A lesson in mapmaking (and so much more!)
When a fourth grader told me “The Gambia is a big country,” I knew I had to do something. Since I can’t take Gambians around the world, I decided to bring the world to Gambians! Using a Peace Corps manual, we created a giant world map in our library.
We learned that The Gambia is actually really small and a whole lot of other things along the way:
- Drawing 1,568 squares is even harder than it sounds.
- Footballer Lionel Messi is from Argentina.
- Antarctica is cold.
- America and The United States are the same place.
- Europe and America, formerly known in The Gambia as “Toubabadoo,” are not the same place.
- North and South America are two different continents.
- Red and pink are two different colors.
- Don’t work on an empty stomach.
- Kids can help too! You just have to teach them.
- People live in the middle of the ocean (on islands).
- How to measure with a ruler.
- Multiples of six.
- How to draw to scale.
- The United States of America is not the biggest country.
- Portugal (where footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is from) is in Europe.
- Spain (home to football teams Barcelona and Real Madrid) is next to Portugal.
- The meaning of north, south, east and west in English.
- Painting the borders is hard.
- Everybody makes mistakes. And that’s okay.
- Don’t give up.
- The world is big!
To see the step-by-step process of how we made our map, click here.