Help students practice learning to avoid the summer education slide (and to continue to learn for their whole lives) through reading. Use our weekly GNN articles, so that students can continue to expand their world and their understanding, even during the summer. Maps 101 posts articles throughout the year. We don’t stop just because summer is in the air, and the heat takes over!
Recognizing Stereotypes When students read, they need to focus on recognizing stereotypes and how they can affect students’ preconceptions while they read. This week, students should read the GNN article “Diverse Cowboys” and tackle the stereotypes people have about “The West” in general and also about African Americans. Write “The West” on the board. Then, have students respond with what they imagine when they think of the West from the 1800s. Point out how this article likely conflicted with students’ stereotype of a cowhand, or cowboy, and those of African Americans. You can also use the questions at the end of the article to promote further classroom discussion.
As appropriate for your class, open up discussion to other stereotypes people have of African Americans or other groups. Help students recognize that stereotypes can be limiting, hurtful, and ignorant, and they do not represent the truth.
More Maps 101 Connections: Have students read the GNN article on “Stagecoach Mary” Fields. How does Fields break stereotypes of both women and African Americans? Then ask students to research Annie Oakley and write a short biography that explains how Oakley also broke stereotypes. Have students compare and contrast Fields and Oakley. How did both women break stereotypes of what women can or should do for their time in history? How accepted do students think these women would be today? Have them explain their answers.
Forming an Opinion Revisit “The Wild West” Field Trip. Go through all of the points of interest, ending with the 14th entry, “Was the West Wild?” Write this question on the board. Then, have students discuss their opinion about the West. Have them explain their reasoning. Which points of interest support or refute their opinion about whether the West was truly “wild?”
Expanding Mapping Skills Refer to the complete interstate map and project it on the board. Then, ask students which highways they would take to get from different locations you have predetermined or allow them to brainstorm their own routes. Use Zoomify as needed to navigate the map to help students identify different routes.