Students will explore how place can influence identity. Many of the people pictured in Edward West’s photographs have had to deal with being forcibly removed from their homes and relocated by the government. In South Africa, as elsewhere, maps and mapping may reflect and illustrate the political, historical and social change of a neighborhood. This lesson will introduce these issues through making maps of students’ local environments--their homes and communities.
National Core Standards
- Integrate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence
- Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work
- Translucent paper or vellum (8.5 x 11)
- Fine felt tip pens
- Colored pencils
- Consider the photographs by Edward West. Do the woman and the boy seem at home in these spaces? What makes a home comfortable or useable?
- Students will create a map of their homes, paying particular attention to how specific members of their families use specific areas of the house. Discuss maps that use color-coding to depict areas of use. Also discuss the difference between a plan drawing (looking down onto a place) and an elevation drawing (the façade or front). If possible, show examples of each.
- Students will start with a plan drawing of one floor of their home using felt tip pen on vellum. They can they trace the map to generate as many maps as they have family members.
- Have the students devise a key for their map (Mom = green, Dad = blue, etc.). Following their keys, invite students to color each according to how much time (estimated) the family member spends in each room or space.
- Finally, the maps can be placed one on top of the next to show overlaps.
- For further discussion, talk about how family members’ use of space reflects or communicates their role in the family or household. Does the father spend a lot of time in the kitchen? What does that communicate about his interests or role in the family? Does the mother spend time outside in the garden or in a craft/project room? Where do family members overlap – in the dining room, bathroom?