Reading Takes Us Places

One of the newest bulletin boards I added to my classroom is this one:

I laminated a large world map and hung it on the board.  Nearby is a container of push pins and an atlas.

As we read different stories in our Harcourt reading series and many novels throughout the year, we will take a look at where the story takes place. For instance, our Harcourt story this week was called “The Night of San Juan”. Before reading, I had the students guess where San Juan is. Some said “Mexico”, others said “Brazil”, but one student was correct when they said “Puerto Rico”.

After reading and discussing the story, we went over to our world map and I had one student try and locate Puerto Rico without using an atlas – she was able to do it! We then placed a pushpin onto this location on the map. I would love to label the pushpins so we remember which stories each pushpin represents. Any ideas on how to do this??

One thing I determined is that clear pushpins do not work well! Unfortunately I have a plethora of clear pushpins, but these are nearly impossible to see on the map. I will need to pick up some nice colored ones to use instead.

I think this will be a great way to tie together multiple areas and learn some mapping skills as well. It will allow us to review continents, oceans, latitude/longitude, directions (N/S/E/W) and other important geographical terms. We can also see how books can take us anywhere, one of the things I love the most about reading!

Do you have any thoughts on how I can add to this idea and make it even better??

Update: I found some colored pushpins! Check out the difference:


Now you can actually somewhat see the dot at Puerto Rico!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris Ortiz
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 02:42:28

    Hey, Kim — great map activity! For the push pin labels, maybe try making a little “flag” w/the title of the book and tape it to the pin? Can’t see PR clearly, since it is so small (your red push pin is clear, though! ; ), but love that your students know where it is and have read something about it! Please tell them iHola! from Sen~orita Ortiz! ; )


  2. Julianne M. Daller
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 15:57:09

    My school has almost 100 English Second Language ESL students. They make a similar bulletin board to show where everyone is from. They attach different colored yarns to the clear push pin and attach it to another one in the ocean with a small sign that names the country on it. Yours could name the story and the country it is from.


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