People Map People Map

(Adapted from the lesson found at Wilderom)

Time
15+ minutes

Materials

  • People

  • Room

  • Map or globe to assist in geographic representation

Objectives

  • To get to know the group

  • To learn about where everyone comes from and how they are related geographically

  • To begin thinking about how neighborhoods create cities and how cities relate to the world at large

Procedure

Inform the students that they will be creating a “human map” by standing in relation to where they belong according to the given topic.  Instructors should participate in the activities so that the students learn a little bit about them as well.  After the group has finished arranging themselves, have them explain where they are and make adjustments to the “map” as needed. 

Neighborhood
Establish boundaries of the room as the boundaries of the neighborhood.  Decide which direction is north (you may need to use a landmark so the students understand where north is) and ask the students to arrange themselves according to where they live.  The distance that they stand should represent a similar distance on the ground.

City
Establish the boundaries of the room as the city of Memphis.  Have the students arrange themselves according to where they would most like to live.  After they have arranged themselves, ask them where they are and make necessary adjustments.  Once the map is finalized, ask each student why they would choose to live there.

Country
Establish the boundaries of the room as the borders of the United States.  Have the students arrange themselves according to where they were born.  If they all end up standing in the same place, have them arrange themselves according to where one of their parents went to high school.

World
Establish the boundaries of the room as the world and have the students arrange themselves according to where they would most like to visit.  You may need to give assistance either as a geographic guru or as an individual who knows how to look a city up in Google maps.  Once the group has arranged themselves, ask each student where they are and make needed adjustments.  After the map is finalized, ask each student where they are, why they would like to visit this city, and one thing that they know about the city or country in which they are standing.

Students’ Choice
Ask the students to agree on what the boundaries of the room represent and have them choose a topic for the map then arrange themselves accordingly.  Once the necessary adjustments have been made, have everyone go around and discuss where they are.

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Last Updated: 12/4/11