Map Making and City Investigations


My Spanish 3 students have been learning about places in a city.  Eventually in this unit, they will be learning how to give directions and read directions.  A map making activity seemed like a logical extension activity and I thought about how I could use modern technology to enhance that basic lesson.

I played around with a website called CommunityWalk where users can make maps using the GoogleMap satelitte images.  There is no log-in and no software necessary.  I researched about 25 cities in the United States: each was at least 25 miles from a major metropolitan area and each city had a Hispanic population of 50% of higher.  Students each chose a different city and looked for real life places in these cities.  For example, they had to find a hair salon, or peluqueria, in Odessa, TX or Salinas, CA.  This real world application made the map activity a little more relevant and I think made an impression.

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The maps that my students created are marked with Spanish vocabulary words of the places in a city we have been studying.  We will be using these maps later in the unit when they learn how to give directions.  They will be giving real world directions, navigating through the streets of Haverstraw, NY and Hollister, CA.

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2 thoughts on “Map Making and City Investigations

  1. Wow – Qué impresionante!!! I’m an international Spanish/EAL teacher working at the International School of Tanganyika in Tanzania. I am presently working with my 5th grade students on a project for story telling where they had to incorporate some of our vocabulary from our geography and mapping unit. We are a PYP school and so our Language lessons tend to integrate topics from some of the units of inquiry topics. I love the idea of presenting this mapping activity with labeling places in Spanish – it looks like your students used REAL LIFE skills to complete this project! We should share some more ideas and have our students share some more of their work with one another. My email is: tpeterson@istafrica.com I (we) look forward to hearing from you pronto!

    Sra. Tamara de IST

    1. I think it would be great if we could work on some type of collaborative project. I don’t exactly know what we could maybe do, but I just think there is something out there we could do. I’ll think on it and email you later. Thanks for finding my post and commenting!
      Hasta Luego!

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