I recently saw the See How Well You Can Draw All 50 States quiz posted and immediately thought that this idea could be extended into a fun beginning of the year geography challenge using Pear Deck. Let me explain…
The challenge: as a class, create a complete sketch of the state borders in the outline of the US map provided
Task: each student is assigned 3-4 states to sketch. A successful outcome will require a team effort since an accurate final drawing relies on what others have drawn in.
Goal: though this activity is, to some degree, about assessing students’ knowledge about state shapes and location, the larger purpose is to create a lively, fun challenge that is all about working as a team.
- InPear Deck, the teacher will add a Drawing type slide with the outline of the United States (state lines not included) as the background image.
- When creating the activity in Pear Deck, be sure to select the Drawing slide type and set the outline of the US map as the drawing canvas image. Students will be sketching their assigned state on top of this outline.
- In class, the teacher will project the deck and make responses visible right away in overlaid layout. By doing so, as soon as students start drawing their sketch, it will appear on the projector, in real-time, for the whole class to see.
- The teacher will hand out state assignments to each student. Depending on class size, each student will receive 2-4 states they are responsible for drawing.
- As an idea, the teacher could put all state names into a hat and ask each student to pick 3 slips of paper. The state names they draw would be their assigned sketches.
- Students will all sign into Pear Deck and begin sketching their states (using their mouse to draw).
- Note: I would suggest telling students to adjust their pen thickness to a small size immediately since the map is rather small.
Beyond simply being a test of students’ knowledge about state shapes and location, this activity requires a class effort. Students will need to look at the projector to see if their neighboring state has been drawn. Students will need to talk things out with one another so that adjacent state lines match up properly. With minimal direction from the teacher, students will need to discover the need to work together. This challenge could be a neat beginning of the year activity to help students bond with their classmates. It will be frustrating for them at times, but as soon as they realize that the task is a collaborative effort, I imagine things will start getting lively and fun. A successful outcome requires a team effort – students will need to listen to their peers and every student will need to participate in order to complete the sketch. This challenge is all about teamwork, cooperation, collaboration, respectfully listening to one another, and relies on a group effort.