With the National Grade Six Assessment finished, and the bulk of their primary education behind them, the soon-to-be graduates of Arthurville Primary School wanted to leave their mark on the institution that brought them to this point. Having only three months left in their primary school careers, the twelve students of Arthurville Primary’s Grade Six class embarked on a journey to expand their understanding of the world. Over the course of the final term, the students learned about other cultures, cartography, and art forms from around the world. The project culminated with a world map they traced, painted and labeled themselves. The final product, a colorful outline of every country on planet Earth proudly hangs in the corridor on the upper flat as not only an aid for geography lessons but also a legacy of the graduating class of 2019.
Using the termly scheme for the class, cultural lessons and cartography lessons were adapted to fit the standard schedule. Students were excited to read books with folktales from China, Russia, and Mexico. Before each lesson, students identified the country on a map to give them physical context for the story. The same tactic was done with the parts of the map we studied – compass rose, scale, lines of longitude and latitude. Through games and activities, we blended the Grade Six curriculum with the information they would need to complete the World Map Project.
After a month of classroom lessons, the students were given designated assignments for the different roles they would carry out during the map project. Those students who excelled at tracing during the practice session were named the drawing team, those who had precise painting skills would be the ones adding the color to the map. Roles were delegated in this way so that each student could contribute in a way that played to their strengths. Eager to do the best at their job, the students took care and accountability for their contribution to the large scale project.
Throughout the gridding, tracing, painting and labeling the students learned country locations, names and cartography skills. They were able to learn by doing the work themselves and learning that Canada has many northern islands, Europe is a dense group of countries and South East Asia has a multitude of island nations. On account of some rushed work compounded by the limited size of the background for our map, there are a handful of smaller countries that are not accounted for on the finished product. We are apologetic to these nations for their unintentional omission.
Overall, the students were committed to seeing the project through until the end and are proud of their accomplishments. As a final act of ownership over the project, each student of the Grade Six class left their handprint and signature around the border of the map. On the last day of school, they received a certificate for completing the World Map Project. The students toasted each other with a pine tart in one hand and a Soca drink in the other reflected on their hard work not only for the past three months but their entire six years of education thus far. The staff, parents, and pupils of Arthurville Primary School would like to thank FROG for their investment in our school.