As students are starting a new story or book, this activity gives them an opportunity to mark where they live in comparison to where the story is taking place. With each book and story, they are building a "mental map" with more and more location points and facts around the world.
Sometimes I feel like the geography part of my brain is missing as I am completely challenged by geographic-spatial directions. After marrying a GIS Analyst and seeing how much he enjoys studying maps, I realized what a cool opportunity I had been missing to give students geographical reference points to everything that they were reading.
In the preview, you will see that I used a map zoomed in on Virginia with a red star to mark our location. I used the census data to get the land area and population as other comparison facts. Depending on the age and ability level of your students, it might be easier to do the "Your area" part before making copies so that students can focus on finding the location and information about the book/story area.
In addition, the back of this activity includes a space called "Zoom in" where students are asked to sketch an area from the story, making sure to use specific details from the book. This can be used as a visual reference as they continue to read.
Because I developed this activity for a reading group in Virginia, there are Virginia Standards of Learning references at the bottom of the sheet. This is also set up as a two-sided half sheet to save paper. (Tip: Copy double sided for half the number of students in class then cut the pages in half)
Included with your purchase:
-- PDF of activity with VA standard references (2-sided half sheet)
-- PDF activity without standard references (2-sided half sheet)
-- Editable Publisher file (fonts may not convey)