Does your class like make maps? We would love to see and share them!
We are still basically newbies on Facebook, just starting to get our social media sea-legs (ahem, ahem: please “like” us…and tell your friends!) We have been experimenting with features such a “MathStart Book of the Day!” and, of course, news about Stuart’s new Pre-K series, I See I Learn.
It has been delightful to see who has discovered us. We have made some wonderful new connections.
Mr. Murphy: The students in my class are confused about the weird pictures in your book Treasure Map. We love the book and love the pictures, but we do not understand why there are giant objects by the small kids. Any help explaining these crazy pictures to us? Thanks a bunch. Please write back.
— Mr. Jason and the Star Room Kids, Circle School, SA, TX
I handle most of the posts for Stuart on Facebook and Twitter (@vizlearning), so wrote a brief reply, but clearly this called for Stuart’s insights.
Hello Mr. Jason & the Star Room Kids!
I love this question!
Janet’s right. Tricia Tusa, the illustrator, wanted to emphasize the fact that a map represents a section of the real world at another scale. Therefore, on pages 8-9, the map actually “becomes” the environment that it represents. On pages 10-11, the members of the Elm Street Kids’ Club have been reduced to the scale of the map and actually step right into it. From that point on, Tricia plays with dimension and scale to complement what is happening in the story.
On page 30, Tricia brilliantly added the returning Rocky River Rascals to her illustration. This was not part of the manuscript. She wanted readers to be constantly thinking of time, place, size, dimension and scale.
You didn’t ask about the “upside-down” map on the endpapers. Again, this was Tricia’s idea. She positioned the map, which is of Houston, where Tricia lived at the time, to be from the point of view of Matthew, who is pictured carrying the map, rather than from the perspective of the reader.
Here’s an idea for the visually alert Star Room Kids. Maybe they could create a map of their classroom, cafeteria or playground. Then they could try to figure how big the desks, tables, or they themselves would be at that scale. If it’s really cool, you can send it to us and we’ll include it on our blog.
We would love to see maps of every classroom, cafeteria and playground! If your class has some fantastic maps you would like to share, please send photographs to feedback (@) stuartjmurphy (dot) com. Be sure to include contact information.
Did you know that Treasure Map is one of six MathStart stories featured in a new musical called The Main Street Kids’ Club? The play was adapted by the talented Scott (“Schoolhouse Rock Live!”) Ferguson through a special workshop class at Northwestern University. It’s a lot of fun. The music is great and the math is spot on!
If you know a regional theatre that would be interested in performing the show or would like to find out about school tours, please get in touch with Scott at TheatreBAM Chicago.
It’s the Main Street Kids’ Club / Where the laughs are loud in the the fun is free / We’re in the Main Street Kids’ Club / That’s the MSKC to you and me!
- Creative Cartography: 7 Must-Read Books on Maps / Maria Popova, Brain Pickings