After trying (unsuccessfully) to explain to Zoe (who is 6) why her grandparents live in a particular suburb which isn’t the same name as the city they live in….I changed tactics.
I decided to use visual aids instead. Pictures tell a thousand words while Mums just keep on talkin’.
So we started on the computer. Kids love computers so this helps makes the learning FUN.
First up, for some context, we looked at a map of Australia.
Then onto a map of New South Wales, which is a large state on the eastern side of the country. We talked about all the big roads we could see and the large towns. Then as we zoomed in we talked about the smaller roads and towns. It was a good way for Zoe to establish just how many towns there are in just one state. And don’t underestimate how fun it is to zoom in
So the big streets on the map let people get places faster. Smaller streets are for houses and smaller shops and offices. Cars need to drive slower on the smaller streets because they are much busier with people coming and going onto the roads. We kept it general – no need to get caught up in exceptions just yet! Also it doesn’t address the “why suburbs” issue – just that in our world, there is a road hierarchy!
Now we were ready for the why do the grandparents live in a suburb which is different to the city they live in (ie. why do we say they live in Sydney when their address is Surrey Hills?).
The point of the following exercise is to establish that there are a multiple number of streets with the same name.
So we looked up “Brown” as a street name to see what would happen.
Whoa! Lots of ‘Brown Roads’! I said that two of those Brown Roads were in Sydney (not 100% sure if that’s true but work with me people). How would we know which Brown Road to go to if we wanted to visit people?
Zoe didn’t answer the question. Instead she said “Or what if you were the postlady and you had to deliver a package to Brown Road and they both said Sydney. You wouldn’t know which one it was” (said with huge emphasis).
The penny dropped. Zoe was so excited that she had nailed the concept. Phew.
The next part of the activity I highly recommend. Especially if you need to keep the fun alive. I let Zoe google any street name she liked. And she liked! I think the pictures will help tell the story here.
Next logical street search name..
And one more (after we had Mum Street, Dad Street, Road Road and now)..
Next I wanted to look at the first step in street finding from a real street guide/map.
I wrote down the name of a street and the suburb on a note pad and showed it to Zoe. I showed her where in the directory to find the street index. Then I let her have a go at finding the street name.
I used the street name “Hovea” for two reasons:
- There will be quite a list of them and this will help Zoe find it.
- It will reinforce for Zoe the reason why the world needs suburbs.
To get started Zoe needed to find H. Which she did on her own, laboriously starting at A!
Then we hit a hurdle. The alphabetical order of the word, by each letter is harder to explain. As in Ha comes before He and Hand comes before Hat. I decided that this was best saved until another day/year (when I can do a better job of explaining it and Zoe will comprehend it much more easily).
So to ease the frustration we employed the magnifying glass to make it more fun!
So I just let Zoe know which page of H’s Hovea was on and then it essentially became a word hunt. Luckily Zoe loves word searches and is also a big Where’s Wally fan. Zoe agreed that if people were going to keep using the same street names over and over then we are lucky to have suburb names.
Finding the street on a map from the coordinates listed to the right is another post altogether.
In conclusion, I recommend a magnifying glass for any age group and to make this age appropriate. We all know how frustrated kids can get when we extend them unknowingly (and unsuccessfully). If Ebony was doing this task we would have moved through to the map and used the magnifying glass to help there as well.
After finding Hovea in the index Zoe wanted to go back onto the computer to look up more crazy street names around the world and then zoom in on them. So this bit I highly recommend. We found ourselves talking about the wilds of Canada and the changing borders of the old Soviet Union (and how country borders are just for maps, you can’t see them on the ground). Zooming in on Disneyland would be cool if you could pre-arrange that with a bit of research.
If you have a computer and a street map, you are set to go.
Thanks so much for dropping by:)