“Mapmaking, in the broad sense of the word, is as important to making us human as music, language, art, and mathematics…Mapmaking helps children to build a sense of commitment to a place and community – to inspire kids to care deeply and to want to make a difference, stewardship springs from connectedness.” – David Sobel
Mapmaking may well inspire kids to care deeply about their neighbourhood, but it is also a wonderful way to kick start some creative work. This neighbourhood study toolkit has been designed for primary school students but as I am fond of saying; why should the kiddies have all the fun?
When I run my Travels With A Donkey course we invariably make maps of our local areas and go on neighbourhood walks seeking inspiration in everyday places. I actively promote creative foraging or gleaning.
In this playful introduction to maps and geography, step by simple step, a young girl shows readers herself on a map of her room, her room on the map of her house, her house on the map of her street–all the way to her country on a map of the world. Once the reader is familiar with the maps, she demonstrates how readers can find their own country, state, and town–all the way back to their room–on each colorful map. Easy-to-read text, bright artwork, and charming details give children a lot to search for and will have them eager to help navigate on the next family vacation.
To assist with your first scavenger hunt here is a list of things to look for
A place where garbage trucks live
A place where birds can relax
A place where skateboards have the right of way
Someone unloading a truck
Someone double-parking a truck
A hospital’s emergency room entrance
A police station
A place where you can get a flat tire fixed
A place where you can swing on a tire
Someone taking a bus out of town
A place to store stuff
Someone at work, making the city cleaner, more beautiful, or safer
Eight trees in a row
A family recipie from a local resident
Graffiti in a wash room
A lawyers business card
A bird that lives in the water
A place where rain can go that’s NOT a gutter
A barber, a dentist and a food pantry
Three different fliers or posters for performances
Secure an autograph from someone who works in the neighbourhood
Remember! This is not only a mission to look and see more deeply! The challenge is to find a creative way to share the experience. What will you do?