Abstract 5- Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2007

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2007



Geographic Perspectives with Elementary Students: The Silk Road

Beverly Milner (Lee) Bisland
Queens College of the City University of New York


The Silk Road is a source of fact and myth. Stretching from Western China to the Middle East, it crossed forbidding deserts and rugged mountains. In this study, students consider the geography and climate of the region crossed by the silk routes and determine the best route a caravan would take across this region one thousand years ago. The study’s lesson serves as an introduction to the history of the region and the trade routes that crisscrossed it. Students make the same decisions about travel routes that ancient peoples made. The study’s purpose is to determine how elementary students think spatially, the prior knowledge that they bring to their thinking, and the conclusions they draw in critiquing a physical map.

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About the Author(s)…

Beverly Milner (Lee) Bisland is an assistant professor in the Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department at Queens College of the City University of New York. She has an Ed.D. in Social Studies Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are curriculum particularly as it applies to social studies in the elementary school and social studies instruction in the elementary school. Her contact information is beverly.bisland@qc.cuny.edu.