Academics, Middle School

Students Imagine and Create Their Own Islands

A new batch of brightly colored relief maps are now adorning the walls of the sixth grade classrooms. They are a result of the first major Humanities project of the year. 

The Island Project is a culmination of a major interdisciplinary unit on geography and culture. Students study geographical elements, such as region and human/environment interactions and determine where their island will exist on Earth. From there, they develop the characteristics of the island, bringing it all to life through a topographical relief map built to scale. The map must display the coordinates of the island's location, a legend, labelled features, and a compass rose. Subsequently, students design a travel brochure that details the island’s life, culture, climate, and ecology. 

The comprehensive project is a favorite for many sixth graders. Evan B., whose island, Glacea, is located between Russia and Alaska, enjoyed making the travel brochure the most. "I like to write, and being able to create the backstory was my favorite part of the project," he said.