Academics, Middle School

Sixth Graders Create Topographical 3D Maps

A new crop of brightly colored and imaginative relief maps now adorn the walls of the sixth-grade classrooms. The maps are the result of the first major 6th grade Humanities project of the year.

The Island Project is a culmination of a major interdisciplinary unit on geography and culture. Students study the six themes of geography: physical geography, population, standard of living, resources, culture, and environmental issues. From there, working in groups, they imagine and create an island, bringing it all to life through a topographical relief map built to scale. The map must display the longitude and latitude location of the island, as well as a legend and labelled features.

“We’ve been learning geography and about how to read latitude and longitude lines,” says Sophie F. “I was responsible for labelling everything on our map and knowing about the lines really helped.”

In addition to better understanding geographical tools, students learn how to efficiently and effectively work in a group. They are required to draw up a group contract that details how they will support each other in the creative process.

“The Island Project is all about learning how to work in a community,” says Humanities teacher Julie Kim. “Through this project, the students learn how to work individually and acknowledge everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, including their own.”

See below for more pictures of the maps and a short video showing the creation process.