Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ancient Greece History Co-op - Week 1 - Maps

Week 1: We began with Mediterranean maps.

The first week of each history co-op always begins with a mapping activity. This one was excellent because it incorporated the study of longitude and latitude, and math to create a grid in order to transfer the map to posterboard.

For the next few months we plan to study Ancient Greece. The Minoans who lived on the Island of Crete were the first known Greek civilization. The population flourished during the bronze age from around 2700 bc until 1450 bc. Since the Minoans were the first Greek civilization, Crete is the first feature to be placed on map.

Each child began with a Mediterranean map. They drew several longitude (vertical) and latitude (horizontal) lines on top of their maps. Each line was labeled with its degree coordinate.

Next, the posterboard was measured and math was used to determine an appropriate scale for the latitude and longitude of the posterboard. We decided on 1 inch = 1.5 degrees. It was necessary to divide the desired horizontal coverage area (about 49 degrees) by 1.5 to determine 32 inches were required for the map. Since the posterboard was only 28 inches wide we decided it would be alright to cut off a bit of the original map when doing the transfer. For the vertical dimension 28 degrees was divided by 1.5. We found 18 inches would work well since the posterboard was 22 inches tall.

Next we marked 1 inch increments on the posterboard, drew and labeled the latitude and longitude lines.

With the lines drawn in place we were able to add the island of Crete by using the small Mediterranean map and another Greek map as reference.

 Week 2 we added mainland Greece.

Following week 1, we added more and more detail to the map until it included much of the world known to the Ancient Greeks.


  1. You have wonderful friends around you I am so glad:)
    I was just talking to a friend about doing a similar idea regarding our studies on Mesopotamia, great minds think alike.

  2. Great activity! I was just thinking earlier today about when I used to make maps in school, but I think I just traced them...this seems so much better! I really like this idea, thanks for sharing it with us at Trivium Tuesdays!


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