Colorado Springs, Colorado — Students at The Colorado Springs School (CSS) will be exploring Asia in a big way over this next week — with the world’s largest map of the continent. The map measures 26 feet by 35 feet and is designed as giant game board to introduce students to the diverse geography of Asia. It will be at CSS from Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 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 map’s brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface accurately illustrates Asia’s oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals. Designed for grades K-8, the map comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive activities and props and photo cards that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history, wildlife, and varied cultures. In “Cardinal Capture,” teams of students use cardinal directions to move student “pawns” around the map, capturing opponents. In “To What Degree?” teams compete against each other to find the most locations using latitude and longitude coordinates. Foam balls and hoops are used in “Geo-gym” games that each students the diverse geography of the Asian continent.

Primarily students in Kindergarten - 5th grade will schedule times to use the map activities as they learn geographical facts about the continent. Did you know that Asia is the largest and most culturally diverse of the continents? However, the map is a centerpiece for the Children's School's (Kindergarten - 5th grade) Geography Fair on Wednesday, December 19, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Louise Honnen Tutt Field House on campus.

"The beauty of the map is that it is so life-like that the children can walk on the map and see the relationships of the countries and physical features such as mountain ranges and rivers," said Dr. Patti Nelson, Head of the Children's School at The Colorado Springs School. "This tool is the perfect complement to our commitment to experiential learning." 

The overall study of Asia in Children's School has each grade studying a specific cultural topic in their classrooms:  

  • Kindergarten and first grade are focused on the Animals and Birds of Asia. 
  • 2nd and 3rd grades are focused on the people and costumes of Asia. 
  • 4th grade are studying the Architecture of Asia.
  • 5th grade are focused on Art Forms of Asia.

In art class, students are creating a variety of art projects that represent different countries of Asia.

  • Kindergarten: Paper Bag Good Fortune Cat Sculptures, 
  • 1st Grade: Chinese Ink Drawings of Pandas and Clay Bamboo Inspired Vases,
  • 2nd Grade: Clay Dragon Heads and Tan-gram Puzzles of Chinese Zodiac Animals, 
  • 3rd Grade: Woven Paper Fish Sculptures and Watercolor Paper Lanterns
  • 4th Grade: Indian Rangoli with Recycled Materials (plastic bottle tops) and Korean Longevity Drawings - Based on the Ten Symbols of Longevity in Korean Culture, 
  • 5th Grade: Japanese Paper Lanterns - Designed with traditional Japanese themes and motifs in mind andOrigami Pinwheels, Cranes, and Ornaments.

These art pieces will be displayed and help decorate the culminating activity on December 19, 2012 in the Louise Honnen Tutt Field House.  

The map will also be used by some 6th - 12th grade classes at the school. 


CSS offers an experiential educational curriculum for PreKindergarten – 12th graders. Through superior academics and mentoring, The Colorado Springs School prepares students to think independently and to meet the needs of a dynamic world with leadership, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and personal integrity. Learn more at or visit us on Facebook at


National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa, and has since expanded to include maps of Asia, North America, South America and the Pacific Ocean. Each map measures 26 feet by 35 feet and is loaned to schools and other hosts with an assortment of activities. In the 2011-2012 school year it is estimated more than 450,000 students will interact with one of these maps.


“These maps teach geography in a way that nothing else does. It is a physical as well as mental experience,” said Dan Beaupré, director of education partnerships for National Geographic Live. “The hands- and feet-on experience makes a lasting impression on students and sparks further interest.”


The maps also help showcase My Wonderful World, a multiyear National Geographic-led campaign to improve geographic literacy and to help students become more informed global citizens. The campaign ( is designed to improve the geographic literacy of young people ages 8-17 by motivating parents and educators to make geography more available and accessible in school, at home and in the community.


To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, for borrowing information or to download map activities, visit


The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit


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