Monday, July 29, 2013

Rural, Suburban, & Urban

In my social studies class, we are always coming across new words in articles and documents.  I usually move quickly over these words without much thought until a brave student pipes up, "What does that word mean?"  Whoops!  I forgot they didn't know everything I know!

One of my favorite parts of being a teacher is being able to create illustrations that help my students understand a concept beyond a basic definition.  Last year I came up with an illustration for the concepts of urban, rural, and suburban.  We have a standard in 6th grade which requires us to discuss population density and why people live where they live.

I always try to create things electronically first.  For this illustration, I used Microsoft Publisher.

Usually an urban area (city) is surrounded by a suburban area ('suburbs' such as lesser populated neighborhood areas).  Usually suburbs are spread out in area, hence the name suburban sprawl.  But even more spread out than the suburbs are rural areas.  Rural areas are least populated and are usually farthest away from cities.  Here you are likely to find farms and large undeveloped areas.

After creating it electronically, I project it onto my poster board and start tracing.  I get a lot of compliments because the posters look really nice, but the tracing makes it so easy!

Here is a picture of me, tracing.  :)



After tracing the circles in pencil, I decided to go straight for the Sharpie to save time.  Before you do this, make sure you are not at risk of bleeding through your paper/poster. 

Done!  Looks so good!  Now all that's left is laminating!

Laminated and on the wall!  So excited!

This poster took about 2 hours to create from start to finish.  Last year, when I originally came up with the idea for this illustration, I just drew it on the board with dry erase markers.  That worked just fine, but I prefer to have something permanent that stays on the wall throughout the year.  Whenever I get ready to teach this concept, I'll pull it down and explain it in detail... Then back on the wall it goes!  I can also use it to create a YouTube video for the Obertopian YouTube channel.  As always, the KEY with vocabulary is to make students use it during class so often that it stops being vocabulary and becomes part of their everyday language. 

What illustrations have you created to help teach concepts to your students?  Comment and let us know or share it via email: obertopia@gmail.com


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