5a ix). Explain the significance of maps in the teaching of Religious Education and name their characteristics.
Maps are useful in R.E teaching because they help the learners to locate places where people mentioned in the Bible or Quran lived making religious experiences real. They also make religious knowledge comprehensive and easy to remember, enabling learners to visualize areas in question and relative position of political unity and people‘s relationship with their environment. Lastly, it brings the religious world and people into the classroom.
A good map has the following characteristics: accuracy, simplicity, sizable,
readability, sturdy, usability and attractivess.
How to use maps effectively in the teaching of R.E
For effective utilization of maps the teacher should do the following according to Nasibi
and Kiio (2005):
- Hang it conveniently in the classroom.
- Display it at the right time for instance when s/he wants to use it to emphasize an
idea, after introducing something which needs to be checked on the map.
- Make sure it is large and clear enough for every student to be able to see the required detail without strain.
- Let the students focus on the map at the same time whether they are looking at it as a class, individuals or groups.
- Make a sketch of small and detailed maps with useful information or have them projected on an overhead projector.
- Use a pointer when showing important features on a well map. Do not block it.
- Identify questions to be answered by the students using the map.
- Tell the learners what to look for. They should look at it critically, interpret it and
come up with some conclusion.
- Relate map work as much as possible to the lives of students starting from the
known to the unknown.
- Make sure the learners develop a variety of skills such as critical observation and
interpretation. This is possible if the map is studied in detail.
- Make sure any assignment given on the map is done to your satisfaction by
checking the students‘ exercise books. This could be either drawing the map or
filling in an outline map specific information.
- Encourage students to collect and draw as many maps as possible. This will
improve their skill in drawing.
- Handle maps well because they are delicate.
- Fold and keep them well after use for future utilization.