I started by showing the children, from kindergarten through fifth grade, this wonderful old map of a part of Scandinavia. We looked at the details....a compass, sea monsters, ships, people, animals, mountains, trees, lakes, rivers, and towns.
I showed them a sample...a map I drew with a sharpie pen, colored with watercolor. I am ambivalent about showing them something I do as an example sometimes, because the children tend to admire it and copy some of it, but they also start right away and know how to proceed with the project. Children and all artists are visual, and verbal instruction can get in the way if it isn't supported by something to look at.
We brainstormed about details that would be fun to draw, trees to represent forests, animals, castles, little houses to represent towns....
a ship with a flag, (these little international children love to show flags!) and x marks the spot for treasure!
Look at the octopus, mermaid, submarine, and whirlpool.
A fire-breathing dragon, a very detailed ship with a man overboard, a star for the capitol city, and a beautiful pink sailboat.
Here is a sinking ship and a wonderful satellite!
Even though I wanted the children to draw first with the permanent marker and then paint, this child needed to draw some details later. The paper was damp so it was hard for the pen to stick.
I love to hear the children tell me about their drawings.
This country has sections representing elements: life, air, fire, water, earth, and the undead!
Look at the amazing palm tree in this painting, and the active volcano. A shark has a sword stuck in its fin, and I see big waves and a huge sea monster!
This boy didn't have time to add color and that's okay. He has a wonderful imagination and loves to draw. there is lots to see in this wonderful drawing. Look at the very detailed airport seen so convincingly from above, all sorts of vehicles in the air and water, the town with streets and driveways, and the Turkish flag.
We talked about how on maps sometimes things are shown in different scales, so the delightful elephant is sticking his head over the wall of the zoo. Look how carefully this girl worked out the three-dimensional shapes of the buildings.
I was amazed how well the youngest children, like Kiki, grasped the abstract concept of map-making. I think it helps that the children come from all over the world and have seen the ground from the windows of airplanes many times.
What beautiful results from this project, which followed on our creation of sailing ships the week before. I'll show you pictures from that soon. Sorry the pictures are so blurry, there is low light in our studio and it gets dark early this time of year.