one layer onto the acetate. Students may start with whichever layer they choose…some students may begin with streets while others buildings and so forth. For each layer they should fill them in fully with the color they choose. Each layer should be a different color and on a separate piece of acetate. When they have completed all their layers they should put them together and look at the map they’ve created. Compare their layered map back to the main campus map.
Assessment Have students write a paragraph describing the look of their layered maps. Compare and contrast them to the main campus map. What layers did they represent on their map? What is missing if anything?
Lesson 16 Organizing Geographic Observations
Objectives During the BITS program, you have engaged in fieldwork throughout North Philadelphia. You may have been involved in the following activities: (a) investigating the local landscape to learn about health, economic opportunities, industrial activities, and historical communities, (b) analyzing maps and aerial photographs to learn about the location of elements of the landscape, (c) adding geographic information to maps that you analyzed, (d) taking digital photographs of elements of the landscape related to health, economic opportunities, industrialization and community history and (e) taking written notes to explain the importance of specific landmarks or locations, photographs taken, or other observations from your group. Today you will begin the process of organizing the documentation you collected as part of your fieldwork. You will learn how to create a blog, how to upload digital photographs to the blog, and how to link that information to landmark spots that you create using Google Earth. The goal of this lesson is to provide you with an understanding of electronic processes associated with creating digital documentation from the written records and observations that you have. Materials Digital photographs taken during fieldwork experiences Computer Google Earth Software Blogspot Website Procedure • Go to blogspot.com and create your own blog using the commands provided on the screen. Be sure to record the name of the site and your username and password so that you can edit the blog in the future. Open Google Earth on your computer workstation.
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Zoom into the location for your first field exercise, interpreting the Healthscape of Temple University. Use the measure tool to trace the path your group took during this field exercise. Use the place mark tool to identify the locations where you took written and photographic observations. Label the landmarks according to the location of the observation, your group ID, and the date of your field exercise. For each place mark you enter, create a separate Blogspot entry that describes the location of that landmark, what you observed, when you made the observation, and any additional documentation you have related to that observation. Upload any photographs related to that specific landmark. Describe the contents of the photographs that you uploaded. Using Google Earth, edit each placemark by creating a link to your associated Blogspot entry. Save your entries under your own folder in Google Earth.
Blog Examples Temple University Student Blogs <http://gus150.blogspot.com> BITS Participant Blogs <http://bits-blogger.blogspot.com>
Lesson 17 Where does my food come from?
Objectives The objective of this lesson is to introduce students to geographic inquiry through examining the connections between their community and the production, distribution, and access of food. Materials World Map U.S. Map Procedure Have students write a list of 10 food items they ate in the last two days. Include meals prepared at home, bought from store/card and food eaten at school. Then ask them to write next to each item the place where they think it was produced, for example, a farm in Iowa or in Mexico. Break Students up into groups of 3 or 4 to collaborate on their information and findings. Have them share maps to discuss where they think their food is coming from. They can mark locations on the maps in pencil and record information in their journals. Bring groups back together and go through the following questions: • • • • Ask students to identify on a world map the locations where the food items in their lists were produced. How many miles do they believe their food travels from point of production to getting in their hands? How long do they think it takes to get to their mouth? What types of diets are reflected among your students? Compare and contrast different foods cooked/consumed in various households.
Computer lab activity Have students look up the different foods they have eaten and where they may be produced. They should break down the components, i.e., a cheese steak has bread, steak and cheese. All the ingredients come from different locations. The
bread may be produced here in Philly while the other ingredients come from other places. Connect the locations on maps back to Philadelphia showing food routes from production to purchase drawing lines on their maps. Record findings in notebooks and on blogs. Assessment Have students write a paragraph describing how their diet reflects connections between their community and the rest of the world. Have them consider any new findings about food distribution. Were they able to guess correctly where food came from? Were they surprised by any findings?
Lesson 18 Food Mapping Exercise
Objective Students will map out various food outlets within their communities. They are to understand different types of food outlets and the magnitude of their use in particular neighborhoods throughout the city. Materials Sketch paper Colored pencils, markers Pencils Tape Procedure • Begin with large group discussion questions: What types of food outlets are located in your neighborhoods? List names and types: e.g. Fast food restaurants (chains like McDonalds, KFC, etc.), pizza/sub shop, Chinese food store, supermarket, corner stores, etc.) What do you know about these locations? Where does the food come from? What is it like? Consider such examples as: prepared food “big box” store (Target, WalMart, Kmart, etc.) supermarket specialty store corner store farmer’s market
garden other (explain) • Break students up into small groups 3 or 4 in each. Each group should represent a particular neighborhood in Philadelphia. • Have each group map out food locations (creating a map by hand) in their chosen neighborhood. The area should cover at least a 5-10 block radius. • For each location indicate by size how much the particular location is used. For example if there is a grocery store that the majority of the community uses to buy food it should appear larger than a seafood shop where only some people go. Use one color to designate all food sources on the map. • Use another color to indicate the routes people must take to get to the food. Include all different applicable modes of transportation: walking, public transportation, driving and biking. Have them record the amount of time it takes to get to each location (on average) for the various forms of transportation. Assessment • Have all students record discussion in their notebooks in small group settings. • Bring groups back together with their finished maps. • Appoint recorders from each small group to write important points on the maps and have someone write findings on blackboard as you discuss the following points: Where do people go most often to procure food and how do they get there? What food assets did you find? Are there gaps? What impact does the food available have on people’s diet and nutrition? On their financial resources? Other impacts?
Looking at map connections, consider what they mean to community people and what issues related to food you could define for your community. • Consider any similarities and differences among each mapped community by comparing the maps to one another. • Consider the connections among the different maps created by your students. Ask what issues arise around food and what they could mean for the community. • What are some ways that some issues could be alleviated?
Ableism: stereotyping, negative attitudes, and discrimination toward people based on a physical or mental disability resulting in discrimination and/or prejudice THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT, RACE AND CULTURE: this site offers information regarding ableism and resources related to the topic http://www.uvm.edu/~culture/site/frameset/frameset_ableism.html Arc: A line established by connecting a set of points. It has length but no area and often serves as one side of a polygon. Arcs may begin and end with nodes and have points of inflection defined by vertices. Areas: map symbols used to represent phenomena that are spread out over the earth’s surface Azimuthal projection: Distances measured from the center are true and distortion of other properties increases away from the center point. SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/CartHow/HowOrtho/howOrtho.ht ml Benchmark: A reference point for measurements, normally one that is used for elevation reference. Cartesian coordinates. A plane coordinate system in which the locations of points in space are expressed by reference to two or three planes, called the "coordinate planes" (x,y or x,y,z). Cartography: the art, science, and technology of making maps Choropleth map: A map with areas colored or shaded such that the darkness or lightness of an area symbol is proportional to the density of the mapped phenomena or is symbolic of the class. BLUE AND RED AMERICA, 2004: a site that defines what choropleth maps are and their many purposes. In this example, the site highlights the 2004 Presidential Election. http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~sara/html/mapping/election/election04/election.html
Cognitive maps: see mental maps Community: a group of people who live in an area and who share similar characteristics Conformal conic projections: at any point the scale is constant in every direction where meridians and parallels intersect at right angles, just as they do on the earth. The shapes of very small areas and angles with very short sides are preserved. SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjCon/projCon.html Contour lines: imaginary lines that join points of equal elevation above or below some datum Coordinates: used to represent location on the earth's surface relative to other locations in either 2 (x,y) or 3 (x,y,z) dimensions. Cylindrical projection: type of map in which a cylinder is wrapped around a sphere (the globe), and the details of the globe are projected onto the cylindrical surface. Then, the cylinder is unwrapped into a flat surface, yielding a rectangular-shaped map. Cylindrical maps have a lot of distortion in the polar regions (that is, the size of the polar regions is greatly exaggerated on these maps). SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjCyl/projCyl.html Daily activity pattern: systematic, daily schedule one may experience in their life. One can define their activity patterns by asking ‘where do I go every day’ and ‘For what purpose?’ Data conversion: The translation of data from one storage format to another for the purpose of transferring it from one GIS to another. It is also the process of transforming maps from manual to digital form. Database: A logical collection of files managed as a unit. A GIS database includes data about both the position and the attributes of geographic features Datum: a fixed elevation (i.e. sea level) used as the starting point for a vertical survey Digitizer: A device consisting of a table and a cursor (often with crosshairs and keys) that is used for capturing and recording the locations of map features as x,y Cartesian coordinates.
Disability: Any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being CENTER FOR ACCESSIBLE SOCIETY: for information on disability identities and demographics http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/demographics-identity/ DISABILITY IS NATURAL: a great site to use if you need to find more information regarding People First and the language associated with the movement http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/peoplefirstlanguage.htm Distortion: the inaccurate representation of a 3-dimensional object transposed onto a 2-dimensional object (i.e. the earth onto a map) SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/CartProp/Distort/distort.html Environment: The complex of social and cultural conditions affecting the nature of an individual or community. GREENMAP: a resource that is globally-focused and offers teams of individuals to explore the relationships between humans and their environment. This site offers such maps form across the world. http://www.greenmap.com/ Equal-area projections: the areas of all regions are shown in the same proportion to their true areas SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/CartProp/AreaPres/areaPres.ht ml Equator: 0 degrees latitude Equidistant projections: maintains constant scale along all great circles (shortest distance between any two points) from one or two points. It is not possible to preserve distances (scale) correctly throughout a map projection. SEE: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/CartProp/DistPres/distPres.html
Geography: The study of the earth and its features and of the distribution of life on the earth, including human life and the effects of human activity. ENCHANTED LEARNING: an illustrated glossary for basic geographic terms http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/glossary/ NATIONAL CURRICULUM IN ACTION: outlines standards in geographic curriculum in order to be implemented in the classroom. This site includes a glossary and a section on the use of ICT in geographic education http://www.ncaction.org.uk/subjects/geog/ VIRTUAL GEOGRAPHER: a website that offers some lesson materials and information regarding basic geographies http://www.colorado.edu/geography/virtdept/contents.html WOW! YOU’RE EATING GEOGRAPHY: information regarding the geography of food and consumption.This site includes lesson plans and additional resources regarding curriculum standards and lesson implementation. http://www2.una.edu/geography/statedepted/lessons/eating/Eating_Geography.h tml Gender roles: the appropriate activities, characteristics, etc. of women and men in a given space GIS: geographic information systems- organized collections of computer hardware, software, and geographic data that are designed to capture, store, update, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information ARCVIEW INTRODUCTION: a website devoted as a tutorial for ARCVIEW, a primary software component for designing and creating a specific GIS http://www.nps.gov/gis/av3_online/documents/section1/docs/section1_pg3.html ESRI: the main website of ESRI that provides information regarding the application of GIS http://www.esri.com/index.html NATIONAL CENTER FOR GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION ANALYSIS: an overview of over 75 different topics related to geography and GIS. It is structured in a lesson-plan outline for each topic. Topics range from GIS applications to map projections. http://www.geog.ubc.ca/courses/klink/gis.notes/ncgia/toc.html TOPOZONE: a web GIS that allows Internet access to every USGS topographic map, orthophoto map, and aerial photograph in the entire United States
www.topozone.com UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, EXTENSION SERVICE: a website that provides a glossary for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/DD6097.html UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CARTOGRAPHIC MODELING LAB: this site provides information on how to successfully research U.S. Census information and contains information from the 1990 and 2000 Census. Also, this site provides information regarding internet-based clearinghouses and GIS. http://cml.upenn.edu/download/index.asp U.S. CENSUS BUREAU: a webpage that outlines some FAQ’s and basic information about GIS and its application http://www.census.gov/geo/www/faq-index.html Graticule: term used to label lines of latitude and longitude Ground truthing: to correct the information on a map based on additional information, such as previous knowledge of the given place and fact-checking about the actual place Historical landscape: the historical narration of a given geographic region that focuses on who lived there, what happened there, and how did the deeds performed there forever change the functionality of the region in question. BRYN MAWR COLLEGE’S PLACES IN TIME: a resource to locate historical information about the Greater Philadelphia region, including maps, drawings, atlases, etc. http://www.brynmawr.edu/iconog/ PRESERVATION ALLIANCE FOR GREATER PHILADELPHIA: a website designed to surf through historical information about the Philadelphia metropolitan area, Pennsylvania, and other sites within the United States. This is also a resource to find more in-depth information regarding cultural landscapes and architecture and how they relate to the historical development of a given space. http://www.preservationalliance.com/links.php Iconography: The collected representations illustrating a subject Identity: the sense that people make of themselves through their subjective feelings based on their everyday experiences and wider social relations
NATIONAL COMMUNITY YOUTHMAPPING: another website designed around youth involvement in neighborhood discovery and development, and spatial organization http://www.communityyouthmapping.org/Youth/ Landmark: a feature that stands out in a place; they give identity to a place and serve as a way to find it Landscape: a mental or physical view of a portion of the earth’s surface at a given moment of time Large scale: comparative term for a map scale in which a relatively small area of the earth’s surface is represented in considerable detail (i.e. a Philadelphia metropolitan area road map) Latitude: angular measurement of north-south location, relative to the equator (also called ‘parallels’) Layer: A logical separation of mapped information representing a theme (e.g., roads, soils, vegetative cover). Layers are registered to each other by control points and the common coordinate system of the database. Lines: map symbol used to represent a feature that has a linear path on the earth’s surface (i.e. roads and paths) Longitude: angular measurement of east-west location, relative to the prime meridian (also called ‘meridians’) Map: any concrete (real map) or abstract representation (cognitive or mental maps) of the features that occur on or near the surface of the earth or other celestial bodies COMMUNITY YOUTHMAPPING: a site offering information and exercises centered on the spatial organization of their neighborhoods and the opportunities that neighborhoods provides to the children. http://cyd.aed.org/cym/cym.html RESOURCES FOR GEOGRAPHY 222: Ohio Wesleyan University’s Geography/Geology website is a great resource for finding information on mapping, map querying, and map databases. This site is authored by Dr. John Krygier. http://library.owu.edu/gg222resources.html TERRASERVER-USA: aerial photographs of the United States. The user can
locate any location via clickable maps or address locators. http://terraserver.microsoft.com/default.aspx Map overlap: The process of combining spatial information from two or more maps (called layers) from the same geographic area to derive a map consisting of new spatial boundaries and entities or themes. Map projection: the rendering of the earth’s graticule on a flat sheet of paper Mental maps: images we have in our minds that provides us with an awareness of the locations of places in the world Mercator projection: a type of rectangular map (a cylindrical projection) in which the true compass directions are kept intact (lines of latitude and longitude intersect at right angles), but areas are distorted (for example, polar areas look much larger than they really are). Mercator projections are useful for nautical navigation. Geradus Mercator devised this cylindrical projection for use in navigation in 1569 SEE: http://science.nasa.gov/Realtime/rocket_sci/orbmech/mercator.html Meridians: name used for lines of longitude Node: A point at which two or more arcs or lines meet. Also the distinct point in a feature where lines begin and end. Parallels: name used for lines of latitude People First: a statewide self-advocacy organization for people with disabilities PEOPLE FIRST OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: the main site for the People First organization in New Hampshire that provides the purpose and activities of the group and their goals http://www.peoplefirstofnh.org/ Places: specific geographic settings with distinctive physical, social, and cultural attributes Points: map symbol used to represent a feature that occurs at a single location (point) on the earth’s surface (also called nodes) Polygon: A two-dimensional figure with three or more sides intersecting at a like number of points. It is defined or bounded by a closed line or arc and has attributes that describe its geographic features.
Prime meridian: 0 degrees longitude Raster data: cell data arranged in a regular grid pattern in which each unit (pixel or cell) in the grid is assigned an identifying value based on its characteristics Real maps: any tangible map product that has a permanent form and that can be directly viewed Reference map: give general information about the location of certain features (i.e. a road map shows the location of the given area’s roads) Regions: territories that encompass many places, all or most of which share attributes different from the attributes of places elsewhere Scale: ratio of the distance between two points on a map and the earth distance between the same two points (see small scale and large scale) Segregation: Systematic isolation of one group, especially a racial or ethnic minority, from the rest of society Site: the physical attributes of a location; includes its terrain, soil, vegetation, and water sources Situation: the location of a place relative to other places and human activities; includes accessibility to roadways, nearness to population centers, and proximity to other social or cultural attractions Slope: The rate of rise or fall of a quantity against horizontal distance. It may be expressed as a ratio, decimal, fraction, percentage, or the tangent of the angle of inclination Small scale: comparative term for a map where a large area of the earth’s surface is shown in a relatively small space (i.e. the earth represented as a globe) Social networks: a map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds HOW TO DO SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS: a resource that explains in full how to determine social networks and the graphical represent them http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html
Social relations: patterns of interaction among family members, at work, in social life, in leisure activities, and in political activity Space: any geographic entity that can be measured in absolute, relative, and cognitive terms Spatial: Refers to phenomena distributed in space and therefore having physical dimensions and geography Spatial diffusion: the way things spread through space and time Spatial interaction: all kinds of movement and flows of human activity Symbols: a map generalization of a specific object or objects on the earth’s surface Thematic map: map that shows information about a specific topic that is usually statistical in nature Theme: The overall topic of a map layer in which the spatial variation of a single phenomenon is illustrated (e.g., a vegetation theme map might illustrate vegetative areas such as hardwoods, conifers, or grasslands) Topography: Detailed, precise description of a place or region Universal Design: The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design CENTER FOR UNIVERSAL DESIGN: information on universal design and the theory behind equitable use of amenities and resources for all citizens, regardless of disability http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/univ_design/princ_overview.htm Vector data: Data comprised of x-y coordinate representations of locations on the earth that take the form of single points, strings of points (lines or arcs), or closed lines (polygons) Visitability: making private homes built to be accessible for visitors with disabilities Wayfinding: a cognitive process of defining a path through an environment
General ARCVIEW ONLINE: A website devoted as a tutorial for ARCVIEW, a primary software component for designing and creating a specific GIS http://www.nps.gov/gis/av3_online/documents/section1/docs/section1_pg3.html BRYN MAWR COLLEGE’S PLACES IN TIME: A resource to locate historical information about the Greater Philadelphia region, including maps, drawings, and atlases http://www.brynmawr.edu/iconog/ CENTER FOR ACCESSIBLE SOCIETY: A resource for information on disability identities and demographics http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/demographics-identity/ CENTER FOR UNIVERSAL DESIGN: Provides information on universal design and the theory behind equitable use of amenities and resources for all citizens, regardless of disability http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/ COMMUNITY YOUTHMAPPING: A site offering information and exercises centered on the spatial organization of their neighborhoods and the opportunities that neighborhoods provides to the children http://cyd.aed.org/cym/cym.html DISABILITY IS NATURAL: A site to use if you need to find more information regarding People First and the language associated with the movement http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/peoplefirstlanguage.htm THE EARTH FROM SPACE: A clickable map of satellite images with captions interpreting the image; three images are of Philadelphia http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/ EMPORIS.COM: An Internet inventory of buildings in Philadelphia and other major cities http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/bu/?id=101032 ENCHANTED LEARNING: An illustrated glossary for basic geographic terms http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/glossary
ESRI: The main website of ESRI that provides information regarding the application of GIS http://www.esri.com/index.html GREAT MIGRATION CURRICULUM: An interactive web resource for curriculum and data related to the geography of the great migration http://gisforhistory.org/gm/teachergm.html GREENMAP: A resource that is globally-focused and offers teams of individuals to explore the relationships between humans and their environment, includes maps form around the world http://www.greenmap.com/ HEALTH ON THE INTERNET: A Map Resource related to Development and Health http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/int/geog/health/standard.shtml HOW TO DO SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS: A resource that explains in full how to determine social networks and the graphical represent them http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: A web resource that identifies human rights violations around the world. This link identifies issues of importance to the economic rights of girls and women. http://www.hrw.org/women/labor.html LEARNING MATH: A website that provides on-line lessons for learning math skills http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/learningmath/data MAKING MAPS: A website that provides chapter exerpts from Jon Krygier and Dennis Woods' book. The complete title is: making maps: a visual guide to map design for gis. http://makingmaps.owu.edu/ NATIONAL COMMUNITY YOUTHMAPPING: A website designed around youth involvement in neighborhood discovery and development, and spatial organization http://www.communityyouthmapping.org/Youth/ NATIONAL CURRICULUM IN ACTION: A website that outlines standards in geographic curriculum in order to be implemented in the classroom, includes a
glossary and a section on the use of ICT in geographic education http://www.ncaction.org.uk/subjects/geog NOODLE TOOLS: A website that provides interactive choices for interpreting the outcomes of Internet searches http://www.noodletools.com/noodlequest/ PRESERVATION ALLIANCE FOR GREATER PHILADELPHIA: A web portal to historical information about the Philadelphia metropolitan area and information about local cultural landscapes and architecture in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania http://www.preservationalliance.com/links.php RESOURCES FOR CARTOGRAPHIC INSTRUCTION: Dr. John Krygier's instructional and research website resources for cartographic instruction http://go.owu.edu/~jbkrygie/ TERRASERVER-USA: A website that provides aerial photographs of the United States, locations can be searched using a clickable map or address interface http://terraserver.microsoft.com/default.aspx TOPOZONE: A web GIS that allows Internet access to every USGS topographic map, orthophoto map, and aerial photograph in the entire United States www.topozone.com UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, EXTENSION SERVICE: A website from one of the most prestigious geography programs in the United States that provides a glossary for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/DD6097.html UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CARTOGRAPHIC MODELING LAB: This site provides information on how to successfully research U.S. Census information and contains information from the 1990 and 2000 Census http://cml.upenn.edu/download/index.asp U.S. CENSUS BUREAU: A webpage that outlines some FAQ’s and basic information about GIS and its application http://www.census.gov/geo/www/faq-index.html VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP OF PHILADELPHIA: A non-commercial virtual field trip
for Philadelphia http://www.geog.nau.edu/courses/alew/ggr346/ft/midatlantic/philadelphia/index.ht ml VIRTUAL GEOGRAPHER: A website that offers some lesson materials and information regarding basic geographies http://www.colorado.edu/geography/virtdept/contents.html WOW! YOU’RE EATING GEOGRAPHY: General information and standards based lesson plans regarding the geography http://www2.una.edu/geography/statedepted/lessons/eating/Eating_Geography.h tml
Appendix A Sample bITS Lesson and Student Work How do I define my community? Objectives In this lesson, students will be introduced to the basics of cognitive mapping. Students will start by drawing a map of the significant landmarks, roads, intersections, public spaces, and so on in their community. Students will then be asked to reflect on some of the factors that play a role in the definition of the features that they identified. What role do sensorial clues play in the definition of a landmark? What role does previous experience with a landmark play in its definition? Is there a difference between individual and group defined landmarks? Materials 11x17 sheets of white paper and colored pencils Procedure 1. Have students first brainstorm and then draw a map of the features that define their community, such as major landmarks, roads, intersections, public spaces, and so on. Remind student that the word community refers to a group of people who live in an area and who share similar characteristics. Community also refers to the area where a group of people live. Explain to students that a landmark is a feature that stands out in a place. Landmarks give identity to a place and serve as a way to find it. Examples of landmarks include a church, a park, a large billboard, a major intersection, or a vacant lot. 2. Ask students to label the features in their maps and to include a map title, the date, and their names. 3. Have students discuss the sensorial clues used in the definition of the landmarks that they have identified in their maps. Remind students that the word sensorial refers to the sense organs. For example, a large billboard is visible from a long distance, a bakery can be smelled blocks away, and a major intersection is noisy.
4. Then ask students to discuss what role previous experience with a landmark plays in its definition. For example, students may indicate that they chose to identify in their maps a backstreet as a landmark, because that was the place where they learned to ride a bicycle. 5. Ask volunteers to display their maps on the board. Is there a consensus on what constitute major landmarks in their community? Is there a difference between individual and group defined landmarks? 6. Have students discuss how far their community extends. Is there a consensus on the boundaries of their community? What factors seem to determine the definitions of what constitute the boundaries of their community? For example, students who walk to school and other public facilities may say that their community is smaller than students who drive to the same places. Assessment Using their cognitive maps as a basis, students will write a short description of their community, indicating major landmarks and its boundaries. At the end of the lesson, collect students’ maps for use in future lessons.
Sample Student Work
During our summer pilot project for bITS, students from Edison High School participated in a series of field exercises aimed at accomplishing the objectives described in our sample lesson. Here is a sample of their perspectives on the local community. They have written narrative descriptions of the neighborhood, identified problems that the community can address, taken and edited digital photographs of the community, developed maps of the community and compared maps they have drawn to maps available through on-line geographic information systems (GIS). “The Park” Narrative by Edison High School Summer Pilot Participants This picture shows how the community does not have any benefits from this park in the picture, which is part of Hunting Park. The picture shows how the people in the community have no access to the park. How do we know for example there is a game of dominos being played out side of the park why once again because there is no entrance to the park. Porky’s point is a restaurant a block down from the park it is one of the best restaurants around the area. We think that we should make this park clean and comfortable so that people get their they can go right down the block and eat in the park peacefully. The Park should be a place where the community should be able to go with their kids and family and relax in the park. The park should have benches and tables so when the people in the community want to go eat in the park they can or if the people in the community just want to go to the park and sit down and talk and do what ever they want. The park should also have swings and a slides so the when people brings there kids to the park there kids can go play on swings and get on the slides while the parents talk and watch there kids from the benches and tables that the park should have. I think that the park should also cut one or two of those trees down so that there would be room to make the swings tables and benches that would be used by the community and this how I think this park should be cleaned and fixed up.
Here is a good fact that this park needs to be cleaned well and make something useful out of the park, because all the park is doing is taking up space. Since it’s taking up space the park should be fixed for the community to use for many years to come. This picture here gives you a better view of what should be fixed and you will see how nice the park would make the community look like if the park was all cleaned up and fixed so that the community can have access to it.
Photographic Essay of “The Park”
“Trees on the inside, and…”
“People on the outside”
Mental Maps – Student Perspectives of the Neighborhood
Student Map 1
Student Map 2
Student Map 3
Appendix B Sample Program Feedback Form
BITS After School Program Fall 2005
Name: ________________ Group : ______________
Grade Level in Fall 2005 _________________ Courses taken in 2005 __________________
________________________________________________________________ Part A. Please answer the following questions about this program. List three important skills you learned during bITS After School program during Fall 2005. 1. 2. 3. Why did you consider these skills to be important or useful?
List three important geographic concepts that you learned during program this fall. 1. 2. 3.
Why do you consider these concepts to be important or useful?
What three technology skills do you learn or improve? 1. 2. 3. What are your interests in further developing these skills?
Part B: Please share your opinion about Summer Program. Please circle the response that comes closest to what you think. I learned about how to observe and document the community landscape. Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
I learned how to read and interpret maps. Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
I learned how to read and interpret air photographs. Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
I learned how to frame and take digital photographs. Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
I learned about careers in geography and other related fields. Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
Part C: Please indicate what you think about summer program. What did you like best about program this summer? Why?
What did you least like about program this summer? Why?
What activity or activities would you like to do more of next summer?
What activity or activities would you like to do less of next summer?
What activity would you like to continue in the fall? Why?
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