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Traveling map returns to Oxford

By Edwin Smith

University of Mississippi

Students in 10 cities around the state soon will be able to explore a giant map of Europe, thanks to the Mississippi Geographic Alliance at the University of Mississippi.

The statewide tour, which stretches from Long Beach to Oxford, began Jan. 23 and ends Feb. 24 at Oxford Elemenatry School.

Measuring 26-by-26-feet, the National Geographic Traveling Map of Europe enables viewers to interact with the world’s second-smallest continent while learning about its rich history and diverse geography.

“The giant traveling map tour is one of our signature programs,” said Carley Lovorn, the alliance’s assistant director. “It’s a fun way to get students, teachers and the public excited about the world around them.”

The vibrant vinyl map will guide students through lessons and fun activities related to Europe’s climate, natural resources, famous landmarks, demographics and more. Activities include a geography-themed version of “Simon Says,” “The Landmark Carousel” and “The Grid Game.”

“The floor maps are an innovative teaching tool to help students learn the content at a deeper level,” Lovorn said. “Physically interacting with the map gives them a unique learning experience that will keep them engaged.”

National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa. It has grown to include maps of North America, Asia, South America, Europe and the Pacific Ocean.

“The map of Europe is an important and exciting addition to our ever-expanding roster of giant traveling maps,” said Dan Beaupre, vice president of National Geographic’s Education and Children’s Media group. “We believe this giant map will be an effective tool in enlivening the study of Europe’s geography and history for both students and teachers.”

To learn more about the Giant Traveling Maps project, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/giantmaps.