TechRecipe: Math Maps & More

Use these reusable maps (& more) to help students learn math concepts like: angles, perimeter, area, shapes and much more.

Ingredients:

  1. Google Maps
  2. Screenshot program (ex. SnagIt, Greenshot, Skitch)
  3. Large format printer (ex. Epson 3800)
  4. PowerPoint
  5. Laminating machine
  6. Dry erase markers
  7. SlideBoom (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fun and simple way to enhance your math lessons and it takes very little time to accomplish. Using Google Maps (or any map program) find some map locations that have an interesting street pattern (full of angles, shapes, etc.) and screenshot them.  I pasted my screenshots into PowerPoint so I could add directions, lines, and more.  PowerPoint also gave me the flexibility to make changes later on, save them as individual images, put the images up on the projector, and share them via Slideboom... which I did below:

 

 

Once I had my slides created, I printed them on an large format printer (I printed them 17x22) and had them laminated.  Now, with the addition of some dry erase markers, I had the perfect platform for students to discover and measure angles, establish the perimeter of some shapes they found, and much more.  The students had a nice time with these and I think it really helped them to understand some concepts with which they were struggling.

Punch a whole in the corner of each map and stick a ring into them so you can hang them up in an approachable part of your classroom so students can use them during choice time; who knows what other uses for these versatile resources that students will come up with (challenge them to do so). 

A few bonus items: I discovered the back of these became an impromptu whiteboard; I could print the PowerPoint slides as letter sized "worksheets"; and it opened up the possibility to talk about maps and city design.  It also occurred to me that you don't need to limit this activity to maps, university logos, professional team logos, pictures from around your school, etc. would work too (see examples of this on the slideshow above).  The activity was also a lot more collaborative than I thought it was going to be... which was nice.

To extend this activity, teach students how to use Greenshot, paste their images into PPT and share with each other.  Cool.

I would enjoy hearing from you if you try out this recipe.  Make sure to let me know what improvements and modifications you made.