Mapping Informational and Literary Literacy- Chromebook Connected- Grades 4-12

Non-Fiction Book Map

Mapping for Sector 5.jpg

Sample of Book Map Project done for the book Sit In: Four Friends Who Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Pinkney Davis

Teachers of grades 4-12 are required to teach map reading and use as informational documents which of course have vital real world functions even in a GPS world.  Map interpretation and analysis is essential to history and ironically close text and engaged reading requires comprehension of places-fictional and actual cited. But while some students intuitively are fascinated and closely engage with maps, other students cannot immediately connect with how to interpret and use this crucial informational and functional document. How to captivate students to engage them as readers, travelers, citizens text takers in fully tapping the potential richness of map use?  Why not have them “map out” their own books?  Chromebooks and Google Maps make this an immediately doable task with a book text and close reading of resources student created map possible within a very short time period. Even better the student has a visually attractive product that can be part of his or her functional document skills portfolio and the teacher can include in an array of aggregate data demonstrating how the teacher fosters functional document reading.

Using an online map resource locate each of these locations and take a screen capture of it (see section on screen captures in the ‘How To’ section of this book.) If your locations are sufficiently close to one another, you may wish to use a single screen capture. If they are at a distance from one another you may wish to use several captures that will be put together to create a collage cluster of maps. (See above sample which is visually compelling- Chromebooks with their capacity for picture file and graphic saving and import make a professional looking product accessible and doable for all learners including ESL, visual learners and others.

Students should use their instincts to decide which approach is easier for a viewer to understand and/or which approach will help create the attractive and interesting finished product.

Write a short caption for each of the locations you’ve identified to be part of your book map. In the caption, identify the location, explain why it is important in the book, and add any other information you feel will help make your book map a good one. This assures the teacher that in addition to mapping interpretation and creation skills, students are also practicing informational writing summary skills and persuasive writing expository mandated cross content skills.

Insert your map(s) into a fresh word processing document. Decide whether or not landscape or portrait orientation will be most appropriate for this project.

Using the Call Outs feature of MS Word (or similar word processing software) or using the Text Box feature along with an Arrow shape, create spaces in which to paste your captions. Move the Call Out or Text Box into an appropriate space over your map (see the Working with Shapes section in the How To section of this book) and have either the arrows or the pointy end of the call outs point to the precise spot you’ve identified.

Add photos or other elements to the map, adjust the size, location, and ‘look’ of everything and save the map as a finished product (PDF format works very well for this). Chromebooks easily enable students to research and save pertinent photos and graphic illustrations or renderings of specific real places.  Nothing makes a place or region or mountain or desert more real to students than the photos or graphic elements they find on their own and save to their files.  Generally, each student team will find multiple picture resources and need as in the real world of book design to save pictures and materials for the map among which the student will choose those for optimal display in the map collage.

In a nutshell, this project will entail the following:

Students create a map or collection of maps and related items that plot locations specified or alluded to in a non-fiction book the student is reading. This project engages students in reading a book of their choice for content understanding, researching locations by using online map resources (e.g. Google Map.), expanding and refining their writing skills.  As a result, they will create a unique, expressive product which will demonstrate what’s been learned and foster awareness of how graphic design impacts communication and expression.  Chromebooks facilitate this happening quickly in under three periods from their classroom site and with a lovely sharable product they can own.

Here’s how to make this happen:

After having read a sufficient portion of the book or while engaged in a reflective, information gathering process while reviewing it:

Have students create a “Mapping my reading doc for their individual or team (no larger than a pair of students to assure close text reading and writing).  Using Chromebooks assures the teacher of a readily available portfolio of student note taking and easy access to comment on their work.

Target note taking questions:

1) Identify at least 3 key locations associated with its content

Final Student Learning Product – which students particularly those in 8-12 grades can retain beyond the teacher’s class or grade as part of their evolving personal portfolios for internships or scholarships:

Map with arrows marking locations, explanatory captions, and photos and/or other illustrations

The finished student product is a map or collage collection of maps of areas that relate to the content of the book read. In addition to a traditional map view of these areas, students add ‘text boxes’ or ‘call outs’ to present captions that pinpoint for, and explain to, the viewer the significance of the areas mapped.  Photos and illustrations of the selected areas may also be included using a variety of techniques. While the map and the caption text are functional, the final arrangement of the various elements of this product reflects design decisions and taste of its student creator.  


Can be slides enabled by Chromebook use that can be displayed for parents, invited Chromebook network participants and school district administration.  These slides can also be projected or looped at open school parent events and expos.

 Standards Alignment 

  1. Common Core Standards in ELA  
    Reading: Literature and Informational Literature Key Ideas and Details: RL._.1RL._.2RL._.3
    Craft and Structure:  RL._.4RL._.5RL._.6
    Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:  RL._.7RL._.8RL._.9
    Range of Reading and Complexity of Text:  RL._.10
    Writing Text Types and Purposes: W._.1W._.2W._.3
    Production and Distribution of Writing: W._.4W._.5W._.6
    Research to Build and Present Knowledge: W._.7 –  W._.8W._.9
    Range of Writing: W._.10
    Speaking & Listening Comprehension and Collaboration: SL._.1SL._.2SL._.3
    Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: SL._.4SL._.5SL._.6
    Language Conventions of Standard English:  L._.1L._.2
    Knowledge of Language:

    Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: L._.4L._.5L._.6
    for Students
    1.       Creativity and Innovation: a – b
    2. Communication and Collaboration: a – b

    3.       Research and Information Fluency: b – c – d

    4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: a – b – c – d

    5. Digital Citizenship: a, b

    6. Technology Operations and Concepts: a – b- d

     Technology CONNECTION: Students will learn to use the following resources, acquire the following skills and techniques, and perform the following processes

    Digital Resource Type Digital Processes, Skills, Techniques, and Tasks
    Chromebook specific skills Keyboarding, File Management, Browser navigation and features operations.
    Word Processing program –          Record notes on book, lists of locations and research links for materials on them in a word processing document.

    –          Use a fresh Word Processing document as a “canvas’ on which to create the book map illustration.

    Online Map Resource


    Find locations on online map using navigation features
    Screen Capture resource: either provided by device operating system or supplementary resource like SnagIt Capture map segment(s) so that it may be inserted into the finished book map product
    Search Engine (Google) Search for information pertaining to locations, as well as for supplementary images, etc.
    Printer (color printer if possible) Use software to print out finished book map for exhibit

     The skills and standards above are deliberately listed so that teachers grade 4-12 can get a concrete sense of the multiple rich performance tasks and technology/literacy capacities being developed by this project.  Students will just enjoy the rich product made possible, doable, and shareable through use of Chromebooks.

    Of course, many books which are fictional also describe and detail places that include details from real geographic sites mixed with the authors imagination.  Think of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon or James Barrie’s Peter Pan or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.  Students can develop maps for these books of these richly evocative imaginary places using the author’s images and details from the writing plus a mix of actual public domain photos and student rendered graphic illustrations or public domain illustrations done for these works.  This form of mapping fictive book places makes reading and functional documents come real for students.  That is a “map” for close text reading courtesy of Chromebooks!! Join the Chromebook cartographers and validate this 21st century needed functional and fun skill!!

     Below are some examples of texts (and their types) for which multiple locations are crucial for the authors to achieve the purpose of their work:
    – Andrea Davis Pinkney: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down –
    Contemporary, story driven non-fiction
    – Chris van Wyk: Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – Biography
    – Simon Adams:  Eyewitness World War II  – History
    Ann Downer: Wild Animal Neighbors Sharing Our Urban World – Animals/General Interest

    Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

    Margarita Engle, Enchanted Air

    Rita Garcia Williams, PS Be Eleven,

    Jason Reynolds, Ghost

    Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond

    Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad.

    Jane Goodall. Roots and Shoots.

      Dr. Rose Reissman,

    Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5

    About Sector 5,

    Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on and and find further information at For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.





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