Yasmin The Explorer

Yasmin The Explorer
Written by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Hatem Aly

Publisher’s Summary:
When Yasmin’s father explains to her about explorers and maps, Yasmin decides to make a map of her neighborhood and she brings it along on a trip to the farmers’ market with her mother–but will the map help her when they are separated?

Primary Source Pairing:
Yasmin’s map saves the day after she loses track of her mother at the farmer’s market. Yasmine’s story of bravery is one that will resonate with many students who have had a similar experience of getting lost. Yasmine’s interest in maps is also a great opportunity to do a map introduction with students. The digital natives in our elementary school classrooms may not have a lot of experience with paper maps as they often see and hear their people at home rely on GPS navigation. For this primary source pairing, find a map that students can analyze. Check with your local historical society to see if there is one available for your town. The Libary of Congress has many maps in their digital collection. Check to see if one of the historical maps could work for you. Or use a Google Maps map of your area and invite students to track their route from their home to school – as shown above for my school. If available, compare an old map of your community with a new map – how has the community changed? As an extension, encourage students to make a map like Yasmine does in the story.

A local map analysis activity is a good reinforcement for students to know their address and to be aware of their community. Collaborate with 2nd-grade colleagues to coordinate a map study with their urban, suburban, rural unit.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What size and shape is the map?
  • What graphical elements do you see?
  • What on the map looks strange or unfamiliar?
  • What questions do you have about this map?

Credits:
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Library of Congress Maps Collection: Libary of Congress
Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps