Thursday, April 18, 2013


Mr. Jack instructed the children on how to read maps during homeschool class today.  The children are so accustomed to science topics with Mr. Jack, they were taken back by the maps.

Mr. Jack explained how to find north and the difference between true north and magnetic north.  He asked the children how people use to figure out which way was north when they didn't have compass.  He then asked the children why knowing how to use a map is an important skill.

The children were excited to find places on the maps.  Mr. Jack gave each one a paper scale to use during the class.  He called out cities for them to find and measure the distance from one to another.  He explained that what they were calculating was not actual driving distance.  They discussed why it wasn't and why some of the groups disagreed slightly over the actual distance.

He had them find a city and then tell them to find a city that was due west or southwest.  He also taught them how to use a street legend and find streets on a city map.  The children looked up the street and found its coordinates.  They then located various places Mr. Jack called out.

Mr. Jack discussed how the streets of Chesnee were named.  The children called out various state names of streets and told him what direction the street ran.  They found out that state named streets ran north to south.  The streets that ran east to west were named after prominent statesmen and revolutionary war leaders.

Finally, Mr. Jack had all the children sit down and he showed them Google Earth and a few other map programs on the computer.  He also showed them maps that were made over a hundred and fifty years ago.  He explained how it is important to have the right map for looking up historical events.  Streets change and paths that may have been labeled over a hundred years ago, may not be on a current map.  Egee volunteered to read map directions to an unmarked grave site of the relatives of Wade Hampton.  Mr. Jack showed the children how historical archaeologist are using the old maps and new maps to get a rough idea of the location.

Overall, the children had a good time and learned valuable map skills.  Mr. Jack said they would learn more about maps and directions next month.