TOOLKIT: AMATEUR CARTOGRAPHY
SUBJECT: VISUAL ART / SOCIAL STUDIES
ARTIST: JOHN PEÑA
GRADE: recommended 6th-12th grade
Students create a map of their school from memory.
Students reflect on their surroundings and the sensorial ways in which they interact with their space.
Students reflect on the variety of personal and idiosyncratic ways in which people observe and understand their surroundings.
1. What is a map? How do you use one?
2. What is the purpose of a map?
3. How can the design and content of a map inform you about the people or culture that generated it?
1. Word Balloons, (2014) by John Peña
Students draw a map of their entire school from memory. Students include landmarks or notable sites that help people read the map. Encourage students to create a map based off of traditional and nontraditional (i.e. sounds, smells, textures, etc.) modes of navigation to help guide someone through the school. After everyone has completed their maps, find a place to display them in the classroom. Look at them together as a group. Compare and discuss the variety of ways that each student organized and depicted the school. Even though all of the maps are of the same place, how do each of the maps differ? What places and spaces in the school did different people highlight or ignore?
As a class, design and create a large-scale map of the school. Combine the best of your individual maps to create a collective image of your environment. Install your large collaborative map in your school. Pick a location with good visibility so that people will notice it. Document with photographs. Include people in your pictures to give a sense of scale.
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PENNSYLVANIA CORE STANDARDS
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
-conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration
-know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities
-recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review and revise original works in the arts
-recognize and use fundamental vocabulary within each of the arts forms
-use knowledge of varied styles within each art form through a performance or exhibition of unique work
-demonstrate the ability to define objects, express emotions, illustrate an action or relate an experience through creation of works in the arts