- America the Beautiful Quarters
Students will research different types of maps and create a 3-D map to scale of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Students will solve proportion problems to find scale.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Sessions: Five
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 151-500 minutes
- Whole group
- Small groups
- Individual work
- Map key components
Terms and Concepts
- Obverse (front)
- Reverse (back)
- Physical map
- Political map
- Contour/topographic map
- Historical map
- Climate map
- Population density map
- Road map
- Scale bar
- 1 overhead projector or equivalent technology
- 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter" page
- Copies of the following:
- "Blue Ridge Parkway Map" worksheet
- "Blue Ridge Parkway Map Answer Key
- "Map Math" worksheet
- "Map Math Answer Key"
- "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map" worksheet
- "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric"
- 1 class map of the United States
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on the Blue Ridge Parkway, such as:
- Blue Ridge & Smoky Mountains (Moon Handbook) by Deborah Huso (excerpts)
- Blue Ridge Parkway: An Extraordinary Journey Along the World's Oldest Mountains by Charles Maynard (excerpts)
- Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway by Nye Simmons (excerpts)
- National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States by Mel White (excerpts)
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on maps, such as:
- If Maps Could Talk: Using Symbols and Keys by Erika L. Shores
- The Story Behind Maps by Barbara A. Somerville
- Maps: Getting From Here to There by Harvey Weis
- Chart paper, whiteboard, or interactive whiteboard
- Computers with Internet access
- Butcher paper, bulletin board paper, or other long paper
- Materials to build models (styrofoam, glue, paint, clay, wood, other )
- Index cards (5 by 8 inches)
- Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter" page.
- Make copies of each of the following:
- "Blue Ridge Parkway Map" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Map Math" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric" (1 per student)
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on the Blue Ridge Parkway (see examples under "Materials").
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on maps (see examples under "Materials").
- Arrange to use the school computer lab for two to four sessions.
- Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the Blue Ridge Parkway, such as:
- Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about maps, such as:
- Grade the "Map Math" worksheets after Session 2.
- Determine the best place in the room to set up the map.
- Determine student groups (3 or 4 students) for Session 1.
- Gather materials for making models.
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Display and examine the "Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter" page. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location.
- As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
- Tell the students that the front of a coin is called the "obverse" and the back is called the "reverse." Answer any student questions.
- Display the "Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter" page. With the students, examine the coin design. Have the students identify the elements in this design. This design depicts the grace and curvature of the road hugging the side of a mountain, and includes the stonework typical of many of the parkway's facings and bridges, with the North Carolina state flower in the foreground.
- Lead a class discussion on tourism and how it might affect an area's economy. Emphasize the "America's Favorite Drive" slogan and the scenery and highlights of the ride from the National Park Service Web site.
- Lead the students in a discussion of what it would be like to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ask the students what types of things they would see and how they would prepare for the trip. Record student responses on chart paper. Lead the students to conclude that maps would be useful.
- Refer the students back to the class map from step 1 of this session. Ask the students to identify what type of map it is. If necessary, review map types. Record student responses on chart paper. Lead a class discussion on the different types of maps.
- Distribute the "Blue Ridge Parkway Map" worksheet. Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 students. Assign each group a different type of map from the worksheet. Explain to the students that they will be researching the type of map, finding examples of the type, and researching other information for the worksheet.
- Allow time for the students to do their research using computers or selected printed texts.
- Display the map worksheet. Review the research results as a class, adding information to the displayed worksheet. Have the students complete the worksheet based on the class discussion.
- Lead a class discussion on the parts of a map. Lead the students to conclude that the title, key, and scale bar are important when reading any map.
- Review the different types of maps from the previous session. Lead a class discussion on the scale bar and how it is used with a map. Ask the students to define the word "scale." Lead the students to conclude that scale is a ratio between the length of a drawn thing and the length of the real thing.
- Look at some examples of scale bars on different maps. Lead a class discussion about the scale bar. Lead the students to conclude that the scale bar shows the actual scale for the map.
- Distribute the "Map Math" worksheet. Read the sample problem. Have the students underline or highlight important information in the problem and brainstorm what they will do to solve the problem. Lead the students to conclude that setting up a proportion would be the best way to solve the problem. Review setting up proportions and solving them.
- Solve the sample problem with the students. Allow time for the students to complete the remaining problems. Remind the students to show their work.
- Collect the "Map Math" worksheets. Grade them before Session 3.
Sessions 3 through 5
- Review the types of maps and the way to set proportions from the previous session.
- Distribute the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map" and the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric" to the students. Review the directions with the students. Explain to the students that they will be working in pairs to create a 3-D map of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The objects created for the map will be to scale.
- Help the class determine what the scale for the map should be. Record the scale on an index card and display it by the map. Explain to the students that the index card will serve as the map key.
- As a class, create the base for the map. Remind the students that they may need to do some research for their place.
- Allow time for the students to research and create their model. As the students finish their projects, add them to the map. Add any symbols, colors, etc. to the map key.
- Have the students complete the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric."
- Collect the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map" worksheet and the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric."
- Display the Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D map.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Provide a pre-designed model, determine the scale, or make the model for the students.
- Provide information in audio or video versions for the student research.
- Simplify the problems on the math worksheet or allow the students to use a calculator.
- Have students create an interactive map using mapping software or websites.
- Have students create a multimedia presentation of the narratives and illustrations.
- Have students research different types of maps and create them for a bulletin board display or picture book.
- Have students create math word problems using facts about the Blue Ridge Parkway for 4th graders through 6th graders.
- Use the "Map Math" worksheet to assess student understanding of proportions and scale.
- Use the "Blue Ridge Parkway 3-D Map Rubric" to assess student understanding of maps and scale.
Common Core Standards
Domain: 7.RP Ratios and Proportional Relationships
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems
- 7.RP.1. Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units.
- For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
- 7.RP.2. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
- Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, eg, by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
- Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
- Represent proportional relationships by equations.
- For example, if total cost t is proportional to the number n of items purchased at a constant price p, the relationship between the total cost and the number of items can be expressed as t = pn
- Explain what a point (x, y) on the graph of a proportional relationship means in terms of the situation, with special attention to the points (0, 0) and (1, r) where r is the unit rate.
- 7.RP.3. Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.
Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
- Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices
- Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas
Domain: 6-8 Measurement
Cluster: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
In grades 6–8 all students should
- understand both metric and customary systems of measurement;
- understand relationships among units and convert from one unit to another within the same system; and
- understand, select, and use units of appropriate size and type to measure angles, perimeter, area, surface area, and volume.