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During the uncovering of interesting Canadian place names, students were challenged to create a map of Canada 10 times larger than the template they were given. Using grid paper, meter sticks and a whole lot of cooperation, each group successfully crafted a province that accurately pieced together with its neighboring province.

While the students were in their groups enlarging their assigned province, one group asked the question, “Is this what Ontario really looks like? Mrs. Fischer, where did you get this map we’re enlarging?” Quite unprofessionally I suppose, I retorted with, ‘What do you mean, is this what Ontario really looks like?’ I know they’ve looked at atlases and labeled maps before…but it wasn’t until they mapped their ‘shape’ onto grid paper, outlined it, cut it out and then stood back that they really saw it, Ontario. Was it for the first time?

Our intention is that this map will become and interactive piece to our students’ work. That the place names and stories uncovered will somehow live in the classroom and on this map. We hope this hands-on, creation of ‘shapes’, now understood to be provinces (Ontario) will engage the students into a deeper level of wanting to know the stories behind the stories of the names.


Copyright 2006 - Lisa Temrick & Karen Fischer

Glendale Elementary