Elementary students in Pittsylvania County will soon be exploring North America in a big way with one of the world's largest maps of the continent.
The map, measuring 35 feet by 26 feet, gives student explorers a fun, interactive experience through rich content and exciting activities that enliven the study of geography.
The map will travel to five elementary schools in the county.
It will be at Gretna Elementary, Feb. 27-28; Chatham Elementary, Feb. 29; Southside Elementary, March 1-2; Twin Springs Elementary, March 5-6; and Kentuck Elementary, March 7-8.
The map is on loan as part of National Geographic's Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.
The brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface of the map accurately illustrates North America's oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals.
The map, designed for grades K-8, comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive games, geography adventures, atlases and books that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history and varied cultures.
One of the activities included is "A Tale of Twenty Cities," in which students explore the physical and economic reasons behind the locations of North American cities.
"We are fortunate to have a great working relationship with The National Geographic Society so as to gain access to this resource," said Clarke Scott, lead director of history and social studies for Pittsylvania County Schools.
"The giant map is a wonderful and exciting way for students to gain a better understanding of the world in which they live," said Scott.
The maps showcase My Wonderful World, a multiyear, National Geographic led campaign to improve geographic literacy and to help students become more informed global citizens.