Students are finding their way in Geography and Mapmaking class

Students in middle school teacher Crystal Lillegard’s Geography and Mapmaking class are off to a strong start this semester, with a focus on learning states and state capitals, cardinal directions and latitude/longitude.  

Students  practiced directions by utilizing the website,, a non-profit organization that tracks sharks, whale sharks, turtles, and seals for migratory research purposes.  

“It was fascinating to observe the migratory patterns of ocean life, and use their migratory patterns to draw a route using directions and coastal states to map migratory patterns,” Lillegaard said. 

During their latitude and longitude unit, students were asked to use an orange to show where the main meridians and parallels are on the globe. After they created their globe, they peeled the oranges and used their peels to create a map. And, of course, they took a little break to enjoy the oranges.

Students are now exploring national parks and designing food trucks with a menu reflecting the region their park resides in.  Students are using their creativity to come up with fabulous food truck names like Teton Tater Tots, Sandwich Dunes, and Katmai Tacos.  Using their national park as inspiration, the plan is to design graphics for the exterior of the food truck.  They will have to map the route they would take to drive their food truck from RPA Middle School to their chosen national park. 

The second half of semester one will focus on studying abroad and learning the geography of other continents and countries. 

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