Michigan map makes teacher’s methods memorable

By Daily News • Last Updated 8:40 am on Friday, December 30, 2011

Do you know the acronym “HOMES” to remember the names of the Great Lakes — Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior? Can you find them all on a map?
Third-grade pupils at Threshold Academy will be able to locate them with help from a new pull-down map of Michigan made possible by a grant from the National At-Risk Education Network, which is a private, nonsectarian, nonprofit educational agency dedicated to both promoting the success of at-risk youth in schools.
“Michigan studies” are the primary focus for third-grade social studies curriculum, according to the Michigan grade level content expectations.
“Third graders work hard all year long to become Michigan experts,” said Threshold third grade teacher Jodi Moffatt. “We learn about everything Michigan — the history, natural resources, geography, government and more. Our education includes a trip to the Michigan Historical Museum and the Capitol Building in Lansing.”
The third-grade Michigan experts also lead an educational assembly for the entire school during Michigan week in May. The map will be beneficial to students preparing for the program.
“I have challenged all of the students in the third grade to learn what I call the Michigan 4-by-4. Name four state symbols, four Michigan made products, four Native American tribes and four jobs early Native Americans did in Michigan,” said Principal Victoria Simon. “Students who learn all of those have met the principal’s challenge and receive a certificate.”
The grant also allowed Threshold to purchase hands-on Michigan maps for the students to use in the classroom for identifying natural resources, agricultural products, areas of consumer goods production, geographic formations and major cities. Using a variety of methods of classroom instruction including discussion, visual assistance through a map and hands-on activities helps make lessons more memorable.
“The students have been pointing out places in Michigan they have visited or they have lived. It is easier to share now that the whole class can see without an overhead projector in the way,” Moffatt said. “The maps are a wonderful resource that will benefit our school for years.”

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