I LOVE maps. I think this stems from the genealogist in me. Township, city, county, state, country maps…they all fascinate me. I look at a map and start to wonder about the deep history of the land, how it once looked, and why the original settlers chose to live in the exact spots they settled in. The United Kingdom especially fascinates me, primarily because most of my heritage is Irish, Scottish and English. When I started to teach my son all about our heritage, we had to un-jumble several terms that are often mixed up and bumbled about. You’ve probably heard all these: United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the island of Ireland, the country of Ireland, Great Britain, British people, Scotland, Wales, British Isles, England…what??
Enter my handy Silhouette CAMEO, some vinyl and a sturdy piece of wood. First, some amazing facts about vinyl:
- The CAMEO cuts through it like butter.
- It is like a cheap whiteboard. You can write on it with dry erase markers and wipe it cleanly off with a magic eraser.
- It sticks to wood beautifully, but also peels off easily in one piece when you are done with it.
I found a simple map of the British Isles, used my CAMEO to cut it out onto vinyl, and stuck it to a nice piece of wood. This became our dry erase map to study the land more in-depth.
Writing on maps over and over again is a real hands-on learning experience. The boundaries, capitals, rivers, major cities, historical battlefields, castle locations, and former kingdom divisions are fully drilled into our heads. No more confusion about what exactly the United Kingdom is!
The beauty of this project is that when we were done with this map, we simply peeled off the vinyl and stuck another vinyl cut-out on the wood! Yeah for upcycling wood!
In case, you are interested, this video really clears things up about what to call that historic and fascinating bunch of islands across the pond. Take a few minutes to watch it when you have the time. You will definitely learn a lot!
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