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September 6, 2012

Region Maps

Last Friday we created our Region Maps.  The students had to bring in 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt in a gallon sized bag.  For homework they also had to practice drawing our state.  My wonderful parent helpers came to help monitor the students as we poured 1 cup of water into the bags, sealed them up, and they gently "massaged" the bag to make a cookie dough type mixture.  

A wonderful school mom donated 12x12 cardboard pieces from her business, so the students had to draw our state nice and large on the boards.  They then had to form the different regions, making sure to remember San Francisco Bay, the different mountain ranges, the large valley in the middle of the state, and a nice flat area for the desert in the southern area.  Once again, with this group of kids, I am so glad for extra eyes.  

So yesterday was painting day after they dried all weekend long.  I put the kids into groups of 6 or 7, and they shared the same color.  There is no need to wash out brushes between colors.  They just sit and work until it's time to switch spots.  We do the set up outside on the ground.  3 bowls of paint per group and I use tiny little brushes for all colors except the Ocean.  Those need the big brushes or they will never finish.  This year I also pulled out the laminated maps that came with the S.S. curriculum and labeled the specific areas they needed to paint when they went to that station.  The students only needed between 5-10 minutes per color, and no one switched until they were all ready to get up and move.  5 switches later and they were all done.  
 The Coast was purple.
 The Desert was yellow.
 The Valley was green.
 Mountains were brown.
 The Ocean (which I had them mark a X on the correct side of our state before we headed outside) was blue.  
When we came inside we took 1/2 pieces of index cards and created a Legend.  These are on their desks drying overnight.  I think these projects might be going home tomorrow.  :)  Have a good night!  


  1. Thanks for the idea. I have done a bean map before but quit doing it because it took SO long. I think I might try this activity this year since I have a lot of parent helpers.

  2. These look great!! I do similar region maps with my kiddos (but with marker and watercolors... no dough), and they looveee it! And they are so fun I keep them the whole year! We are going to be doing them in the next couple weeks, and I plan on taking tons of pictures to blog about! California regions are one of my favorite things to teach because of the fun map-making! :)

    Lessons with Laughter

    1. I don't know what it is about regions - there is so much to do with them.

  3. What a wonderful project! I'm sure your students had so much fun and learned a lot too! I love how organized your painting stations were! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, and thank you for linking up. I hope to see you again next week.

    Teaching Fourth

  4. What a great project! My kiddos did something similar when they were fourth graders but it had to be made out of a sugar cookie and all of the decorations had to be edible! So much fun! I bet your students had a blast.

    1. I would love to do an edible project. We make sugar cube missions (instead of gingerbread houses) for Christmas. Of course they can't really eat it...

  5. Looks like a fun project! I love the idea of using different colors for the different areas.

    1. They had fun. I'm still deciding if I'm going to have them take it home or save it all year for open house...

  6. I am so excited to do this project! We are making the salt dough maps tomorrow in class. My students have been so motivated during the process of researching information about each of the four regions and now are ready to complete their projects with the salt dough maps! Thank you for putting this great project together!


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