Communities and Map-Making a Hit with Prekindergarten Tortugas!


It’s all about communities and map-making in Ms. Wanda and Ms. Wren’s prekindergarten Tortuga class.
A couple of weeks ago, the students learned that a community is where people live and do other things. Since then, they have been doing many activities revolving around communities.
Below are pictures from a lesson in which students practiced their spatial awareness and map-making skills as they worked to build a community with blocks.
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Students have also learned about maps and how they can be used to help someone know where they are going.
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After the kids had a thorough understanding of what a community is, they were given a take-home community box project. First, each student chose a place in the community that they would like to make. Next, students took home the assignment – construct the place they chose out of a shoe box, cereal box, cardboard etc. over Fall Break.
Wow — our students did an excellent job! Each student brought in their part of the community this week…
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…and then the kids got to present the community box projects to their classmates.
This turned out to be the students’ first “Show and Tell”, so Ms. Wanda began with an example of how to present.
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Following Ms. Wanda’s example, students were excited and jumped right up to proudly “show and tell” all about the place in their community that they built.
Among the places constructed by the students? A school, pet shop, fire station, playground, Dunkin’ Donuts donut shop, Peter Piper Pizza restaurant, an apartment complex, a farm, a hospital, a mall, an “Avenger’s” skyscraper, movie theater, toy store, library, coffee shop, and a bus stop.
“It’s so amazing to me because every student, the building they made, is their own interest. … It reflected their personality,” said Ms. Wanda.
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As audience, students were engaged as they listened to their friends explain the projects. The kids politely clapped and said “good job” after each presentation.

Once the presentations were finished – and after a quick break to play outside – the Tortugas arranged all of their community box projects on the floor and collaborated to create roads for their Tortuga community.

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The students then drew maps of the community that they worked so well on – both individually and as a group.

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Ms. Wanda is extremely proud of her students. The Tortugas learned about themselves in September. This month, focusing on communities helped students connect that they live in a big world.

“They see everyday our school community, and we talk about that, but then we’re also expanding their knowledge base to help them understand that there is a bigger community at large. And so that’s what kind of started this whole study … to learn that there’s other things besides just your  home and just your school, but we’re all inter-connected. … They really got that concept with the map-making, and this … is a culmination of that whole community study. … The purpose of this was to help them understand that there’s things we can do {projects} and they can help create and reflect their personalities in the buildings that they created, which means it’s important to them,” said Ms. Wanda.

Wow, our students are very creative! We are so proud of the hard work each of you put in to making your part of the Tortuga community.