Friday, May 9, 2014

A Review of Overlap Maps

(I was given a free copy of Overlap Maps activity ebook in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.)

What a unique concept!  This may just be me, but I find the relative size of countries fascinating.  At http://overlapmaps.com, you can drag countries to and from anywhere!  Of course, this is educational in and of itself. :)

To take it a step further and make it school-ish, you can purchase (for $4.99 until 5/12/2014 through Educents) an activity ebook, which is a 57 page PDF explaining the concepts of the different kinds of maps (including why distortion occurs on flat maps), how to use Overlap Maps, and ten lessons.   Each lesson has facts to learn, a map activity and review questions, and is intended to be short and sweet.  You can print out the lessons and work through them with your child, or have them do it on their own (just make sure not to give them the answer key at the end ;) ).

I made my own Overlap Map, imposing Brazil over Kentucky.  You can see it hereKentucky is where I am, and I knew Brazil was big, but wow!

As a Charlotte Mason style educator, I typically shy away from contrived activities and worksheets.  However, I see Overlap Maps as a nice supplement to geography.  For example, we are studying Marco Polo in AO Year 3, following his journey from Venice to China, back across China, India and the east coast of Africa and back again, etc.  I think overlaying China, India and Africa over each other, comparing to Kentucky and Italy would be a fun way to look at the maps, as well as being memorable.  I won't be using the Overlap Maps ebook as indicated (fill out the answers), but I do think going over the facts in each lesson and doing the activity will be beneficial for my kinesthetic, big-picture, right-brained learner. :)

3 comments:

  1. Howdy from Texas! Your Marco Polo idea is fantastic. It's exactly the sort of thing I had in mind when I made that website.

    I used to cut out paper maps and overlap them when our kids were little; OverlapMaps.com grew out of that homeschool activity.

    Now that our kids are bigger, my wife and I make a variety of nontraditional books to help kids make sense of the scope of their world. For instance, check out Actual Size or the theory behind Amazing World Records.

    (Also more cool maps.)

    Our books are used in schools, but seem to really resonate with homeschoolers since you can do things like cook to teach.

    Anyway, it's great fun, and very gratifying to see real-life moms (like yourself) and dads and kids use them. Thanks for using OverlapMaps, and godspeed teaching those little ones.

    Best,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  2. . I think overlaying China, India and Africa over each other, comparing to Kentucky and Italy would be a fun way to look at the maps, as well as being memorable. www.containerhomereview.com

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