Posted by: resparish | May 11, 2012

Resurrection School Hosts the world’s Largest Pacific Ocean Map

Resurrection School students were found walking around in their stocking feet on one of the world’s largest maps depicting the Pacific Ocean.   The National Geographic map measures 26’ x 35’ and took up close to half of the floor space in the school gym, providing an opportunity for student explorers to engage in an interactive experience and activities in the study of geography.  Mrs. Bautista’s second grade students spent two days exploring the map and finding the deepest part of earth, the Marina Trench, to the world’s highest point, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which has its base on the ocean floor.  One of National Geographic’s curriculum series focused on “Ocean Commotion” which allowed the Resurrection students to travel the ocean surface along the paths of eight major currents, finishing in the middle of the Pacific garbage patch, where they learned about human impacts on ocean health.  This was followed by  “Shake and Bake” focusing on the Ring of Fire and the implications of earthquakes and volcanoes, and a  “Simon Says” activity to sharpen map skills, directions, and the ability to locate major physical and geological features in the Pacific Ocean.

The National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps program and curriculum were developed and funded by two $1 million Oracle Commitment Grants to National Geographic.    There are three of these large maps traveling the country and it is estimated that over 400,000 students will have the opportunity in this school year to interact with one of these maps.  Resurrection students were thoroughly engaged in moving about the brightly colored surface of the map as they explored parts of the world they never knew existed and bade a farewell to the large map that had become part of their extended classroom as it was rolled and folded up for its next journey to another school.