Monday, January 27, 2014

National Geographic's Giant Map of North America

National Geographic has a wonderful educational program called the Giant Traveling Maps.

Today we explored the continent of North America!
This map measured 26' by 35' and filled the Multipurpose Room!

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The explorers used cones to create mountain ranges like the Rocky Mountains seen below. 


Some students used the blue plastic chain to trace the path of important rivers. Below we see the flow of the Mississippi River. The "Mighty Miss" begins at Lake Itasca,  Minnesota, and the Mississippi Delta is found in Louisiana. 

What are some of the Mississippi River tributaries?
(A tributary is a river that flows into another river.)

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We played a fun Find the 50 States game. What were some difficult states to locate? What did you notice about the western states compared to the eastern states? 

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Below are some photos from our time on the map. Students,  research some facts about North America in World Book Online! Share a quality comment this week!

You have permission to add these photos to your camera roll on your own digital device at home and create a project of your choosing. Make a Google slide show! Skitch up a photo! Create a digital report using an iPad app! All ideas are welcome!

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What counties are found in Central America?

Every country has a national capital. A nation capital is marked with a star and a circle around it. What are some national capitals you discovered today? 

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Share some facts about Greenland! 

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Look at the five Great Lakes Skitched up by Aashi! Where does this water flow? Find the watershed! (Hint: It's an ocean.)

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Everyone loved the Four Corners region! Why does this region have that name? 

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Notice the scale below the red dot. How do you use a scale?

How many miles is it across North America? 

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The map key was quite useful. What are some of the symbols on this map key? 
Click to enlarge. 

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Hawaii is an archipelago. What is an archipelago? Are there any other archipelagos in North America? 

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One of the activities that came with the map was a lesson about North American landmarks. 

Here are a few that were located.

Research some facts about these famous landmarks!

Niagara Falls

The Everglades

Mt. Rushmore

Grand Canyon

Panama Canal

CN Tower in Toronto, Canada

Here is a video Mrs. Yollis made a few years ago on this map. Enjoy!

Students, please share your knowledge and experiences! Leave us a quality comment or two this week!


Happy exploring!


  1. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I didn't know that the Rocky Mountains went from Canada to the United States! I'm surprised it made over the border. I wonder what it is like to be at the top of them. I hope I get to see them one day.


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      @ Chance,

      Yes, the Rocky Mountains extend down from Canada. I wonder which peak is the highest? Where do the Rocky Mountains end? Perhaps you can share some facts from World Book Online with us!

      Your geography-loving teacher,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

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    2. @ Mrs. Yollis,

      Wow! The Rocky Mountains are a heck of a mountain range! They extend from Canada? I didn't know that! I wish that I could climb the Rocky Mountains!

      Do you wish to climb the Rocky Mountains?



  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    There are three different types of bears in North America.
    North America has the largest bear in the world.
    The Alaskan brown bear is the biggest bear. It can weigh up to 1,700 pounds.
    That is bigger than the polar bear!
    The North American black bear is very good at climbing trees.
    Polar bears can find seals that are under ice and snow even if they are 10 miles away.
    How many different species of bears are there in the world?

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      @ Nick,

      What a wonderful comment about the three different types of bears in North America!

      Mr. Yollis once went fly fishing up in Alaska. He fished on an island called Kodiak Island. This island is home to a subspecies of bears called Kodak bears. See if you can find any facts about them! I believe the male Kodak bear is bigger than a polar bear. Is that true?

      I can bear to wait for your reply! ;-)
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Dear Mrs. Yolis,

    North America is the third largest continent and contains 23 countries. I was surprised that the Caribbean Islands are part of North America. Several years ago, I went on a vacation to the Caribbean. I loved the warm weather and the clear blue ocean waters. I also loved the toys for sale and brought home a wonderful doll! What is your favorite place in North America to vacation?



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      @ Sydney,

      Excellent contribution! I like how you mixed your World Book Online facts with your own personal experience! It made it a pleasure to read!

      You mentioned that North America has 23 countries. How many countries do the other continents have? Maybe you or someone else can compare and share continent facts. Which continent has the most countries? I am going to guess that Antarctica has the fewest countries.

      I enjoy vacationing in Minnesota. We have a lake cottage there and it is so relaxing to float around in the fresh water lake. Sometimes I even go fishing!

      Looking forward to learning more from you!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

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    2. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

      Archipelago means a group of islands. Thanks for the great word. I will try to use it tomorrow when we visit the enormous map of North America.

      Did you know that our population is 321,137,000 citizens? Wow! That's 297,497,000 more citizens than Australia. Also, women in the United States can live up to about 81 years, while men only live for about 76 years. So, if there was a super human who was half man and half women, it would live up to 157 years altogether ;).

      Your North American,

    3. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

      Thank you for your extraordinary comment. I loved how you talked about Minnesota and how you like to fish. I went fishing over the summer in Michigan.

      I wonder if the fish in Minnesota are similar to the fish in Michigan? Also, how big is your lake? When I go to Michigan and stay at my family's cottage, it is on Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is one of the great lakes. Have you ever been to Lake Michigan or any of the other great lakes?

      Your lake friend,

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Did you know that Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans?
    My Papa was born in Denmark. Also, did you know that Greenland is the world's largest island.

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Going on the map was fun. I went on World Book Online, and I compared United States with Mexico. It said that we have more people than they do. The life expectancy for a male is also higher, and life expectancy for a female is higher, too.

    What do you know about Mexico and United States?

    P.S Everything you could compare is higher in the United States than in Mexico.

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    That was a grand glimpse of our continent. One fact is that Central America is the connector for North and South America. The other fact is that North America looks like a triangle.
    The last fact is that people started to come to North America in the 1400's.
    It is a lot of fun learning about the map. Do you know what year and what month and what day the USA got freed from England?



  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are some interesting facts about North America.

    Did you know that Lake Superior is one of the five great lakes, it's also the largest freshwater lake in the world.

    Niagara Falls is a famous area of water on the Niagara River. It has two water falls, one in Canada the other is in the United States.

    Some of the animals that live in North America include the grizzly bear, bald eagle, snake, moose, owl .and deer.
    I know this because of the 500 piece North America puzzle map I put together.


  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have some facts that compare the United States to Canada:

    1. United States: Population - about 321,137,000 people
    Canada: Population - about 35,307,000 people

    2. United States: Area- about 3,618,233 square miles
    Canada: Area - about 3, 855,103 square miles

    3. United States: Lowest Elevation - Death Valley in California: 282 feet below sea level
    Canada: Lowest Elevation - sea level

    4. United States: Highest Elevation - Mount McKinley in Alaska: 20,320 feet above sea level
    Canada: Highest Elevation - Mount Logan in Yukon: 19,551 feet above sea level

    5. United States: Life Expectancy Males - 76 years old
    Canada: Life Expectancy Males - 79 years old

    6. United States: Life Expectancy Women- 81 years old
    Canada: Life Expectancy Women - 83 years old

    7. United States: Armed Forces - 1,539,600 armed forces
    Canada: Armed Forces - 64,400 armed forces

    8. United States: Capital - Washington D.C
    Canada: Capital - Ottawa

    I was surprised that we cover up less space than Canada, but we have way more people! According to this comparison, what are you surprised about?


  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have some facts about the United States:

    1. The United States is the third largest country in population.
    2. The United States is the fourth largest country in size- Canada, Russia, and China have more land.
    3. The United States is bordered by Canada on the north and Mexico on the south.
    4. The capital is Washington D.C.
    5. There is more than 300,000,000 people in The United States.
    6. United States is rich in natural resources.
    7. No other country produces as many goods and services as The United States.
    8. Most farmers raise livestock in The United States.

    Can you add anymore facts to these facts? What did you think was interesting from these facts?


  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are some facts about deer. Did you know that they are hoofed animals? I also learned there are more than 30 types of deer. Did you know that we have deer in our community? One day, my grandpa and I saw a deer running across the street. Also my neighbor’s dog found a deer antler in her backyard.

    Your Student,

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I loved viewing and exploring the giant map of North America! I learned where many states were located from playing the "Find the State" game. Some of the bodies of water I found were: the five Great Lakes, the Yukon River, the Mississippi River, the Great Salt Lake, Thunder Bay, and Fundy Bay. I had great fun swimming in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but was freezing in the Artic Ocean! ;P

    Here are some facts about the Missouri River that I reasearched:

    The beautiful Missouri is the lengthiest river in the United States! This river travels 2,540 miles (4,090 kilometers) from southwestern Montana towards the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri and they merge into one. The great Missouri formed about 20 million years ago

    Wow! I learned some quality facts about the Missouri river through World Book!

    Here is a hyperlink to World Book Online Kids, where I found these facts:

    World Book Online Kids

    What other rivers in the United States can you name?


  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are four facts about North America that I learned. Most North Americans communicate in either English, Spanish or French. Many Indians still talk to each other in their native tongue.
    North America is shaped like a triangle. Lastly only 1% of North American workers have jobs in mining.

    I thought the giant map was a great way to learn about geography. I know you think that too! I learned where some states are. My favorite thing was the four corners because you could place your limbs in all those places at the same time and be in four places at once!

    What are the names of the states in the four corners?

    Your fact loving friend,

  13. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I'd like to tell you about four facts I learned about North America. I learned that the earliest North Americans were American Indians or Native Americans. They came from Asia over a land bridge. I also learned that North America has many valuable energy resources such as oil, natural gas and coal. North America is also rich with minerals such as silver, copper and lead.



  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I compared the United States to Cuba, and here are the results: Cuba's population is 11,189,000. The United States' population is 321,137,000. Cuba covers an area of 42,427 square miles while the much larger United States covers 3,618,233 square miles. The average lifespan of a man in both the United States and Cuba is 76 years. Women live 81 years on average in the United States and one year less in Cuba. I am interested in Cuba because it is the origin of the world's cutest breed of dog, the Havanese.


  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are some facts about North America. The Mississippi River floats for 2,340 miles. The Mississippi River has different channels to get into the Gulf of Mexico. The worst Mississippi River flood was in 1927.
    I personally love living in North America because it has so many special places to visit.


  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am going to give you facts about the Great Lakes. The five Great Lakes are Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Huron. The Great Lakes border Canada, and are in America. My favorite Lake is Lake Superior, because it is Superior! When my Dad was young, he use to boat on Lake Michigan!

    What is your favorite Lake?



  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    Did you know that in 1872 the United States was the first country to create a national park? It is named Yellowstone National Park. After that other countries started creating national parks. One of our most famous national parks is The Grand Canyon. I have never been there but hope to go someday. Have you been there?

    Enjoying the great outdoors,


  18. Dear Mrs. Yollis

    I would like to share with the class some very interesting facts about North America. North America is the 3rd largest of all of the continents. There are 24 countries in North America. North America was named after explorer Amerigo Vespucci. The largest city in North America is Mexico City. North America is the only continent that has every kind of climate.

  19. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here are some facts about Greenland.

    Greenland is really cold. It can get up to - 26 degrees. I like Greenland because there is snow. Do you like the snow? Here is another fact. Greenland is about 81 percent covered in snow. The population is 57,714.

    Those were my facts about Greenland.


  20. Dear Mrs Yollis and Class,

    I am going to compare some facts about France and the United States.
    The USA are 17 times bigger than France.
    There are 5 times more American people than French people
    And I was surprised to read that French people live 2 years older than American people.

  21. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have facts about our mountain ranges:

    The Rocky mountains are to the west, and are the biggest mountains in North America.

    The Appalachian mountains are to the east, and are the oldest mountains in North America. I couldn't believe that!

    Out of all the mountain ranges in North America, which mountain range is your favorite?

    Your mountain loving student,


    1. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,
      That's a really cool way to learn about North America and I think is awesome to have amp that big to expore around and also have a little fun!!
      From Learningin21, student Maria.

  22. WOW its so huge i wish our school had one of those maps.

    That day would be so fun!!!!

    What was the best bit about it?

    auroa school Taranaki New Zeland

  23. Dear Mrs. Yollis's Class,

    We are just learning about blogging with our teacher, Mrs. Petuya. That map looks awesome. It looks so gigantic. Did you use it in the gym? I hope it was fun for you.

    Mrs. Petuya's Second Graders
    aka "Team Petuya"


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