Identification and recognition, fine motor skills, visual problem solving, concentration, stamina, foundational knowledge of geography
WHAT IS IT?
Push-pinned maps are puzzles, made by the student, that help familiarize them with the geography of a continent, territory, or country.
The entire process of naming, tracing, dissecting, and then reconstructing a map allows for hands-on learning of geography. It also helps students practice their fine motor skills and problem solving abilities in both a visual and tactile way.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We begin work with puzzle maps by naming each continent, country, territory, or state on the map as we move the puzzle piece onto a laminated control map.
When we move the pieces back into the puzzle, we work from left to right, top to bottom (this trains the eye and brain for reading.)
Next, pieces are traced onto corresponding colored construction paper by a teacher or by older students themselves.
Children carefully make holes close together on the traced lines with a large pushpin so that the pieces can be "popped" out.
Students trace the control map onto a large paper, paint in the ocean, and then glue their pushpin pieces onto the map.
Finally, they cut out labels for each continent, country, etc., and use them to label their own map.
Throughout the process, students are extending their concentration, stamina, and fine motor skills—as well as their knowledge of Geography.