Cartography, or the ability to identify specific states, countries, and regions on a map, is an important part of learning; however, many of our students struggle with this important skill. There are a variety of reasons for this. One of the most common learning barriers is that student differ in how they comprehend and perceive information. In other words, they need options for representing material in a way that works best for them.
Remember When You Were In School?
How did you learn to identify the location of specific states and countries on a map when you were in school? If you were like me, your teacher probably handed out a worksheet and colored pencils and asked you annotate and color each land portion.
This one-size-fits-all solution may have worked for my classmates, but I struggled with this particular strategy. For some reason, it did not "click" like my teacher had anticipated. I prefer more hands-on learning opportunities; however, that was not part of the curriculum.
I recently came across a simple tool called MapPuzzle, which would have been a helpful tool for learning about the different states and countries we discussed in history class. This drag-and-drop tool provides a digital option for students to master their cartography skills inside and outside of class.
Why do I like this tool?
- MapPuzzle is accessible to students of all abilities. What if a student cannot access paper and pencil? MapPuzzle provides an electronic option without having to recreate the wheel. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use on tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and other devices.
- It provides scaffolds and supports to help aid students with identifying specific regions. For example, each state, province, or country is listed and contains a corresponding shape to help students identify the land portion. This visual prompt may be helpful for some students, while others may not need it at all.
- MapPuzzle has different maps students can use to learn about the world around them.
- It takes a gamified approach to learning! MapPuzzle keeps track of the amount of time it takes for a student to solve a puzzle, which is a great tangible way of measuring growth and progress.
This looks awesome for my son. How do access Map Puzzle? I clicked on the link and my screen went black.
I'm so glad! Here's a direct link http://mappuzzle.xyz/?map=usa_states If that doesn't work, make sure that you check your browser. It works great with Chrome!Delete