Oak Grove students learn history, geography with National Geogra - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Oak Grove students learn history, geography with National Geographic Traveling Map

Oak Grove Lower Elementary students "travel Africa" on an interactive map. Oak Grove Lower Elementary students "travel Africa" on an interactive map.
LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Students in Lamar County are having a hands-on, and "feet-on," learning experience.

The National Geographic Traveling Map was at Oak Grove Longleaf, Upper and Lower Elementary schools this week. The map was of Africa, and it spread across part of the gym floor for students to walk, crawl and move to certain countries that matched the informational card they held.

For example, the students were instructed to move to the Congo as gorillas, or to the Nile River as crocodiles.

"They're learning basic geography skills and mapping, but specifically, they're learning the continent of Africa and the physical features that make Africa unique," said Oak Grove Lower teacher Nadine Amaya.

Learning geography in this way was fun for the students, as they laughed moving around the map and clapped for their classmates. Second graders at Oak Grove Lower Elementary are part of a pilot program in Mississippi that teaches geography at a younger age, according to school employee Barbara Boone.

Oak Grove Lower's interim principal said the interactive map was a great way to incorporate geography into the curriculum.

"Jump starting that with an activity like this is just a fantastic way to get them engaged," said interim principal Matt Thomas.

The Oak Grove schools were the only area schools to participate in the program, and it will make its way across the state before the end of the month.

The Lamar County School District has been a part of the traveling map program for several years, thanks to Boone and Amaya's involvement in the Mississippi Geographic Alliance.

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