Friday, December 4, 2015

Fun with Atlases

There is something really cool about being a PCV in Africa, and looking at a map of North America with my students. (It also makes me a little homesick.)

Last Friday my Library Club met and we learned about atlases. We have a great big atlas with a hardcover as well as five  small paperback atlases. Just like in America, these books are restricted to in-library use only. The students had never used them before, so I showed them the different kinds of maps and information located in the atlases, and how to use the index to find different countries. The atlases are localized so they featured a few African countries like Zanzibar and Malawi, then had maps and information about north, central and southern Africa, each of the other populated continents, and then a section on the whole world.
I showed them where the U.S. is and where California is. I also showed them Scotland, since we have a partnership with a Scottish school. And then I had them all find Moldova on the map, where Colii is!

These students were the first ones to find Moldova on the map. I had to help some of the others because, you know, Moldova is kind of small. To be fair, Malawi is really small too. The kids actually laughed when they saw how big the U.S. was in comparison.

After teaching them how to use an atlas, it was time for the competition! Each team received two atlases and had to answer the following questions:

1) Name the country that is directly north of Chad

2) Name the type of vegetation that covers the largest area in Malawi

3) Name a city in North America that has over 10,000,000 people

4) Name one of the countries in Africa that has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections

The winners got stickers which they were really excited about. But everyone left with a little more knowledge about the world and the library. Librarian success!

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