Mapmaking is such an exciting project for children. Not only is your child learning the geography of Turkey in a much more memorable way than fill in the blank maps, but she is learning a historic art form. I find that my children truly learn and retain their geography when they create their own maps, as they are having a visual, kinesthetic, and artistic experience while learning the geography of the region. Here is how we approached mapping Turkey.
Materials: watercolor paper (we use 11 x 17) waterproof India ink pen, watercolors, colored pencils, an atlas or computer for reference maps
(Prepare a cutout in the shape of Turkey by outlining Turkey and cutting it out for your children to trace around- or they can draw Turkey freehand on their paper)
Begin by looking at an atlas and ask your children to locate Turkey on the world map. Make a note that it is in Asia. Then look at a map of Turkey. Notice bordering countries and name them out loud. Ask your children if they can find the capital of Turkey (Ankara).
Have your children make an outline of Turkey on their paper that includes the surrounding land. In other words, don’t make it look like an island. It is important that children know which regions border water and which border land.
Have your children outline all land with the India ink pen, as well as Turkey’s borders. They don’t need to outline other countries, unless you want them to, but have them name them orally. Then have them label Turkey. Ask your children to locate the capital city of Ankara and label it. Now have them watercolor Turkey any color they want, the surrounding land grey to show that we are not focusing on it, and the oceans blue.
Oceans, Seas, Rivers, and Lakes of Turkey:
Begin by looking at this map. Notice the main seas bordering three sides of Turkey. (The Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea) Have your children label them on their maps in India Ink.
Click here to see a map of Turkey’s largest rivers. Have your children draw the rivers on their maps using a blue colored pencil. Then have them label the rivers.
Click here to see a map of Turkey’s lakes. The largest lakes in Turkey are Lake Van, Lake Tuz, and Lake Beysehir. Help your children find them on the map, and then have them draw them and label them on their maps.
Mountains of Turkey:
Look at this map of mountain ranges in Turkey. Find the three major mountain ranges. Have your children draw them on their maps by making little upside down V’s. Label the mountain ranges.
Then click on this link to see a map of Turkey with the largest mountain, Mount Ararat, labeled. Have your children draw and label it on their maps.
Look at this map of some of Turkey’s main cities. Ankara and Istanbul are definitely the most famous cities in Turkey, but have your children add more cities to become familiar with the geography of Turkey.
Have your children add a compass rose to their maps as well as a map key. Last of all, have them title their maps, “Map of Turkey.”