Today is the last day of our project of reading and illustrating our March breACK! play, our kid-friendly, animal-populated version of Shakespeare’s Pericles, or, Bearicles, Prince of Tyre. To go along with that, I wanted to have the kids draw a map of Bearicles’ travels in the Ancient Mediterranean. [And, yes, these are the same as those of Shakespeare’s Pericles.]
To get started, we played a fun game of “Zoning in on the Mediterranean.” I showed the kids a series of maps, asking them to point out the Mediterranean Sea in each one. We looked at a world map, a map of Europe and Northern Africa, a large scale map of the Mediterranean and a map of the eastern Mediterranean. This got them closer and closer to the world of Bearicles.
Next, I gave the kids a map of the Ancient Mediterranean of Pericles/Bearicles, labeled with the ancient places from our play: Antioch, Tyre, Tarsus, Pentapolis, Ephesus, and Myteline,* ad we compared this to the modern maps we had already seen. The kids guessed with modern countries these ancient cities belonged to, matching Anitoch with Syria, Tyre with Lebanon, Pentapolis with Libya, Ephesus with Turkey, and Myteline with Lesbos/Greece.
Happy to see that the imaginative world of their new bear-friends could be plotted on a real map, the kids then got to work on a project similar to the Swift-inspired maps of Gulliver’s Travels we created last summer. I gave them a large, blank, white sheet of paper and set them to work with their markers and fine-line pens, asking them to create their own map, not only of the Ancient Mediterranean, as above, but of the route, the signs, and the key symbols of Bearicles’ adventures therein.
Here are the results!
*The map of the Mediterranean of Bearicles depicted above is a re-formatted version of a map I found at this theatre website.